Research and innovation policy

Research and innovation policy


Working with its members and partners, the Federation regularly provides analysis and submissions to help ensure that diverse Canadian policies affecting research facilitate and support the important contributions of the humanities and social sciences.

Open Access and digital publishing

Open Access allows research outputs to be obtained free of charge to the reader on the Internet and the purpose of OA is to make published research as accessible as possible to the broadest possible audience to maximise its impact and benefits.

In 2020, The Canadian Political Science Association published a report on the impact of Open Access on the Canadian Journal of Political Science. The Federation supported the translation of the report. Read the full report.

In 2011, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences signed the Berlin Declaration to demonstrate its commitment to Open Access.

Open Access and the ASPP

In October 2013, the Federation embarked on a multi-year project to develop an Open Access policy for the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The initial phase focused on research and information gathering, including a scan of international and Canadian policy and practice, and informal discussions with several groups from Canada and around the world. The next phase focused on drafting a policy position followed by an open consultation period, which took place between May and September 2014. The responses received during the consultation period were synthesized, analyzed, and informed the policy. 

The policy, adopted as of April 1, 2015, is based on the following principles:

  • The Federation supports Open Access; and
  • A dynamic Canadian scholarly publishing sector continues to be of utmost importance to the dissemination of Canadian research.

The policy states that the Federation will actively promote and facilitate Open Access publishing of ASPP-funded books.

As a national convenor of Canada’s humanities and social sciences community, the Federation will embrace the roles of promoter and facilitator of Open Access publishing projects for monographs, with a particular view to engage those that could include ASPP-funded books.

To encourage innovation and experimentation, the Federation will use its resources and networks to facilitate the participation of Canadian publishers, libraries and authors in promising, scalable projects that provide practical (i.e. financial or in-kind) support for Open Access monograph publishing.

To support the ongoing efforts of some Canadian publishers, the Federation will promote existing and future ASPP-funded Open Access books.

For more details, please consult the full policy.

Submission to the Cultural Policy Review "Canadian Content in a Digital World"

In September 2016, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage launched consultations regarding Canada’s cultural policy. Following input from diverse expertise in the membership, the Federation has submitted recommendations to strengthen Canada’s cultural policy, with a focus on foundational investments to strengthen the multiple connections between research, the creative economy and democracy in an increasingly digital world.

Innovation Policy

Making inclusive innovation a reality 

As the Canadian economy becomes increasingly knowledge- and service-oriented, and as the grand social challenges we face increasingly involve difficult social, cultural and ethical dimensions, knowledge from the humanities and social sciences becomes increasingly vital to support innovation. To ensure that Canada is well prepared to meet these challenges the Federation recommends new investment to support basic research into human thought, behaviour and experience; to create more experiential learning opportunities for students; and to build platforms that strengthen connections between scholars and partners in other sectors.

In June 2016, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced the Innovation Agenda, a national consultation on how to improve Canadian innovation.

Read the Federation’s:

Chief Science Advisor

The Government of Canada has committed to appointing a Chief Science Advisor, and the Honourable Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan has been mandated to create the position. The Federation strongly supports this project. We believe that by learning from the experiences of other nations that use such advisors, we can create a new research-advisory system that is second to none in the world today.

The Federation has recommended that the government create a senior advisory position that is centrally located in government, well-resourced, and mandated to ensure that evidence from all research can inform good policy decisions—regardless of whether the issue be natural, technical, social or cultural. 

Read more in our:


Broadly, Canadian copyright law has a two-fold purpose: to protect the rights of the creators and owners of works and to permit public access to these works. In 2017 the Government will be reviewing its current legislation, which dates from 2012.  See below for historic work of the Federation in this area.

Consultations for copyright legislation 2009-2012

In summer 2009, the Government of Canada launched nation-wide consultations to solicit opinions on the issue of copyright reform. The Federation engaged with its members and made a submission. Following the consultations, Bill C-32: An Act to Amend the Copyright Act was tabled in June 2010. See the Federation’s submission and presentation to the committee. Following the 2011 federal election, Bill C-32 was re-introduced into the House of Commons as Bill C-11. On June 18, 2012 Bill C-11: The Copyright Modernization Act passed its third reading in the House of Commons.