open access, academic freedom, scholarly publishing, authors' rights


Discussion of the ways in which Open Access (OA) and academic freedom interact is fraught for a number of reasons, not least of which is the unwillingness of some participants in the discussion to acknowledge that OA might have any implications for academic freedom at all. Thus, any treatment of such implications must begin with foundational questions. Most basic among them are: first, what do we mean when we say ‘open access’; second, what do we mean when we say ‘academic freedom’? The answers to these questions are not as obvious as one might expect (or hope), but when they are answered it becomes much easier to address a third, also very important, question: in what ways might OA and academic freedom interact? With every new OA mandate imposed by a government agency, institution of higher education, or funding organization, careful analysis of this issue becomes more urgent. This article attempts to sort out some of these issues, controversies, and confusions.

Original Publication Citation

Anderson, R. (2021). Open access and academic freedom: Teasing out some important nuances. Development and Change, 52(6), 1503–1512.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



John Wiley




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor