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Tri-Agency Compliance

SSHRC and NSERC have recently implemented the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. 

This policy requires that all peer-reviewed journal publications that are supported by SSHRC or NSERC funds must be made freely accessible online within 12 months of publication.  The policy requires that the PUBLISHED version of the paper be made freely available not a working paper version.

By accepting funds from SSHRC or NSERC, you are agreeing to comply with their Open Access Policy.

This policy applies to any research that is supported by SSHRC or NSERC grants awarded in May 2015 or later.

Note that research supported by installment payments from grants awarded before May 2015 (e.g.: if you received a SSHRC in April 2014 and received payments in April 2015 and 2016) does not need to comply with this policy; however, compliance is encouraged.

There are two ways to comply with the Open Access Policy:

  1. Publish your article in a journal that offers open access on its website (either immediately or within 12 months).
  2. Archive the final peer-reviewed full-text manuscript in an online repository where it will be freely accessible within 12 months of publication.

Note that simply making your articles available on your website does not comply with SSHRC’s policy.

The University of Toronto maintains an online repository called T-space that can be used for archiving your papers as a means to comply with SSHRC’s open access policy. T-space is the simplest and easiest way for faculty to comply with the open access requirement. 

Many of the journals that Rotman faculty publish in allow articles to be publicly archived within 12 months of publication, thus complying with SSHRC’s open access policy.  Some of the journals that Rotman faculty publish require you to pay for the right to publicly archive your article within 12 months.  Over time, market forces may drive these journals to allow free archiving and we will be monitoring their policies on an ongoing basis.  Paying for archiving rights is an expense that you can put through your SSHRC or NSERC grants and can be written into grant budgets on future applications. Jeanne Li can advise you on this when assisting you with future grant applications.

Click here for a list of the Open Access policies at journals that Rotman faculty commonly publish in.  Please note that a “green” journal is one that allows for archiving in T-space 12 months after publication. A “yellow” journal is one that requires you to pay for the right to archive in T-space 12 months after publication. A “red” journal is one where we do not yet know their definitive policy but are in the process of tracking down. If you are publishing in a journal that is not in the spreadsheet or you need help purchasing access for a yellow journal, please email Sean Forbes ( 

Click here for a step-by-step guide for posting papers to T-space. Take note of the University of Toronto Libraries “assisted deposit” option detailed in the document and accessible at

Please note that the version of your paper which should be deposited in T-space is the “post-script”: this is a pdf of the complete accepted manuscript including all tables, figures and appendices but not including the publisher’s formatting.

I know that many of you post your papers on SSRN.  In order to use SSRN to comply with the Open Access policy, you must post the published post-script on SSRN not a working paper version.  Therefore, this still requires you to adhere to the specific journal’s archiving policies (in the spreadsheet).  While SSRN does constitute an online repository, University of Toronto Libraries are encouraging everyone to use T-space. 

To read more about the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy, consult the following websites and