Photo by Changbok Ko on Unsplash
Photo by Changbok Ko on Unsplash

Policy Statement on Open Access in Further and Higher Education and Research

EI's 10th International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference | Ghana, November 2016

published 17 November 2016 updated 15 May 2024

1. The public good is served by the widest and most accessible dissemination of scholarly work and educational material. This can be facilitated when scholars and educators make their work available in reputable open access venues.

2. Open access refers to the practice of authors voluntarily making their work and educational material freely available for any person to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, index, access through disability adaptation, or link to the full texts of materials, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers.

3. Academic freedom includes the right of authors to choose how and where their research is disseminated. This freedom must not be constrained by government or institutional policies that require publication in open access journals.

4. Teachers, trainers, and researchers should retain copyright in their work to maintain its integrity, to ensure proper acknowledgement and citation, and to allow self-archiving in institutional or disciplinary repositories. Publication agreements with journals and publishers should always permit self-archiving.

5. Some non-open access journals restrict for fixed periods of time the release of articles into open access repositories. Such embargos contradict the general principle of scholarly communication that all new knowledge should be made available at the earliest possible moment. If such embargo periods do exist they should be set at a maximum of six months with a view to their eventual elimination.

6. Many open access journals cover costs through article processing charges, which shift the financial contribution from subscribers to authors. Such fees must be recognized as eligible research funding expenses.

7. “Predatory” open access journals that provide minimal services and exist only to profit from article processing charges must be avoided.

8. Open access should not be used by governments or institutions to reduce library expenditures. Any savings from decreased journal subscription costs must be fully reinvested into research and scholarly communication, including library acquisitions and funds for paying article processing charges incurred by academic staff.

9. Education International and its further and higher education and research affiliates can promote open access by:

  • encouraging members to publish in open access journals or by practicing self-archiving;
  • educating members of the negative impact of publishing in, or serving as editors for, journals that do not support open access; and,
  • negotiating criteria for renewal, tenure, and promotion that fully recognizes open access scholarship.