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TMU Library Open Access Policy

June 12, 2020 (Updated November 2, 2021)


The goal of TMU Library is to be one of Canada’s most innovative and engaged research libraries. As part of our commitment to both produce research and support Toronto Metropolitan University’s research community, our aim is to find better ways of sharing with the world the research outputs produced by the Library. 

Our Library core values include making accessible and preserving the products of TMU research and assisting in facilitating the broadest possible community outreach for TMU research outputs. We are also committed to promoting open access and encouraging other TMU researchers to deposit their research in an open access version to our institutional repository, RShare.  

While scholarly journals continue to be the primary means of communicating research, most journals do not allow the public to freely access articles on the Internet. This means the wider community often can’t access the exceptional scholarly work that is produced here at Toronto Metropolitan University, including Library research. 

There is an alternative to this locked-down approach: using a “green route” to open access publishing, authors can self-archive (upload) their personal copy (known as a post-print) to the institutional repository. More than 90% of publishers permit this kind of use, although some publishers impose an embargo period. Green route open access generally does not allow the deposit of the final typeset publishers PDF copy. 

Posting open access versions of scholarly work to an institutional repository showcases research outputs of TMU librarians to the world.  This makes Library research more visible and assists with the knowledge mobilisation of TRM-led research.

This Open Access Policy supports the requirement of the University to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, and their pending policy on open data. The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires deposit in an open access repository like RShare.

In keeping with this commitment to open access TMU Library has adopted the following policy.


This policy is aspirational and intended to encourage the practise of making our scholarly outputs open access and available to the public. 

As Librarian and staff researchers (Library authors), we aspire to share the outputs of our research with the wider community. To do so, we aspire to archive and disseminate scholarly articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and other outputs produced by Library authors and deposit these to our openly accessible publications repository – RShare,

In terms of data deposit TMU Librarians (like other TMU researchers) can post research data to a data repository. Researcher’s can consult the Research Data Management Guide for more information on where they can deposit data. 

To facilitate the archiving of our research work, we grant Toronto Metropolitan University the non-exclusive permission to collect, archive, preserve, reproduce and openly disseminate, in any medium, developed now or in the future, research outputs authored by library authors for non-commercial purposes. The Library will make the work available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for embargos, versions allowed to be posted via signed publishing agreements, or research ethics requirements, or attribution requirements.

We will attempt to preserve our own author rights to post a published journal article or book chapter in our institutional repository. We can do so by using author addendums like the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum when negotiating signed publishing agreements if a “Green Route” to open access publishing is not available. We can also choose to publish our scholarly work open access from the onset.

The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Library Council.

How to Deposit

Submit the finalized text of scholarly outputs in a timely manner to  RShare  as outlined in the Deposit Research to RShare instructions. The Library will review and manage any version requirements, attribution requirements and embargo periods required by your publisher.

To deposit data sets in Toronto Metropolitan University Dataverse, please contact the Research Data Librarian Nora Mulvaney   Please take into account privacy and research ethics concerns when depositing to cloud-based data repositories.


Open Access

Publications that can be freely read on the Internet. Readers can download, copy, and distribute an Open Access publication for non-commercial research and teaching purposes, as long as attribution is given to the authors. Sometimes this material is published under a Creative Commons licence, but not always. 


The self-archiving or green open access route means authors can themselves retain and post their post-print versions of their journal articles to their institutional repository. For a guide to self-archiving, including the difference between a post-print copy and a publisher pdf, go to the self-archiving page.


Many journals do allow a post-print (after peer review) version of a journal article to be posted in an institutional repository under certain conditions (for example there may be specific attribution or embargos requirements).  The post-print version is the final version prior to typesetting. You can check if the journal you are planning to publish in allows the posting of post-prints by checking the database Sherpa/Romeo. A publisher does not allow the final publisher typeset version to be posted to the institutional repository. 

“Green Route” Open Access Publishing

In the Green Route to Open Access publishing, authors self-archive (upload) their personal author copy (known as a post-print) to the author’s institutional repository or personal website. More than 90% of publishers permit this use, though some publishers impose an embargo period of up to 3 years. Green Route Open Access generally restricts the use of the publisher’s PDF copy. 

Institutional Repository

An online collection of the scholarship and outputs of an institution’s researchers. Institutional repositories both collect the intellectual output of researchers and allow for publicly accessible research (and in some cases creative) outputs to be accessed on the Internet, increasing their mobilization. For example, the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires deposit in a trusted repository.  TMU’s trusted institutional repository is RShare.

Publishing Agreements

Publishing agreements are contractual agreements that are entered into between author(s) and publishers. They often transfer all author rights to the publisher for journal article content for the full duration of copyright. 

Author Addendum

An addendum to publisher agreements that modifies a publisher’s signed publishing agreement and allows you to keep the rights to your article(s) for certain purposes such as teaching, and the right to post a version in the institutional repository. For example, in Canada, we recommend the use of the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum. For more information on retaining or regaining the right to self-archive, check out our Author Rights page.

Library Authors

For the purpose of the TMU Library Open Access Policy, library authors include current librarians and library staff who are authors or co-authors of a scholarly work.

Data Repository 

A data repository for researchers allows you to archive and/or share data. At TMU our data repository is Toronto Metropolitan University Dataverse. This resource is part of the Scholars Portal Dataverse which is a service provided by the Ontario Council of University Libraries. 

Research Data 

Research data is defined as recorded factual material commonly retained by and accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings; although the majority of such data is created in digital format, all research data is included irrespective of the format in which it is created.” Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Research Data Management (RDM)

“Research Data Management (RDM) refers to the processes applied throughout the lifecycle of a research project to guide the collection, documentation, storage, sharing, and preservation of research data.” Portage Network.

For more information on Open Access Publishing please see our Scholarly Communication Guide

PDF Version of Policy