Aid to Scholarly Journals
Applicant Instructions

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Documents to read before applying

Helpful tips

Write your proposal in clear, plain language. Use nontechnical terms that can be understood by a range of audiences with varied areas of expertise.

SSHRC advocates for the practices listed below when applicable in your application. In addition, costs related to these activities are eligible:

  • responsible research data management strategies;
  • open access publishing activities;
  • dissemination in both official languages;
  • promotion and support of official language minority communities; and
  • effective research training.

If you experience technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk as early as possible in the application process. The helpdesk has a higher volume of requests during peak periods and on deadline days.

Application process

Accommodations and accessibility

If you need help completing online application forms due to circumstances arising from a disability, contact your institution (scholarship liaison officer, research grant office or other applicant support office) as early in the application process as possible to investigate available supports. If your institution cannot provide help, or needs SSHRC to collaborate on a solution, contact SSHRC at You can also contact SSHRC if you have questions or are seeking specific adaptation arrangements. You do not need to share your medical or sensitive personal information, and, to protect your privacy, should avoid doing so.

Frequently requested accommodations include, but are not limited to:

Applicant or project director responsibilities

By clicking “Submit,” the applicant or project director certifies that all information is accurate.

They are also responsible for:

Research or financial administrator responsibilities

By clicking "Forward" (forward to SSHRC), the research administrator or designated financial administrator for not-for-profit organizations (institutional approval) certifies that:

If changes are required, the administrator will send a message to the applicant using the Message Centre function. The applicant can access the Message Centre by clicking “Messages” in the top navigation bar of their Portfolio.

Electronic submission process and acknowledgement of receipt of applications

Applicants must allow enough time for their institution’s or organization’s internal approval process, as specified by the relevant authorities. SSHRC will acknowledge receipt of your electronic application form and will assign you an application number. Cite this number in all correspondence with us.

Applications remain available for download via the SSHRC online system for 30 days after the deadline, after which they are deleted.

Attaching a document

Many modules in your application will require you to attach a PDF file. You must follow the specified requirements for margins and font size, or your application will be deemed ineligible. An error message will appear if the file you are trying to attach does not meet the required specifications for page length and file size. Once you have attached the electronic file, we recommend you click “View attached file” to ensure you have the proper file and that it is not corrupted.

Identification (mandatory)

Names and initials
This information has automatically been transferred from your account. To change your family name or given name, you must contact To change your initials, you must return to the “My Account” section of your Portfolio to update the information.

The organization name has automatically been transferred from the “current position” screen of your CV. To have a different affiliation on record for this application, click “List…” and make the necessary selections.

Note: If the journal is run by an editorial collective, a co-editor who is affiliated with a SSHRC-eligible institution must be named as the applicant and assume responsibility for the grant.

Journal contact
If the main contact for the journal is someone other the applicant, indicate their name and institutional affiliation. They should be either a postsecondary institution employee or a permanent employee of either the journal or the eligible organization. Follow the instructions above about names and initials. Enter an email address.

Select the name of the journal using the “List…” button. If the journal is not listed, select “Other” from the list and type the name of the journal in the box provided.

Administering organization (individuals grants) or lead organization (institutional grants)
Only an eligible Canadian institution or organization can administer grant funds. Institutions or not-for-profit organizations interested in administering SSHRC individual or institutional grants must meet the institutional eligibility requirements for the administration of grants and awards, which is independent of this application process.

If your organization was granted restricted eligibility to administer an Aid to Scholarly Journals grant in the past, it must submit an application to renew its eligibility. Unless you have contacted SSHRC to begin this process, your institution will not be added to the list of eligible institutions and you will not be able to complete your application.

Note: SSHRC prefers grants be administered by the applicant’s institution.

Journal data

If your journal does not have both English and French titles, enter the title used. Provide former journal titles only if applicable.

Date the journal was founded
Indicate the month and year the journal was founded.

Primary language of publication
Indicate the primary language of publication. If English and French are used equally, mark both boxes.

Enter the complete current address for the journal. Notify SSHRC promptly of any changes to this address.

Phone number
Provide a phone number for the journal.

