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AUFA Statement on Open Access and Academic Freedom

AUFA Statement on Open Access and Academic Freedom

[downloadable PDF version]

The Athabasca University Faculty Association recognizes the importance of both academic freedom and Open Access publishing to the public dissemination of research knowledge. AUFA holds that the protection of academic freedom supersedes any university policy that would require or compel AUFA members to publish in Open Access journals, institutional repositories, or other Open Access vehicles. Cognizant of the public good benefits of Open Access publishing, AUFA acknowledges the value of promoting Open Access publishing opportunities - where they are in the best interests of the members. But promoting Open Access publishing remains fundamentally and critically different from requiring Open Access publishing. In accordance with the language of the collective agreement, and the positions taken on this issue by the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the American Association of University Professors, AUFA holds that any policy that imposes Open Access as a requirement constitutes a clear violation of our members’ academic freedom.



Grayson, Kyle. “Open Access requirements will erode academic freedom by catalysing intensive forms of institutional managerialism.” Impact of Social Sciences. London School of Economics, 9 May 2013

Nelson, Cary. “Open Access and Academic Freedom.” Inside Higher Ed 15 Nov. 2013

Rice, Curt. “Open Access: Four Ways It Could Enhance Academic Freedom.” The Guardian 22 Apr. 2013

“Tri-agency Open Access policy Consultation Submissions of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.” Canadian Association of University Teachers. Ottawa, 13 Dec. 2013