Commitment 14: Increase openness of federal science activities (open science)


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The Government of Canada will take appropriate steps to make the science performed in support of Government of Canada programs and decision-making open and transparent to Canadians.

Lead department:

Federal Environment and Climate Change Canada; Innovation, Science, and Economic Development

Email address for enquiries:

Other involved actors:

Science-based departments and agencies (SBDA)

Overall status:

Most deliverables on schedule.

Planned result

You’ll have better access to publications related to federal science activities. You’ll also have more engagement opportunities and more avenues to contribute to federal science activities.

Key indicator
Indicator Target Latest actual data (and data collection date)
Percentage of releasable SBDA datasets identified in the open data inventory that have been released 20% by June 2018 In June 2018, approximately 32% of releasable SBDA datasets identified in the open data inventory are available via An additional 14% of those datasets have been released by departments, but are not yet published on

Status of Open Government Plan milestones (complete, substantial, limited, not started)


  • 14.1 Create a Chief Science Officer mandated to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are considered when the Government makes decisions.


  • 14.2 Increase the public availability of data and publications produced from federal Science and Technology (S&T) activities.
  • 14.3 Increase engagement with Canadians on federal S&T activities, including, as appropriate:
    • 14.3.1 Enhanced communication of scientific participation opportunities in support of federal S&T activitiesFootnote 1
    • 14.3.2 Targeted consultations on best practices for increasing the impact of federal S&T activities
  • 14.4 Develop metrics to track collective federal progress on open science activities.
  • 14.5 Work toward the development of policies on digital data management for research funded through the Granting Councils.
  • 14.6 Develop and implement an open access policy for scientific research funded through grants and contributions.
    • Since drafting this milestone, it has become clear that there are a broad range of diverse science related transfer payments with different considerations. As such, a single open access policy would be very difficult to implement. The adoption of a statement of principles or guidelines, rather than a policy, would not only be considered more meaningful and useful but also a more realistic target given the complexity of issues.
    • A draft statement of Statement of Principles on Open Access to Publications Supported through Grants and Contributions has been shared with the community of practice for feedback.
    • Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada is aiming to put in place the Statement of Principles by the end of June.

Other completed milestones:

  • Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer was appointed on September 26, 2017
  • SBDAs have posted their list of peer reviewed publications (2012-15) on
  • SBDAs have posted their inventory of datasets, including science data, on
  • Guidance documents on various topics, common to SBDAs have been developed.
  • Federal Science Library was launched in March 2017 as a one-stop, self-serve web portal that makes government research and resources visible to all Canadians by connecting them with the collections of seven departmental libraries. View the news release.
  • SBDA’s have developed internal mechanisms (e.g., internal policies and communications advisors) to enhance their capacity to communicate their science to Canadians.
  • Draft indicators for open science have been created and are being circulated among relevant departments.
  • Discussions have been initiated with the Chief Science Advisor to focus efforts on improved access to federal publications.
  • The Government of Canada is developing metrics to track collective federal progress on open science activities. Do you have an open science indicator you think should be considered? Let us know.

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