Open Access at the Douglas

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Verdict: you have the power to control whether it is true or false. 

Open Access publishing is often thought to require payment of high article processing charges (APCs), typically ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. These expensive fees are often perceived as obstacles to meet the Open Access publishing mandates from funders (e.g., Tri-Agency Open Access Policy). Yet, there are different routes to Open Access publishing, which can be combined to achieve your Open Access publishing goals. The good news is that one of these routes incurs no extra costs to authors: 

  • Green Open Access or Self-Archiving Post-Prints : is the practice of publishing an article in a journal of choice, and in parallel depositing a version of the publication in an Open Access repository (e.g., eScholarship@McGill). Even though publishers may impose embargo periods before deposit and restrict the versions of the publication that can be shared, the green route is typically free of charge. 

  • Gold Open Access: is the practice of publishing in a fully Open Access journal, usually involving high APCs. After publication, anyone can access the article in the publisher’s website free of charge. 

  • Bronze & Hybrid Open Access: encompass the practice of publishing an Open Access publication in a journal that is otherwise closed, usually for a fee. Journals providing bronze and hybrid options have a mixture of closed and publicly open articles. 


If you would like to…  

  • Obtain your Open Access publishing statistics: contact us to learn the percentage of your publications that are Open Access for each year in the 2015-2020 period, and to discover how they distribute among the three categories above. 

  • Follow the Green Open Access route for past publications: contact us for a list of your closed publications (2015-2020) and forward the list to In the meantime, we advise you to collect and save copies of your accepted manuscripts (i.e., final versions without publisher’s layout). 

  • Plan for following the Green Open Access route in future publications: apart from the steps mentioned above, you can consult Sherpa Romeo to verify if your journal of choice allows for Green Open Access publishing and if there is an embargo period. The embargo periods for Green Open Access publishing need to be smaller than or equal to the timelines expected by funders. 

  • Identify journals for Gold, Bronze and Hybrid Open Access publishing: the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a database of Open Access journals, which allows consulting APC values and identifying Open Access journals that follow best practices criteria (DOAJ seal). We can additionally provide you with a list of Gold, Bronze and Hybrid Open Access journals most frequently chosen by DRC researchers. 

  • Obtain APC discounts for Gold, Bronze and Hybrid Open Access publishing: McGill Library has agreements with several publishers and provides a list of current APCs discounts

  • Learn more about Open Access publishing, Open Access publishing mandates and any other Open Science questions: contact us!   


Download the DRC Open Access Policy here



The Douglas Research Centre (DRC) aims to create innovative and integrated research programs in mental disorders, from genes to society. To maximize the impact of its research outputs, the DRC has embraced Open Science as part of its institutional strategy and defined a set of principles guiding its path towards openness. 

This Policy focuses specifically on Open Access publishing of peer-reviewed journal publications. By supporting Open Access publishing, we aim to foster transparency, reproducibility, and equity of access to scientific knowledge. Of relevance to the DRC’s diverse community, Open Access publishing significantly benefits non-academic audiences, including educators, healthcare professionals, and policymakers (Wirsching et al., 2020). 

This Policy additionally aims to support authors with complying with Open Access mandates from funding institutions (e.g., Fonds de recherche du Québec and Tri-Agencies), by providing contextualized information on how to achieve Open Access publishing goals within the DRC’s specific environment.  


As a Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) research centre, the DRC and all its members must follow the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) Open Access policy (“The Fonds de recherche du Québec open access policy for the dissemination of Research”, or “Politique de diffusion en libre accès des Fonds de recherche du Québec” in French). 

For all awards or grants (or renewal funding) awarded on or after of April 1st, 2019, the FRQ requires that: 

 “Peer-reviewed publications attributed to a FRQ funding recipient (award or grant) or to a member of a research group (including co-investigators of a research team, network, cluster, centre or institute) funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec are expected to be made freely accessible within 12 months of publication. 

FRQ funding recipients can provide open access to their work in one of two ways: 

Option 1 – By immediately depositing their final, peer-reviewed manuscript in an institutional or disciplinary repository, where it will be freely accessible no later than 12 months after publication. It is the authors responsibility to determine which publishers’ editorial policies will allow them to retain copyrights enabling them to archive their work in a manner compliant with this requirement. 

Option 2 – By publishing their manuscript in a journal that provides open access to articles, either immediately or within 12 months of publication – for example, through the journal’s website.  

Some journals require authors to pay a processing fee to make their work freely available immediately upon publication. Publication costs in an open access journal are considered eligible expenses by the FRQ, as set out in the Common General Rules[link]. If an amount is charged to an FRQ grant to cover open access costs for an article, free access to the article must be provided immediately. 

