Annual report


A word from Frédéric Bouchard

Frédéric Bouchard
Frédéric Bouchard
Chairman of the Board of Directors

In recent months, lockdown measures have swept around the world, forcing billions of people to stay home and turn to the internet to socialize, learn and connect with culture. In this context, UNESCO released a statement indicating that open access to scientific publications is now more essential than ever before, in order to “inform public health measures to contain the spread of the virus, to keep the public updated on the situation and allay fears that may be caused by ignorance or disinformation.”

Access to scientific information is something that must be championed by international bodies like UNESCO and supported by local and national policies on the dissemination of research. We’ve seen some good progress. The Fonds de recherche du Québec has adopted an open access dissemination policy, which is in line with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications issued by Canada’s three leading federal granting agencies, SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR. At the institutional level, the Assemblée universitaire of Université de Montréal has also adopted a policy on open access to scholarly publications. This policy was created by several working groups and committees representing all of the University’s relevant parties, including Érudit.

We’re delighted to see that support for open access is growing in Quebec, Canada and around the world. These policies will shape Érudit’s operations in the coming years and promote universal access to information.

A word from Tanja Niemann

Tanja Niemann
Tanja Niemann
Executive Director

For both Érudit and the general public, the beginning of 2020 was thrown off course by the global pandemic and resulting lockdown measures. Our team responded quickly by setting up a remote working environment that allowed us to remain operational and provide assistance to journals during the ensuing period of uncertainty. I wish to thank the entire team for their flexibility and proactive approach.

I would also like to highlight the efforts undertaken around the mid-term assessment of Coalition Publica’s funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiatives fund. The assessment, which was supported by Érudit’s teams and Coalition Publica’s committees, concluded with almost all financial requests being approved, allowing us to solidify our plans for the next several years. We also carried out an initial strategic planning exercise for Coalition Publica to inform how Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) will contribute to Coalition Publica’s teams, committees and working groups.

To conclude, I would like to draw attention to a statistic that I am particularly proud of. In a survey conducted this year, 80% of Érudit users said they were either satisfied or completely satisfied with the features of This result is a testament to our team’s outstanding work—and it’s certainly something worth celebrating!

The year in numbers


  • 209,493 journal articles available
    • including 10 299 articles published online this year
  • 243 scholarly and cultural journals disseminated
    • including 22 journals added to the platform this year
  • 6 corpora of data available for text mining via our research repository

Open access

  • More than 90% of the collection is open access
  • 33% increase in the number of journals offering immediate open access between 2019 and 2020 (up from 54 to 72)
  • 95 university libraries joined and contributed to the Partnership for Open Access


  • 27.4 million page views
  • 4.8 million unique visitors from more than 85 countries

Partnerships and subscriptions

  • 1,200 libraries signed a subscription or partnership agreement with Érudit
  • CA$ 1.2 million paid to journals. The funds, which help support the journals’ editorial activities, are generated through agreements with various library consortia through the Partnership for Open Access or through the sale of institutional subscriptions.


  • 27 employees
  • 3 babies born this year
  • 7 cats, 3 dogs, 2 parakeets and 2 rabbit made appearances during our videoconference meetings
  • 1 espresso machine was purchased for the team (but we barely had the chance to use it)


At the best of times, being able to access to scholarly and cultural resources online is essential for students, researchers and the general public. But the need became even more critical during the lockdown. Containing the pandemic is not solely a matter of research in virology and epidemiology. Valuable insights are being drawn from all humanities and social sciences disciplines, including history, sociology, political science, economics, arts and literature.

More than 90% of the content available on the Érudit platform is open access, in accordance with our mission. Meanwhile, restricted-access articles can be viewed online through one of Érudit’s 1,200 subscriber institutions or partners. For example, in Quebec, anyone can access this content through the online portal of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ).

Temporary lift on paywalls

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Érudit responded to a call issued by the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) by offering journals with a 12-month content embargo the opportunity to temporarily lift their paywalls. We were delighted to see that more than 60 journals agreed to demonstrate their solidarity. Since many research and educational institutions have opted to continue working remotely during the fall session, we have offered these journals the chance to maintain open access to their online subscription content until December 31, 2020.

Remote working arrangements

Right from the first week of the pandemic lockdown, Érudit shifted to a remote working model. This fast response allowed us to continue offering all our services, including digital production, access to content, administration, management, customer service and more. Our production teams were able to access their workstations via a VPN, preventing excessive output delays. Our accounting and invoicing personnel were also successful in conducting their activities remotely without complication. Finally, other members of the Érudit team managed to work efficiently from home using tools and best practices implemented before the pandemic, including the use of cloud storage, shared folders, instant messaging and other solutions.

