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COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Q10: How can I improve the reach and impact of my research?

Researchers can often increase the accessibility and impact of their work by depositing copies of research papers or articles in open access repositories. Since 2015, Tri-Council policy requires that funded research be publicly accessible and suggests researchers include open-access publishing fees in their project budgets.. If the work has been previously published, search the SHERPA/RoMEO database to determine a publisher’s open access policies for self-archiving.


Social science researchers should also consider two open access repositories for their work:


MacSphere, McMaster’s institutional repository, which includes pre-prints, post-prints and final versions of journal articles as allowed by publishers. With some exceptions, MacSphere is fully open for everyone to access and read, with infrastructure that makes items fully searchable using search engines such as Google Scholar.

SocArXiv, is a non-profit, open access repository for social science researchers to publish pre-print versions of their articles.


In addition, researchers can multiply their research impact by providing other researchers with access to their data. Also, for funded projects, the SSHRC Research Data Archive Policy requires that research data be made publicly available, within the constraints of research ethics requirements. Some scholarly journals also expect authors to make their data and analysis scripts available for replication. (See related FAQ.)


For sharing and archiving data with the public, the library recommends the ScholarsPortal Dataverse. Spark’s Secure Empirical Analysis Laboratory (SEAL) has facilities for archiving and controlling future access to private or sensitive data.


Additional resources include:

Transparency & Openness Guidelines from the Center for Open Science

Christenson. 2016. Manual of Best Practices in Transparent Social Science Research. Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences.


How can I learn more about Spark programming and upcoming events?


McMaster researchers can also join the Spark Virtual CoLab, an interdisciplinary space on Slack, where we have channels for calls for papers, job opportunities, and other research opportunities.


You can also visit or subscribe to our public Google events calendar.