Note that these options are not mutually exclusive. For example, even if an article is openly accessible on a journal’s website, the authors are still strongly encouraged to deposit, immediately after publication, a copy of their final peer-reviewed written manuscript in an online institutional or disciplinary repository.” 


The FRQ also notes that: 

“For the purpose of this section, a “peer-reviewed publication” refers to a manuscript submitted for peer review and deemed to be scientifically and ethically sound for dissemination in a scholarly journal.” 



Option 1

For the DRC community, “Option 1” above is most easily achieved by depositing accepted manuscripts to McGill University’s eScholarship@McGill repository, where publications will be made openly available. ‘Accepted manuscripts’ are the final version of articles before production by the publisher and contain all edits made as a result of the peer review process. Authors should email their accepted manuscripts to or use their deposit form. The eScholarship@McGill team will publicly release the manuscript upon the expiration of the embargo period imposed by the publisher. It is authors’ responsibility to select journals and publishers allowing for deposit with a delay smaller or equal to funders’ expectations, and to verify prior to submission if deposit is allowed from a copyright perspective. The “Additional Information” section below lists several resources and support services for following “Option 1”, which is commonly known as “green Open Access publishing” or “self-archiving of post-prints". Authors are especially encouraged to access the document “Meeting Open Access goals with the Douglas’ favourite journals”, showing that the 47 most popular journals for DRC researchers in the 2015-2020 period are all currently compatible with "Option 1" within 12 months. 

Option 2

For “Option 2”, DRC authors may benefit from article processing charge (APC) discounts offered by McGill University. Depending on the Open Access status of the journal (fully or partially open) and application or not of open licenses to publications, this practice may be called “gold, bronze or hybrid Open Access publishing”. The “Additional Information” section below lists several resources and support services for following “Option 2”. In particular, Sherpa Romeo and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) collect insightful data on journal's APC values, copyright and open licensing. DOAJ additionally identifies Open Access journals following best practices criteria in long-term preservation, use of persistent identifiers, discoverability, reuse policies and authors' rights. Consulting these resources is important to fully comply with Open Access policies and also to recognize predatory journals. 

In the current scenario where a 12-month delay is accepted before self-archiving in an institutional repository, the DRC recognizes and supports the combination of “Option 1” and “Option 2” as a financially sustainable approach to Open Access publishing. While “Option 2” often requires additional investments, “Option 1” does not incur any extra costs apart from usual publication and research costs. The DRC commits to providing its community with data, tools and training to inform decision-making on how different publishers and journals comply with this Policy, and how “Option 1” and “Option 2” may be best employed and combined. As a starting point, authors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the resources available in the “Additional Information” section of this Policy. In particular, authors are invited to consult the DRC Open Science team to learn how their current and past publications distribute between Open Access categories. 

The DRC community is also highly encouraged to engage in Open Access publishing even in the absence of external Open Access mandates. In particular, self-archiving of accepted manuscripts at eScholarship@McGill is strongly recommended independently of publishing in Open Access or closed journals. Together with self-archiving of pre-prints, this practice creates a record of versions of DRC publications and provides our community with increased levels of transparency, ease of access to scientific knowledge and long-term preservation of scholarly work. Authors are reminded that past publications can also be deposited into eScholarship@McGill, and are encouraged to do so especially if Open Access mandates were already in place at the publication date. The same recommendation applies to research outputs other than peer-reviewed publications (e.g., books, protocols, collections of essays). 

Having joined the cOAlition S in 2021, the FRQ plans to amend their Open Access policy by March 2023, to eliminate the 12-month delay and implement immediate Open Access to scientific publications. While this change may restrict the feasibility of “Option 1” for journals that impose embargo periods, Open Access publishing is still an ever-changing field. The DRC commits to reviewing this policy according to these changes and provide guidance on complying with new expectations. 


Implementation date 

This policy applies to all articles published on January 1, 2022 and onward. However, we note that Open Access policies are independently mandated by several funding institutions (e.g., Tri-Agencies and FRQ) and applicable prior to January 1, 2022. 



      OPTION 1 – Open Access through our institutional repository 

   OPTION 2 – Open Access through publishers 

Open Access policies 

  • Fonds de recherche du Québec Open Science page [English] [French
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec Open Access policy [English] [French
  • Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications [English] [French


McGill library resources, support services and repository 


Open Science at the Douglas resources and support services 


Open Access publishing resources 

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a database of Open Access journals including information on APCs and open licenses [Main page] 
  • Sherpa Romeo, a database of publisher copyright and Open access Archiving policies [Main page
  • How Can I share it, a tool for checking whether a journal article can be shared in line with the paper’s access and usage right. [Main page