Thinking through the crisis, one article at a time

Érudit leveraged its communications tools (social networks, newsletter, blog) to promote a selection of pandemic-related scientific articles available through our platform. Addressing a wide range of topics, these articles offer a fresh perspective on today’s most pressing issues, including the history of pandemics, the psychological impact of remote work, conditions for seniors in Quebec, the impact of the crisis on small businesses, etc. The articles generated many reactions on social media and prompted intelligent conversations based on reliable sources. Each Facebook post was published in both French and English to increase discoverability. For example, our Facebook post about the article Loneliness(es) and ageing: The experiences of seniors living alone (Sociologie et Société, 2018) was viewed more than 5,000 times, in both French and English, and generated more than 300 reactions and shares in various Facebook pages and groups.

-> Discover the complete list of featured articles

Strategic consolidation

The Érudit consortium has changed considerably over the past few years. We’ve welcomed new team members, expanded our Board of Directors and broadened our activities across Canada and internationally. With growing operations and continuous improvement of our governance, we realized it was time to work on our strategic plan. As a first step, we reviewed the Consortium’s strategic statements in the fall of 2019 and winter of 2020. The entire team and Board of Directors contributed to the process, with support from Université de Montréal.

We’re now proud to share the results of this collaborative effort.

Vision Dedicated to open knowledge
Mission Érudit supports open digital publishing and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
Values Common Good / Openness / Collaboration / Innovation

These new statements provide clarity and lay the groundwork for the strategic consolidation activities scheduled to continue over the next year. These statements will guide our future development and strengthen collaboration with our partners.

Governance and financing

Operationalization of Coalition Publica’s committees

Coalition Publica is a partnership created by Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project dedicated to the advancement of research dissemination and digital publishing in the social sciences and humanities in Canada, specifically designed to support the SSH community in the transition towards sustainable open access. Coalition Publica is guided by three committees—the Steering Committee, Stakeholder Advisory Committee and International Advisory Committee—composed of experts from various fields, including scientific publishing, research libraries and research in the social sciences and humanities. This year’s meetings provided an opportunity for productive conversation in which participants established a common understanding of Coalition Publica’s main objectives.

Notably, a seat was added to the Advisory Committee for a representative from Canadian Science Publishing (CSP), which is one of the largest science publishers in Canada (25 journals). Including CSP will ensure that science, technology and medicine (STM) issues are brought to the table for reflection and discussion, while fostering dialogue between the various knowledge sectors. Michael Donaldson, an open access specialist at Canadian Science Publishing, joined Coalition Publica’s Advisory Committee at the meeting held on February 25, 2020.

-> See all committee members

Improved governance practices

The Érudit Consortium is committed to continually improving its governance best practices. To this end, all members of Érudit’s Board of Directors have completed a competency profile and will continue working on this over the next few years. In addition, a recommendation was made to create two sub-committees—a Financial Audit Committee and a Public Policy Committee—in order to strengthen the Board’s financial and legal expertise. Érudit’s Executive Committee and senior management will create the two sub-committees during the 2020/2021 year.

Mid-term assessment, Major Science Initiatives grant

Since 2014, the Érudit Consortium has been recognized as a Major Science Initiative by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This recognition has been shared with our partners PKP since 2017, through our joint initiative Coalition Publica. Every year we produce a performance report that showcases our organization’s various areas of activity. Since 2019/2020 marks the half-way point of our current CFI funding period, this year we also underwent a more in-depth assessment, in which we had to report on all our activities and outline the expected outcomes for the next 3 years. The exercise involved most of Érudit’s and PKP’s teams, as well as certain Coalition Publica committees, and we are pleased to report that we met all assessment criteria.

The feedback provided by the expert committee in the evaluation report will guide our work in the coming years, particularly the following three aspects:

  1. Creation of a detailed 5-year technology development plan
  2. Preparation of a clear and well-articulated description of the strategic connection between Érudit, PKP and Coalition Publica
  3. Further development of metrics to assess our impact on research and society


Expanding our collection

Over the past year, 22 new journals were added to the collections distributed on the platform. 16 of these journals are open access.

It is worth noting that 16 of these new journals use PKP’s Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open-source software suite, to produce their online publications. Their dissemination on the platform is enabled by a data link developed through our Coalition Publica partnership. In addition to these journals, there were 6 backlist digitization projects, including the dissemination of all issues of the journal Surfaces, which was one of the first digital scholarly journals (1991-2001).

The digitization of these archives and the implementation of a technological bridge between OJS and our platform have allowed us to expand our collection. In fact, it has led to a 30% increase in the number of journals distributed on since 2017.

Digital dissemination

The impact of the health crisis on journal consultations

When the world went into lockdown, we began tracking usage data to see whether the crisis would affect journal consultations on the platform. What we found is that consultation patterns were no longer aligned with university calendars, which are generally set to specific times of day, days of the week and course sessions. Instead, consultations reflected the general public’s schedule, peaking on weekends.

