Research Article

How Open Is the U15? A Preliminary Analysis of Open Access Publishing in Canadian Academic Libraries

  • Nikki Tummon (McGill University)
  • Robin Desmeules (McGill University)


Introduction: This study offers insight into open access (OA) culture at Canadian university libraries by detailing the degree to which librarians working at Canada’s U15 (a collective of research-intensive institutions in Canada) make their research OA, as well as exploring the depth and reach of any OA mandates these institutions have. Method: This study uses a combination of bibliometric analysis and a review of institutional OA policies, beginning with an examination of a six-year span (2014–2019) of librarian-authored publications, searching four key library and information science databases, followed by a systematic search for a university-wide or library OA statement, policy, or mandate on each of the U15 websites. Results & Discussion: The data suggest that Canadian academic librarians are personally motivated to self-archive and make their research open. The high rate of publication in Gold OA journals, combined with the fact that several of the key library and information science journals for Canadian librarians are already OA, points to the importance of OA publishing for librarians as a community, as does the high number of expressions of commitment to OA publishing. Given the lack of variance comparatively between schools with an expression and without, the authors cannot comment on whether the expressions of support correlate to higher proportions of OA articles. Conclusion: This article provides a snapshot of a positive OA publishing culture at 15 Canadian university libraries by presenting data that show that most libraries have an expression of commitment to OA principles and most Canadian academic librarians working at U15 schools ensure that their research is OA.

Keywords: open access, bibliometric analysis, librarian publishing behaviours

How to Cite:

Tummon, N. & Desmeules, R., (2022) “How Open Is the U15? A Preliminary Analysis of Open Access Publishing in Canadian Academic Libraries”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 10(1). doi:

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Published on
25 Oct 2022
Peer Reviewed