Brock University Open Access Policy


The Brock University Act provides that the objects and purposes of the University are the advancement of learning, the dissemination of knowledge and the betterment of its members and society. The purpose of this Policy is to advance these objectives by promoting and facilitating the open dissemination of research.

The open dissemination of research brings many benefits, both to the institution, and the communities Brock serves.  Open dissemination accelerates discovery across the disciplines; increases the visibility and impact of Brock research; facilitates connections and collaborations between scholars; strengthens the rigour of published research by ensuring it is open to scrutiny by all; and reflects Brock’s societal responsibility as an institution receiving public funding.

The Open Access Policy aligns with these goals by expressing an institutional commitment to make research widely accessible, while at the same time protecting the intellectual property rights of its researchers and acknowledging the principle of academic freedom.  The policy also aligns with and supports the ability of Brock Scholars to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.


This Policy applies to all academic journal articles published by Brock Scholars subsequent to the adoption of this Policy.

The Policy does not apply to books, book chapters, collections of essays, datasets, or other outputs that are not academic journal articles; however, deposit of these and other types of scholarly outputs is welcomed.

This Policy applies to Brock Scholars. Others at Brock not covered by this Policy are encouraged to make their research accessible through the avenues described below.

If any provision of this Policy is found to be inconsistent with the provisions of a collective agreement, the collective agreement will prevail, unless the Policy provision is required by law, in which case the Policy provision will prevail.

Policy statement

1. Brock University recognizes the importance of sharing the products of research and scholarship as widely as possible.

2. Brock University is committed to providing an Open Access Repository optimized for the online discoverability, preservation and dissemination of research; and to providing the appropriate supports, including publishing and author rights consultation services, to enable its full utilization.

3. Brock Scholars are expected to deposit an electronic copy of their academic journal articles in Brock’s Open Access Repository (“Brock University Digital Repository”) by the date of publication. If needed, articles may be embargoed within the repository upon deposit to meet time periods required by publishers.

4. Each Brock Scholar who deposits their academic journal articles in the Brock University Digital Repository grants the University the non-exclusive permission to archive and disseminate those articles through the Repository, provided that the articles are properly attributed to the authors, and that dissemination is for non-commercial purposes only.

5. Brock Scholars who choose not to deposit an academic journal article in the Brock University Digital Repository shall notify the University Library through the opt-out form made available through the Brock University Library.


  • Open Access Repository – An online database of open access works that is optimized for online discovery and indexing.
  • Open Access – Open Access refers to free, unrestricted online access to content
  • Brock Scholars – Brock Scholars refers to faculty, professional librarians, students, as well as staff with research responsibilities (post-doctoral fellows, laboratory scientists, etc.).

Policy administration and review

The University Librarian will report annually to the Vice-President, Research on the numbers of deposits to the Brock University Digital Repository and opt-outs received. The Vice-President, Research, in consultation with the University Librarian, will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its application, and making recommendations to Senate Research and Scholarship Policy Committee regarding changes to the policy.

Note: please consult the Brock University Secretariat Academic Policies page for the official version of the policy, including dates of approval and review

Frequently Asked Questions

Complying with the policy

Open access refers to free, unrestricted online access to content.  

There are two main paths to open access: 

  • Publishing in an open access journal, which makes its contents freely and immediately available online. This is often referred to as gold open access, partly because some open access journals charge article processing fees to publish. 
  • Publishing in a subscription-based journal and then depositing a copy of the article in a subject or institutional repository, such as the Brock Digital Repository. This is called green open access and does not involve any fees. 

While there are two paths to open access, the Brock Open Access Policy focuses exclusively on the deposit of articles in the Brock University Digital Repository (green open access).  The policy is silent on whether Brock scholars should publish in gold open access journals.  Most of the information below focuses on green open access.   

