The academic ethics of open access to research and scholarship
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
Abstract: In this article, we present the case for regarding the principles by which scholarly publications are disseminated and shared as a matter of academic ethics. The ethics of access have to do with recognizing people's right to know what is known, as well as the value to humanity of having one of its best forms of arriving at knowledge as widely shared as possible. The level of access is often reduced by the financial interests of publishers in a market in which there is little sense of a rational order, given huge discrepancies in prices for similar products. At the same time, there are risks to limiting researchers’ access to scholarly resources, both for the quality of the knowledge that is not entirely open to review and for the production of new knowledge that it might inspire. Then, there are issues of access beyond the academy for professional practice and out of human interest, for both of which undue limitations raise what are, for us, more than academic ethical questions.