Open Access and Academic Freedom

The open access movement in scholarly publishing has been widely and rightly praised, but its potentially negative implications for academic freedom are too often ignored.  Today an opinion piece on Inside Higher Ed by Rick Anderson, associate dean for collections and scholarly communication at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library, makes an important argument about the issue with which I totally agree.  Here are the essay’s first two paragraphs:

As they have gained momentum over the past decade, the open access (OA) movement and its cousin, the Creative Commons licensing platform, have together done a tremendous amount of good in the world of scholarship and education, by making high-quality, peer-reviewed publications widely available both for reading and for reuse.

But they have also raised some uncomfortable issues, most notably related to academic freedom, particularly when OA is made a requirement rather than an option and when the Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY) is treated as an essential component of OA.

To read the entire piece (which you should) go to:

Your comments are welcome. They must be relevant to the topic at hand and must not contain advertisements, degrade others, or violate laws or considerations of privacy. We encourage the use of your real name, but do not prohibit pseudonyms as long as you don’t impersonate a real person.