bjoern.brembs.blog » Does academic freedom entail exemption from spending rules?
peter.suber's bookmarks 2018-09-21
"The recent publication of the “Ten Principles of Plan S” has sparked numerous discussions among which one of several recurring themes was academicfreedom. The cause for these discussions is the insistence of the funders supporting Plan S that their grant recipients only publish in certain venues under certain liberal licensing schemes.
Germany is likely among the countries with the strongest protection of academic freedom, as article five of our constitution explicitly guarantees academic freedom. Historically, this has always included free choice of publishing venue. As modern internet technology keeps encroaching on academic traditions, there is now a lawsuit pending at the constitutional court of Germany in which way open access mandates, requiring scholars to deposit a copy of their published article in an institutional repository, violates academic freedom....
Thus, even in Germany, a country with arguably one of the strongest, constitutional protections of academic freedom, it is far from certain if any/all requirements for publication venue may constitute an infringement on these constitutional rights. Ongoing legal proceedings will help clarify this question. As a non-lawyer I would tend to argue that in case open access mandates are considered as violations of academic freedom, also the requirements to publish in certain journals must fall. Conversely, if current practice is no infringement, neither are open access mandates...."