In addition, during the first few weeks of the pandemic, we noted a substantial increase in views of articles addressing crisis-related topics. Here were some of the most popular articles.

We used consultation data from 2019 to calculate the increase in views.

Initial results of the Wikipedia partnership

Érudit is involved in the Wikipedia Library project, which provides the online encyclopedia’s regular editors with free access to subscription journals. This collaboration helps give visibility to Canadian research in the humanities and social sciences, while improving the quality of Wikipedia entries and strengthening their scholarly validity.

We’re proud to contribute to this important initiative and pleased to note that it is having the desired result. In 2019/2020, a record number of references to journals disseminated on were included in Wikipedia articles in French and English, resulting in an 18% year-over-year increase. Some 698 new citations from journals disseminated on were recorded on Wikipedia between July 1, 2019 (first data availability date) and March 31, 2020, bringing the total to 3,283.

Wikipedia is available in more than 280 languages and offers more than 30 million articles. The online reference receives nearly 500 million visitors every month, making Wikipedia the fifth most popular site in the world. Owing its success to independent governance and funding models, the use of credible and verifiable sources, and a rigorous collaborative review process, Wikipedia is an essential tool for ensuring public access to knowledge and information in an age where media platforms are inundated with fake news.

Collecto agreement renewal

Érudit has renewed its agreement with Collecto Services, through which 175,000 CEGEP students have access to Canada’s largest collection of social science and humanities journals. Given the broad range of content found through search engines and the transformation of the media landscape, it is increasingly difficult to find reliable information on the internet, especially for young students. Supported by 53 college libraries, the partnership between Érudit and Collecto guarantees access to a high-quality database of more than 200 scholarly and cultural journals.

-> Read the press release


Satisfaction survey

We conducted a survey of users to get a sense of their satisfaction and learn more about their search habits (November 12 to December 9, 2019; 1,139 respondents).

After compiling and analyzing the results, we came up with the following key findings:

  • 71% of users consider the collections on Érudit to be essential or absolutely essential for their research activities
  • 80% of users say they are satisfied or completely satisfied with the platform’s features
  • 54% of users consult at least once a week, with 21% accessing the platform at least once a day

User search topics are heterogeneous:

  • between 3 and 10% of users being interested in the same discipline

The most represented disciplines:

  • Education 11.5%
  • Sociology 11.2%
  • History 9.6%
  • Language studies 6.6%

Most of our users are:

  • University students 43%
  • Instructor-researchers 25%
  • College students 6,8%
  • Retirees 7%

« Improving the search engine » was by far the most asked-for enhancement.

The survey results will allow us to update our tools to meet user needs.

New “About Us” website

Our About Us Website describes our mission and the services we provide to users, including journal editors, librarians, students, researchers and curious members of the public. Created in Wordpress, the site was redesigned to improve its indexing, promote content discovery and reflect Érudit’s new visual branding. The new site will go live in the Winter of 2021.

Distinctions and awards

Several authors who contributed to journals on the platform won awards last year:

Prix de l’Association Internationale des études françaises, 2019

Louis Laliberté-Bouchard (McGill University) was awarded the 2019 Prix de l’Association Internationale des Études françaises for his article “Le Testament de Philippe Fortin de La Hoguette entre témoignage sur soi-même et témoignage de l’esprit”, which was published in Études françaises ( This award is presented to young researchers publishing their first article on French literature or language.

2020 Hilda Neatby Prize, Canadian Historical Association

Marilou Tanguay (Université du Québec à Montréal) received the 2020 Hilda Neatby Prize from the Canadian Historical Association for her article “La page féminine du Devoir, un « espace public alternatif » ? Une étude de cas des mécanismes d’exclusion et de contrôle du « féminin » et du « féminisme » dans le quotidien (1965-1975).” The article, which was published in Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française and disseminated on Érudit (, demonstrates the complexity of a women’s newspaper page in a specific era and the ways in which women used the space to express their views on important social issues.

2019 Jean-Cléo Godin Award, Canadian Association for Theatre Research

Jean-Paul Quéinnec (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi) was presented the 2019 Jean-Cléo Godin Award for his article “De l’informe à la dramaturgie sonore au théâtre: le devenir ouvertement déclassé et enjoué d’une scène sans bord” (L’Annuaire théâtral, No. 62, Fall 2017, p. 95-116. ( This award is presented by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research to the best French-language scholarly article about theatre. Quéinnec’s article helps break down the boundaries between theory and artistic practice in the field of research-creation, while presenting new theoretical and epistemological perspectives.