Email address
Provide an email address for the journal.

Journal web address
Enter the journal’s website address.

Journal management

Journal ownership
Using the dropdown list, indicate whether the journal is owned by a Canadian organization. If so, indicate the organization’s name in the text box provided. Provide the current total membership (no commas) and a brief description of the role played by the association in the administration, publication and financing of the journal. Indicate the status of the organization (for-profit or not-for-profit), as well as the owner of the journal title.

Journal publisher
Provide the name and address of the journal’s publisher.

In the text box, describe the journal’s copyright ownership policy, and the journal’s publication agreement with authors for the dissemination of articles.

Journal format

Distribution format
Indicate whether the journal disseminates its scholarly content electronically or in both print and electronic formats.

If the journal uses a digital content and distribution platform, provide the name of the platform in the text box.

In addition, briefly explain the rationale for the journal’s chosen means of dissemination. If the journal is requesting supplementary funding to cover costs related to the use of a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform, demonstrate that the platform meets SSHRC’s criteria by describing the services received.

Note: If your journal plans to transition to an eligible platform, indicate which platform you intend to use and demonstrate that the platform meets SSHRC’s criteria by describing the services offered.

Login information
Provide login instructions to allow SSHRC staff and adjudication committee members to electronically access the issues/articles published since June 1, 2019.

Business model
Identify the journal’s business model: subscription with delayed open access (embargo); open access with article processing charges (APCs); or open access without a subscription or APCs (i.e., neither author nor reader pays). If the journal uses an embargo, indicate the length of the embargo period, in months, in the space provided. If the journal charges APCs, indicate the amount in the text box provided.

Provide a brief explanation of the journal’s chosen business model and its revenue sources (cash and in-kind).

If the journal is published and/or distributed by a commercial organization, explain why SSHRC funds are required.

Research focus

Select appropriate entries for each section by clicking the “List…” button. Duplicate entries are not permitted.

List keywords, separated by semicolons, that best describe the journal’s content.

Disciplines and areas of research
Indicate and rank each entry relevant to your proposal, with Entry 1 as the most relevant and the last entry the least relevant.

Article data

List information about the issues and articles published between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021. Enter minimum and maximum values to account for variations in the quantity of scholarly articles published during this time period. For multi-authored publications, apply the status of the lead author.

Journals unable to meet the required publication minimums due to the impacts of COVID-19 could still be considered eligible for support. Journals in this situation must describe the impacts of COVID-19 in the “Journal description and outline of future direction” section.

An “article” is defined as a record of previously unpublished, high-quality, original research or scholarship that has been accepted for publication after a peer review process. Eligible article types include but are not limited to: research or theoretical articles and/or essays, and literature reviews, provided they meet the other criteria of being original, peer reviewed and high quality. Ineligible pieces include: introductions; individual book, article or event reviews; letters to the editor; and editorials.

Journal description and outline of future direction (mandatory)

Maximum three pages (four pages for journals describing the impacts of COVID-19)

Maximum three pages for this information: Attach a PDF copy of the Journal description and outline of future direction. Include information about the journal’s history, mandate and current focus. If the figures you provided under Article data are not representative of the typical output of the journal, explain this here.

Address potential areas for improvement in the journal’s academic quality or administration. Describe the nature and extent of the journal’s readership, and the journal’s strategies for increasing or broadening the journal’s readership, such as plans to implement innovative practices and/or features. Describe plans for the journal’s future direction.

Maximum one additional page: Describe the impacts of COVID-19 on the journal, if appropriate. Journals unable to meet the required publication minimums due to the impacts of COVID-19 should describe these impacts here to be considered eligible. If relevant, describe the journal’s response to COVID-19 and its impacts (e.g., providing immediate access to journal content related to COVID-19).

Description of peer review processes (mandatory)

Maximum one page

Attach a PDF copy of the description of the peer review process in place at the journal. Describe the editor-in-chief’s role and how board members contribute to the editorial process. Outline how the journal’s editorial policies and practices help attract original, high-quality contributions. Give evidence of individual editorial board members’ active participation in the process. If the editorial board is assisted by an advisory board or scientific committee, explain that body’s role. Describe in detail how the peer review process is managed. Include information on how referees are selected and used.

Core editorial board / publishing team (mandatory)

Maximum one page

Attach a PDF copy of your description of the structure of the core editorial board / publishing team, how board members are chosen and how membership is renewed.

List the current core editorial board / publishing team members and include their:

A minimum of one third of the core editorial board must be affiliated with Canadian postsecondary institutions, unless you demonstrate in your application that the journal title is owned by a Canadian not-for-profit organization (see Journal management module).

Editorial board members (mandatory)

Maximum four pages

Attach a PDF copy of the list of names of each member of the current editorial board—excluding the editor-in-chief and any members listed in the previous module (Core editorial board / publishing team). For each member, provide the following information in table format:

Family Name Given Name Initials Organization Department/Division Role

Instructions to referees

Attach a PDF copy of the journal’s instructions to its referees.

List of most frequently used referees

Maximum two pages

Attach a PDF copy of the list of referees most often used in the peer review process between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021. Indicate their institutional affiliation and the number of articles each reviewed. We suggest presenting this information in table format for ease of review by adjudication committee members.

List of authors

Attach a PDF copy of the list of researchers whose work was accepted or published in the journal between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021. For co-authored works, include all authors. List only the author or authors for works that meet the SSHRC definition of an article.

For each author, indicate their institutional affiliation and the number of articles that appeared in the journal during the above-noted period. We suggest presenting this information in table format for ease of review by adjudication committee members.

Tables of contents

Attach a PDF copy of the table of contents for each journal issue published between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021.

Funds requested from SSHRC

Indicate whether your journal qualifies for the higher per-article funding rate. For each budget year of the grant, estimate as accurately as possible the number of peer reviewed articles to be published. This number will automatically be multiplied by the appropriate per-article funding rate ($850 for journals that charge APCs, or $1,050 for journals that do not) to arrive at the total publication costs requested.

Note: Journals that plan to transition to a model without APCs within the first two years of the grant can request the higher per-article rate.

Enter the projected costs related to the development and implementation of innovative practices, to a maximum of $5,000 per year. The total amount requested from SSHRC cannot exceed $30,000 per year.

If your journal is eligible for supplementary funding, enter the anticipated costs related to the use of a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform, as defined by SSHRC, to a maximum of $5,000 per year.

Budget justification and publication plan (mandatory)

Maximum two pages

Attach a PDF copy of the budget justification and publication plan. Justify the number of scholarly articles for which funds are requested by outlining the journal’s publication plan for the grant period. Explain the journal’s projected output in relation to its output to date and in terms of its editorial objectives. If the journal projects a significant increase in output, demonstrate how it will achieve this and maintain quality.

If the journal is transitioning to a business model without APCs and is requesting the higher funding rate, outline the transition plan.

Describe any innovative practices/activities your journal will put in place during the grant period. Itemize the projected costs related to their development and implementation, and provide justification for the amount requested. If the journal is requesting supplementary funding for costs related to the use of a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform, quantify the expected costs.

Note: If your journal expects to transition to an eligible platform, you can request the supplementary funding for the year(s) following the transition. The entire grant payment will be held back until you confirm the transition has been made. For administrative purposes, the transition must be made prior to the payment of the third and final grant instalment.

Readership data and impact measures (mandatory)

Maximum three pages

Attach a PDF copy of your readership data and your impact measures for June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2021.

Where relevant, provide subscription statistics (e.g., paid, unpaid, individual, institutional). Where available, provide RSS feed statistics, as well as a consolidated summary of web usage statistics (e.g., Google Analytics) confirming readership figures.

Web usage statistics can be formatted in the manner most appropriate to the journal. If possible, specific data elements should be included, such as the:

If available, include a sampling of article-level data (e.g., views and downloads). For the top 20 articles, if possible, provide the average number of full-text views.

If usage statistics have been impacted by COVID-19, or are unavailable due to the impact of COVID-19, you can describe these impacts here.

Provide one or more of the following as evidence of the journal’s impact:

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