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Open Science (CA0035)



Action Plan: Canada, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Environment Canada, Industry Canada

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Public Participation, Science & Technology

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Canada Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



The Government of Canada will maximize access to federally-funded scientific research to encourage greater collaboration and engagement with the scientific community, the
private sector, and the public

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 6. Open Science (✪)

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will maximize access to federally funded scientific research to encourage greater collaboration and engagement with the scientific community, the private sector, and the public.

The Government of Canada makes significant investments in scientific research. As a result, Canada has become a world leader in a number of important scientific research areas, and continues to support leading-edge research by some of the world's best scientific minds. Increasing public access to government-funded scientific research data and information has the potential to further drive innovation and discovery across the broader scientific community.

On 12 June, 2013, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, signed the G8 Science Ministers Statement on behalf of the Government of Canada to promote policies that increase access to the results of publicly funded research to spur scientific discovery, enable better international collaboration and coordination of research, enhance the engagement of society and help support economic prosperity. Accordingly, the Government of Canada will establish a government-wide approach to open science to increase access to federally funded scientific publications and data.

Deliverables to be completed in 2014-16:

  • Develop and publish a government-wide Open Science Implementation Plan with specific activities and milestones, including the following:
    • Public consultations on the implementation of open science;
    • Launch of open access to publications and data resulting from federally funded scientific activities;
    • Development and adoption of policies, guidelines and tools to support effective stewardship of scientific data; and
    • Promotion of the adoption of open science standards in Canada.
  • Establish an online service to enable a one-stop search for publications and data resulting from federal scientific activities.
  • Develop inventories of federal scientific data and initiate the public release of data.
  • Publish and maintain a consolidated online list of peer-reviewed articles by Government of Canada scientists dating back to 2012.

Responsible institution: Environment Canada, Industry Canada

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: November 2014   End date: 30 June 2016

Editorial note: This is a starred commitment, because it is measurable, clearly relevant to OGP values as written, of transformative potential impact, and was substantially or completely implemented.

Commitment Aim:

The purpose of this commitment is to improve access to scientific information and data that is either developed by, or supported by, government.


Mid-term: Limited

This commitment was behind schedule at the time the mid term progress report was written.  The open science implementation plan required clarification, which delayed its approval. This commitment is somewhat unique from the other commitments found in the action plan in that all milestones flow from the first - thus delayed approval of the open science implementation plan in turn delayed other milestones.

End of term: Substantial

The open science implementation plan received approval on September 24, 2015. However, milestone two was not completed: according to documents provided by the Canadian government to the IRM researcher, the existing website is being used as the primary search mechanism.

The government developed four guidance documents toward the fulfillment of milestone three: ‘Release of data associated with publications’, ‘Conducting a data inventory,’ ‘Metadata for scientific data,’ and ‘Data Stewardship and Data Management Plans.’

The need for departments and agencies to adhere to the Open Government Directive, and to establish open government plans and inventories, helps to support the goal of this milestone. However, the inventories and subsequent public data release have not been fully completed.

As was noted in the mid term progress report, some departmental lists of citations have been released as open data on the site.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

At this early stage for open science it can be said that the effect on openness are marginal at best, primarily because only some departmental citation lists have been published. This does not mean that the commitment does not have potential for more transformative change, but that this change has yet to be seen in part because of the limited completion of the commitment at the end of the second action plan cycle. It should be noted that the publication of the lists has resulted in significant inter-departmental collaboration which, although not necessarily visible to citizens, helps to pave the way for further future progress.

The one-stop publication search has not materialized in a manner that is apparent to users and the list of peer-reviewed articles is similarly melded with the functionality of the site. There is no easily identifiable page on the site for accessing the information and data referenced under this commitment.

Civic participation: Did not change

Consultations related to open science were primarily internal to government. According to information provided to the IRM researcher, they took place in December of 2015 and early in 2016 to refine the direction taken to fulfill the commitment. Given that such consultations were internal to government, they brought together federal science-based departments and agencies together, which is significant in itself - but the process has not led to significant external public participation.

Carried forward?

This commitment was carried forward to the third action plan. It is reflected in Commitment 14, ‘Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)’. Milestones under this commitment include:

  • 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.
  • Increase the public availability of data and publications produced from federal Science and Technology (S&T) activities.
  • Increase engagement with Canadians on federal S&T activities.
  • Develop metrics to track collective federal progress on open science activities.
  • Develop and implement an open access policy for scientific research funded through grants and contributions.
  • Work toward the development of policies on digital data management for research funded through the Granting Councils.  Canada’s Third Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership 2016 – 2018,


  1. User-Friendly Open Government

    CA0064, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Financial Transparency and Accountability

    CA0065, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Corporate Transparency

    CA0066, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  4. Digital Government and Services

    CA0067, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  5. Open Science

    CA0068, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Healthy Democracy

    CA0069, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Access to Information

    CA0070, 2018, Access to Information

  8. Feminist and Inclusive Dialogue

    CA0071, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Reconciliation and Open Government

    CA0072, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Open Government Community