2019 Prix Leon-Dion

Audrey Gagnon (Department of Political Science, Concordia University) received the 2019 Prix Leon-Dion for her article “La construction des attitudes envers les Roms : le cas français” ( The article sheds light on the mechanisms through which attitudes toward the Roma are constructed and analyzes how attitudes are shaped in two largely similar environments with diverging local integration policies towards the Roma. The Prix Léon-Dion is awarded every two years to the author of the best article published in Politique et Sociétés.

2019 Jean-Paul Brodeur Award

Esther Danais-Raymond and Dominique Robert (University of Ottawa) received the 2019 Jean-Paul Brodeur Award for their article “Faire entendre sa plainte. Le savoir-faire mobilisé dans la composition des rapports disciplinaires en prison.” This award recognizes the best student contribution published in the last two years in Criminologie (

2019 Prix Denis-Szabo

Presented on a bi-annual basis, the Prix Denis-Szabo is awarded to authors whose articles make a noteworthy contribution to the field criminology and provide quality critical insights. This year it was awarded to Gaëtan Cliquennois (Université de Nantes) for his article “La jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme” (



April Telford, UK UKSG 2019
  Montreal, Canada Round table discussion “Publier ou ne pas exister”
May Cambridge, UK JATS-Con 2019
  Cleveland, USA PyCon US
  Vancouver, Canada PKP Sprint 2019
  Vancouver, Canada CARL Advancing Open
  Vancouver, Canada Library Publishing Forum
  Vancouver, Canada Canadian Association of Learned Journals, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
June Marseille, France International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ElPub)
September Copenhagen, Denmark OASPA Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
October Montreal, Canada Congrès des professionnel.les de l’information
  Montreal, Canada Presentation for the periodical editing course, Université de Sherbrooke
November Barcelona, Spain PKP Conference


February Baltimore, USA NISO Plus Conference 2020
March Online Coalition Publica, Webinar with CARL

Technological developments

Aggregation and indexation agreements

This year we reviewed the processes for connecting to Wikipedia and transferring metadata to the catalogs and databases. In doing so, we were able to optimize the indexing of the collections disseminated on, which improved the discoverability of the journals we distribute using these tools.

Consultation statistics and collection management tools

We made updates in order to support the new version of the COUNTER statistics standard, which is used in libraries to track and measure consultations of the collections on our platform. In addition, the KBART 2014 Recommended Practice standard was implemented to enable partner and subscriber libraries to view the status of their collections in real time (coverage, new issues, archive collections, etc.). By strengthening the collaboration between Érudit and libraries, these tools have helped consolidate our existing partnerships.

Optimization of OJS/ connection

We continued efforts to maintain and optimize the mechanisms for aggregating metadata and PDFs on from journals published with OJS software. In particular, we focused on planning key developments required for automatic tagging of bibliographic references.

Updates to our research repository

This year, we enhanced Érudit’s research repository, which gives researchers access to thousands of documents for text mining and exploration purposes. We also signed an agreement with Calcul Québec/Compute Canada to optimize our corpus download services. Finally, our research repository was enhanced with the addition of collections from Journal des débats de l’Assemblée nationale (Quebec National Assembly Library), Cabinet Conclusions (Library and Archives of Canada) and the Héritage Collection (Canadiana/RCDR).

Improved access to the platform

Several major operations were carried out this year to facilitate user access to and the content available through the platform. Specifically, we deployed a content delivery network that increases the platform’s response times, particularly during peak usage periods. We also updated the backup site, which allows us to maintain services when the main site is not accessible.

Financial statement

April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Income 2020 2019
Publishing and marketing services, partnerships 1,861,411 1,717,207
Government grants 1,393,564 1,396,572
Contributions of the three Consortium members 510,861 416,713
Other income 19,865 11,006
Total income 3,785,701 3,541,498
Expenses 2020 2019
Publishing and marketing services, partnerships 1,579,776 1,496,697
Payroll and technology support services 1,660,171 1,524,907
Professional fees and subcontracting 140,634 89,077
Administration 75,995 64,582
Advertising and communications 42,805 64,409
Total expenses 3,499,381 3,239,672
Net income (Net loss) 286,320 301,826

Financial results 2020 2019
Current assets 2,689,722 4,041,562
Current liabilities 1,693,712 3,331,872
Partner equity 996,010 709,690


Coalition Publica

  • Coalition Publica


  • Université de Montréal
  • Université Laval
  • Université du Québec à Montréal


  • Agence universitaire de la Francophonie
  • Canadian Science Publishing
  • Centre d’expertise numérique pour la recherche
  • Centre for Digital Scholarship
  • DOAJ
  • Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et Culture
  • Persée
  • Public Knowledge Project
  • Presses de l’Université de Montréal
  • Réseau canadien de la documentation pour la recherche
  • Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois