The Moral Dimensions of Open


  • Karina Ansolabehere Human rights and democracy expert, FLACSO-Mexico
  • Cheryl Ball Director, Digital Publishing Institute, West Virginia University
  • Medha Devare Data and Knowledge Manager, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
  • Tee Guidotti President-Elect, Sigma Xi
  • Bill Priedhorsky Science Resource Office Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Wim van der Stelt Executive Vice President, Projects Open Research, Springer Nature
  • Mike Taylor Software Engineer, Index Data and Research Associate, University of Bristol
  • Susan Veldsman Director, Scholarly Publishing Unit, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
  • John Willinsky Professor and Founder of Public Knowledge Project, Stanford University



Scholarly publishing is currently undergoing a digital-era transition that provides both opportunities and challenges for improving the moral dimensions of this enterprise. The stakeholders in scholarly publishing need to consider the moral foundations of knowledge production and access that underlie models of scholarly publishing. This report identifies seven moral dimensions and principles to open-access scholarship and data.

OSI2016 Workgroup Question

Does society have a moral imperative to share knowledge freely, immediately, and without copyright restriction? A legal imperative? Why or why not? What about research funded by governments? Corporations? Cancer research? For that matter, is our current mechanism for funding scholarly publishing just or unjust? What other models are there? What are the pros and cons of these models? What is the likelihood of change?