    CA0073, 2018, Access to Information

  11. Enhance Access to Information

    CA0042, 2016, Access to Information

  12. Streamline Requests for Personal Information

    CA0043, 2016, E-Government

  13. Expand and Improve Open Data

    CA0044, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Provide and Preserve Open Information

    CA0045, 2016, E-Government

  15. Define an Approach for Measuring Open Government Performance

    CA0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Develop Open Government Skills Across the Federal Public Service

    CA0047, 2016, Access to Information

  17. Embed Transparency Requirements in the Federal Service Strategy

    CA0048, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance Access to Culture & Heritage Collections

    CA0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance Openness of Information on Government Spending and Procurement

    CA0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Increase Transparency of Budget and Other Department of Finance Information

    CA0051, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Starred commitment Increase Transparency of Grants and Contributions Funding

    CA0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Improve Public Information on Canadian Corporations

    CA0053, 2016, E-Government

  23. Increase the Availability and Usability of Geospatial Data

    CA0054, 2016, Access to Information

  24. Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)

    CA0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Stimulate Innovation through Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0056, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Align Open Data Across Canada (Open Data Canada)

    CA0057, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

    CA0058, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  28. Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives Around the World

    CA0059, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Engage Civil Society on Open Government

    CA0060, 2016, Public Participation

  30. Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making

    CA0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Promote Open Government Globally

    CA0062, 2016, Access to Information

  32. Engage Canadians to Improve Key Canada Revenue Agency Services

    CA0063, 2016, Access to Information

  33. Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0030, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Starred commitment Open Data Canada

    CA0031, 2014, Access to Information

  35. Canadian Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0032, 2014, Access to Information

  36. Open Data for Development

    CA0033, 2014, Access to Information

  37. Open Data Core Commitment

    CA0034, 2014, Access to Information

  38. Starred commitment Open Science

    CA0035, 2014, Public Participation

  39. Starred commitment Mandatory Reporting on Extractives

    CA0036, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  40. Open Contracting

    CA0037, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  41. Open Information on Budgets and Expenditures

    CA0038, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  42. Digital Literacy

    CA0039, 2014, Capacity Building

  43. Open Information Core Commitment

    CA0040, 2014, Access to Information

  44. Consulting Canadians

    CA0041, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  45. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency Initiative: Publish Plan to Make CIDA Activities Available and Accessible

    CA0010, 2012, Aid

  46. International Aid Transparency Initiative: Implement Plan

    CA0011, 2012, Aid

  47. Opening Government of Canada Records: Increase Access to Archived Federal Documents at Library and Archives Canada

    CA0012, 2012, Records Management

  48. Opening Government of Canada Records: Issue New Mandatory Policy on Document Classification

    CA0013, 2012, Records Management

  49. Opening Government of Canada Records: Make Classified Information Available Online

    CA0014, 2012, E-Government

  50. GCDOCS: Deploy Wave One of Electronic Record and Document Management Solution

    CA0015, 2012, E-Government

  51. GCDOCS: Deploy Across Federal Government

    CA0016, 2012, E-Government

  52. GCWEB: Develop Consolidated Web Presence

    CA0017, 2012, E-Government

  53. GCWEB: Implement New Platform

    CA0018, 2012, E-Government

  54. Data.Gc.Ca: Expand Number of Datasets Available

    CA0019, 2012, Access to Information

  55. Data.Gc.Ca: Implement Data.Gc.Ca Portal

    CA0020, 2012, Access to Information

  56. Data.Gc.Ca: Improve Standardization of Data

    CA0021, 2012, Access to Information

  57. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Publish Resource Management and Performance Data

    CA0022, 2012, Access to Information

  58. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Enhance Search and Data Tools

    CA0023, 2012, Access to Information

  59. Consulting Canadians: Develop New Platform for Consultation

    CA0024, 2012, E-Government

  60. Consulting Canadians: Develop Standard Approach to Use of Social Media

    CA0025, 2012, E-Government

  61. Consulting Canadians: Pilot a Crowdsourcing Initiative

    CA0026, 2012, E-Government

  62. Consulting Canadians: Enable Use of Common Online Tools

    CA0027, 2012, E-Government

  63. Open Regulation: Federal Regulators to Post Forward Regulatory Plans

    CA0028, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  64. Open Regulation: Simplify Engagement Activities

    CA0029, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  65. Open Government Directive: Issue Directive on Open Government

    CA0001, 2012, E-Government

  66. Open Government Directive: Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0002, 2012, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Issue Open Government Licence

    CA0003, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  68. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Adopt Open Government Licence

    CA0004, 2012,

  69. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Pilot of Online Request and Payment Service

    CA0005, 2012, Access to Information

  70. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Implement ATI Solution

    CA0006, 2012, Access to Information

  71. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Make Completed ATI Request Summaries Searchable

    CA0007, 2012, Access to Information

  72. Virtual Library: Begin Design of Virtual Library

    CA0008, 2012, E-Government

  73. Virtual Library: Launch Virtual Library

    CA0009, 2012, E-Government

Open Government Partnership