  • Brock scholars are expected to deposit an electronic copy of their academic journal articles in the Brock Digital Repository by the date of publication.
  • Articles may be embargoed within the repository upon deposit so that they are not publicly released until after time restrictions required by publishers.
  • The Open Access Policy is intended to reflect the values of the University and set expectations for Brock scholars regarding open dissemination of articles they publish. Any Scholar who chooses not to submit an article to the Repository can still ensure compliance with the Policy by submitting an opt-out form (see below). If you choose not to submit an opt-out form, the University will not impose any sanctions or discipline, but will continue to educate all Brock Scholars about the value and importance of the open dissemination of their work.
  • You may submit your articles yourself or you may ask for assistance from the Brock Library by using the Library’s assisted deposit service:
  • If you publish an article in an open access journal you are still expected by the policy to deposit a copy in the Brock Digital Repository. There are additional benefits to deposit in the Repository, such as the fact that the Repository is search engine optimized and helps ensure that your article is widely disseminated.
  • As an article moves through stages of the publication process, it is generally referred to as a:
    • Pre-print — this is the author’s original manuscript which has been submitted to a journal. It has not been peer-reviewed, copy-edited, or formatted with page numbers or branded by the journal. It’s also called author’s manuscript, original manuscript, or first draft.
    • Post-print — an article which has undergone peer-review and been revised accordingly. Also known as the accepted author manuscript.
    • Publishers’ final version — an article which has been peer-reviewed, copy-edited, proofread, paginated and fully formatted for publication.
  • Publishers may place restrictions on which version of an article you may deposit: some permit deposit of pre-prints, others post-prints, while some allow posting of final published articles after an embargo period such as 12 months.
  • You can determine which version you are permitted by your publisher to deposit by checking the Sherpa Romeo or How Can I Share It.
  • You may also choose to negotiate with a publisher to retain more rights to your work. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), offers resources on author rights including an addendum you can submit with copyright agreements.
  • The Brock Digital Repository facilitates embargo compliance to meet time periods required by publishers: you can deposit your article immediately, but it won’t be disseminated until the embargo date has passed.
  • Check the SHERPA/RoMEO database or How Can I Share It website to determine journal/publisher deposit policies.
  • Consult the website for a specific journal/publisher to find its policies for self-archiving
  • Most journals allow for some form of deposit in an institutional repository.
  • If you are unable to deposit an article due to publisher restrictions, you may still meet the requirements of the Brock University Open Access policy by using the Library’s opt-out form.
  • The Brock Open Access Policy does not require you to negotiate rights with a publisher; however, there are tools available to assist you should you wish to negotiate authors’ rights with a publisher. Publishers generally require authors to transfer full copyright of their articles as part of the publication process.  This full transfer is not necessary; authors only need to allow publishers the one-time, “non-exclusive” right to publish the article.
  • You may choose to negotiate with a publisher to retain more rights to share your work, including the right to deposit a copy of an article in a repository:

 “[Journal] acknowledges that the researcher will be entitled to archive an electronic copy of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript for inclusion in (name of repository). Manuscripts archived with (name of repository) may be made freely available to the public, via the internet, within twelve months of the official date of final publication in the journal.”

  • There is no evidence that publishers refuse to publish articles from scholars at institutions with open access policies.
  • Many major research funders require grant recipients to make their research publications openly accessible, and this is often facilitated by publisher submission policies.
  • Business models and publishing practices vary across different forms of scholarly outputs. The policy applies specifically to scholarly articles because they are a) central to the scholarly process; and b) they are not royalty-generating forms of scholarship.  The policy does not apply to textbooks and monographs since they commonly generate royalties.  While the policy applies to scholarly articles, submission of other forms of scholarship is strongly encouraged.
  • The policy applies to co-authored articles where one or more authors is a Brock Scholar
  • Joint authors are those who participate as authors in the preparation of the article and thus share ownership of copyright in the resulting work
  •  Brock Scholars are advised to ensure the awareness and consent of their co-authors before depositing an article in the Brock Digital Repository

Academic freedom and intellectual property

  • The policy has no implications on what or where a scholar chooses to publish and therefore does not infringe on academic freedom.
  • You will be providing what is called a “non-exclusive permission” to archive and disseminate an article through the Repository.
  • Non-exclusive permission simply means that you provide Brock permission for the specific act of disseminating a particular article via the repository. As this permission is non-exclusive, you retain the ability to grant rights to your article to other third parties, such as publishers or academic societies.

Opting out of deposit

  • All scholars may choose not to deposit a particular article by completing an opt-out form, made available through the Brock University Library (see below). Completion of this form would count as compliance with the Open Access Policy.
  • There are no institutional consequences for deciding not to deposit your articles in the repository
  • Title of the journal article for which a waiver is being requested
  • Your home academic or administrative unit
  • Please tell us why are you opting out of depositing this article in the Brock Digital Repository?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Making your scholarly articles openly accessible brings many benefits including:

  • Higher citation rates
  • Broader visibility and reach of your work
  • Supporting in complying with research funders’ open access policies
  • Enhancing your copyright over your own scholarly articles

There is steady growth in the number of academic institutions around the globe which have open access policies. Globally more than 900 institutions have open access policies; in Canada, there are 14 institutional open access policies.

Contents of the Brock Digital Repository are disseminated via:

  • Google Scholar
  • Omni, the Library’s discovery tool
  • OAISTER, a global directory of digital resources
  • CORE, a global directory of open access repositories, ResearchGate and Mendeley are examples of academic social networks, which promote communication and collaboration between researchers. They are operated by commercial entities.   While such commercial sites may assist with dissemination of scholarly output, they are not designed as long-term preservation platforms.

The Brock Digital Repository is an institutional repository which collects, preserves and disseminates scholarly outputs from Brock researchers. Note that research funders, such as the Tri-Agencies, require deposit in a subject or institutional repository; you cannot comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications by posting articles to an academic social network.

Please note: much of the content posted to academic social networking sites is in violation of publishers’ copyright restrictions and may be subject to legal takedown notices.

Canada’s three federal granting agencies require research funded by NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR to be made openly available online under its Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. Grant recipients must ensure that any peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from their grant-funded research be made freely accessible within 12 months of publication by either:

  • archiving the full-text, peer-reviewed post-print version or final published version in a repository such as the Brock Digital Repository;
  • or, by publishing in an open access journal

The Brock University Open Access Policy aligns with the Tri-Agency open access policy by supporting researchers in making their work openly accessible via the Brock Digital Repository.

  • The Library provides information and support regarding this policy and open access in general
  • Please contact Elizabeth Yates, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian ~