Open Scholarship Committee terms of reference

Terms of reference

The Open Scholarship1 Committee (OSC) serves as the primary forum for collaboration regarding open access2, open educational resources3, open data4, open publishing, open science5 and their applications on campus. The committee will work to keep campus administration, faculty, staff, and students informed about the current and ongoing status of open scholarship related issues, projects, and developments. The OSC facilitates relationship building, knowledge sharing, and collaboration around open scholarship. The OSC educates and promotes awareness of all forms of ‘open’.


Our membership will support open scholarship by identifying and creating connections on campus, and emboldening efforts to further open scholarship through collaboration, and the sharing of resources and expertise.

In the spirit of honouring the intersectional nature of open, and the expertise existing across campus, the OSC will consist of permanent membership, as outlined below, and guest members as appropriate, including as a learning opportunity for current co-op students. The committee will be co-chaired by a representative from the Library and a representative from wider campus. The OSC is sponsored by, and reports to the University Librarian (or designate).


Reporting to the University Librarian (or designate):

  • Building an understanding of open in the campus community, including
    • increasing collaboration between technical resources6
    • hosting events/workshops such as Open Access Week, Open Education Week, etc.
    • being a point of contact on open to campus members/acting as a central hub for information about open on campus
  • Advocating around open, encouraging open as an alternative to traditional publishing models
  • Facilitating the support for the creation of open materials, or customization (making campus resources visible)
  • Leveraging partnerships to raise the profile of open on campus
  • Providing advice and guidance on University policies, guidelines, and initiatives, including:
    • Identifying gaps and opportunities
    • Supporting campus decision making around open projects
    • How our group can support the strategic implications of open
  • Developing working groups as necessary to support short and long-term projects
  • Providing support to campus groups regarding issues related to open
  • Providing a yearly report to the University Librarian, regarding the activities of the group

Member accountability and time commitment


Meetings of the full committee are to be called every two months. The OSC may also be convened on an ad hoc basis to consider specific issues, or to work on larger projects. While all members of the OSC will be invited to and provided with the materials for all meetings (both regular and ad hoc) of the OSC, there may be occasions where such meetings are sufficiently limited in their topic that only a relevant subset of the OSC will be expected to attend.


Minutes will be taken; these will be communicated to members following each meeting via the committee website.


Each member is expected to be:

  • Dedicated to advancing the conversation about open scholarship
  • Committed to the primary goals of the committee
  • Engaged in committee activities

Members are sought from the following areas the following areas:

  • Retail Services
    • Custom Publishing & Marketing Coordinator
    • Course Materials Specialist
  • Centre for Extended Learning
    • Copyright Specialist
  • Centre for Teaching Excellence
    • Senior Instructional Developer, Blended Learning
  • Library
    • Liaison Librarian
    • Digital Repositories Librarian
    • Copyright & Licensing Librarian
  • Faculty representative
  • Information Systems and Technology (IST)
  • Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS)
  • Graduate Students Association (GSA)
  • Federation of Students (Feds)
  • Office of Research
  • Co-op students, as interested/available

Co-chairs will sit for staggered two year terms; ensuring that at least one co-chair has past experience on the committee. Co-chairs will be nominated by committee members. Chair selection happens in February prior to the recruitment of new members.

Members make a two year commitment but can serve consecutive terms. A membership review will take place in March of each year to allow members who have completed their term to step down or commit to serve another term. A call for members will follow the membership review as needed to recruit new members.

Appointing a new chair/co-chairs

In February, the OSC Sponsor will put a call out to committee members for expression of interest in co-chairing the committee. Committee members have at least one week to put their names forward as an expression of interest. After the names have been collected, the OSC Sponsor will meet with the committee members that did not put their names forward to come to a consensus on who will be the co-chairs of the committee. The new co-chair will begin their term March 1.

If no expressions of interest come forward, the Sponsor will ask the existing co-chairs if they would like to serve another term. If the current co-chairs do not express an interest in serving another term, the Sponsor will put a call out to Library staff, and to the campus departments represented on the group. If no expressions of interest come forward, the Sponsor will appoint a new chair/co-chairs.

Working groups

The working groups report to the co-chairs of the OSC. Working groups are meant to be project based. Working groups should be led by a member of the OSC, but can have membership from across campus. A call for interest will be put forward to group members first, and then extended beyond the OSC.

1 “Open Scholarship…encompasses open access, open data, open educational resources and all other forms of openness in the scholarly and research environment” - Association of Research Libraries.

2 “Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives. – SPARC.

3 “Open Education encompasses resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment. Open Education maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable, accessible and effective.” – SPARC.

4 “Open Data is data that can be freely used, shared, and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose.” – Open Knowledge Foundation.

5 “Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.” - FOSTER

6 UWSpace, Open Waterloo, UWaterloo Open API/data