Synergies is a Canadian interuniversity project which was carried out between 2007 and 2012, and which has successfully disseminated tens of thousands of Canadian social science research results. Synergies offered a number of unique technological advances for the dissemination of research in Canada.

Synergies has the following objectives:

  • distribute Canadian university research results in digital form

  • contribute to the promotion and dissemination of the humanities and social sciences

  • provide integrated access to a variety of scholarly publications

  • promote open access to research results

Digital publishing and distribution framework

Social Sciences and Humanities research published in Canadian journals, especially in English, is largely confined to print. The dynamics of print mean that this research is machine-opaque and hence invisible on the Internet, where many students and scholars begin and sometimes end their background research. In bringing Canadian SSH research to the Internet, Synergies not only brings that research into the mainstream of worldwide research discourse but also it legitimizes canadian online publication in Social Sciences and Humanities. The acceptance of this medium opens the manner in which knowledge can be represented. First, researchers can take advantage of an enriched media palette—color, image, sound, moving images, multimedia. Second, researchers can benefit from interactivity. Third, those who query existing research can broaden their vision by means of navigational interfaces, multilingual interrogation, automatic translation, metadata, intelligent search engines, and textual analysis. Fourth, scholars can expand new areas of knowledge such as bibliometrics and technometrics, new media analysis, scholarly communicational analysis and publishing studies.

Platform for disseminating scholarly work in the SSH

Canadian researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities require two research services provided within one integrated structure. The first is an accessible online Canadian research record. The second is accessing to an online publication service that places their work on record and ensures widespread and flexible accessibility. Synergies provides both these functions. Synergies is built from Érudit, a Québec-based research publication service provider in existence since 1998, and Open Journal Systems (OJS), which is a tested online journal publishing software suite developed by the Simon Fraser University, yet it also benefits from the technical expertise developed by its three other partners. Indeed, Synergies integrates work being done within its five-party consortium to create a decentralized national platform for SSH research communication. Synergies is designed to eventually encompass a range of formats—including pre-publication papers, data sets, presentations, electronic monographs—to provide a rich scholarly record, the backbone of which is existing and yet to be created. Synergies brings Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities research into mainstream of worldwide research discourse using a cost-effective public/not-for-profit partnership to maximize knowledge dissemination.

Integrated access to a variety of scientific publications

The members of the Synergies consortium are the University of New Brunswick, Université de Montréal (lead institution), University of Toronto, University of Calgary, and Simon Fraser University. Each contributes appropriate but different expertise to the project. At its first level, Synergies consists of this five-university consortium that will provide a fully accessible, searchable, decentralized and inclusive national Social Sciences and Humanities database of structured primary and secondary Social Sciences and Humanities texts. This distributed environment is technically complex to implement, and it also represents a major political and social collaboration which attests to the project's transformative dimension for Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities research and researchers. Synergies is a primary aggregator of research that, in providing publishing services, allows journal editors (and other producers) to structure subscriptions and maintain revenue control. At a second level, Synergies reaches out to 16 regional partner universities that benefit from and contributes to extend Synergies functionality. At a third level, in a producer-to-consumer relationship with university libraries and organizations such as the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Synergies makes national accessibility possible. Using this relationship as a model, Synergies is positioned to facilitate similar relationships for journals with research libraries consortia around the world.

Wide dissemination of research results

User-friendly consultation of digital collections

  • bilingual search interface (French and English)

  • powerful search engine (document type, year, author, title, keyword, ISSN, ISBN, etc.)

  • search filters based on several criteria (document type, collection, language, author)

  • export of search results (HTML, plain text, XML, Endnote, Refworks, e-mail)

  • RSS feeds

  • Z39.50 queries

  • OAI and referencing service

  • alerts and favorites (coming soon)

  • georeferencing for creating research networks (coming soon)

Professional digital publishing services

  • production and distribution of journals, books, proceedings, theses, dissertations and other research data in various digital formats (XML, PDF, XHTML)

  • long-term preservation of documents

  • permanent referencing of URLs

  • database indexing and specialized tools (ABC-Clio, Francis, CurrentContent, PubMed, Repère, Google Scholar, etc.).


To contact the direction of Synergies:

Michael Eberle-Sinatra
President, Université de Montréal
Phone: (514) 343-6149


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