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Pan-Canadian Knowledge Access Initiative

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The Pan-Canadian Knowledge Access Initiative (PCKAI) is a one-time special initiative that will provide greater access to scholarly publications to increase the discoverability and impact, in Canada and internationally, of Canadian social sciences and humanities research. The PCKAI will provide funding to move a current offering in the open access Canadian ecosystem forward to support both authors and journals from the social sciences and humanities community.

The initiative:

  • supports a partnership of stakeholders from the scholarly field nationwide with an interest in open access in their effort towards developing the outreach potential and visibility of a recognized platform that serves both official linguistic communities;
  • supports the production of incentives and research outputs encouraging journals and researchers to join the open access community;
  • supports compliance efforts of SSHRC-funded authors with the tri-agency policy on open access, by ensuring avenues for open publication and wide knowledge access for research results within Canada;
  • offers researchers access to a research repository and additional benefits offered by the open access environment; and
  • increases the diffusion and discoverability of SSHRC-funded journals that will be part of the platform.

Funding is valued at $1 million per year over three years, up to a total of $3 million. Funding may be awarded to the eligible applicant, Coalition Publica, pending the outcome of an independent merit review process. Coalition Publica is a partnership between Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project to advance research dissemination and digital scholarly publishing in Canada.

As part of the PCKAI’s development and execution, an advisory/evaluation committee, composed of leading members from the social sciences and humanities scholarly community, will be invited to express opinions on behalf of the community on the need for a pan-Canadian platform, and on its usefulness to widen support and knowledge access for social sciences and humanities authors and journals. The committee will also validate the initiative’s objectives and process. This same committee will then be invited to assess Coalition Publica’s application.

Members of merit review committees are listed on SSHRC’s website.

The evaluation criteria below apply to PCKAI applications, in conjunction with the guiding principles recommended by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories’ Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services as well as the principles outlined in the Roadmap for Open Science.

1. Challenge—The aim and importance of the endeavour (40%)

  • originality, significance and expected contribution to open access, as well as support and development of social sciences and humanities research;
  • ability to harvest existing expertise in building talent and capacity;
  • ability to increase discoverability of open access knowledge;
  • appropriateness of the approach and proposed activities; and
  • potential for the Pan-Canadian Knowledge Access Initiative to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community in Canada or at the international level.

2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (40%)

  • appropriateness of the proposed timeline, and probability that the objectives will be met;
  • quality and genuineness of the partnership and associated management and governance arrangements and leadership that allow community input on the direction of the service and operational governance;
  • expertise of the team and appropriateness of partner organizations in relation to the proposed objectives;
  • quality of the proposed contribution plan for leveraging cash and in-kind support from the host institution and/or from partner organizations;
  • quality and appropriateness of the proposed budget;
  • quality and appropriateness of the knowledge mobilization plans, including engagement with non-users of open access;
  • identification of progress indicators; and
  • potential sustainability of the platform supported by PCKAI.

3. Capability—The expertise to succeed (20%)

  • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs relative to the proposed objectives;
  • capacity to demonstrate proactive marketing strategies and interest in developing new business models; and
  • past experience in formal partnerships.

Grant holders must comply with the Regulations Governing Grant Applications and with the regulations set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration.

Grant holders must also comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. See the Open Access overview for more information. SSHRC also encourages researchers to manage, in line with both community standards and best practices (including SSHRC’s Research Data Archiving Policy), data arising from their research. Grant holders must manage their activities according to the following guidelines:

For more information, contact:

Tel.: 343-571-9409

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