U15 Statement on Sustainable Publishing

Preamble

Access to research and scholarly outputs is essential for scientific discovery, innovation, and education. To maximize knowledge transfer and impact, our researchers’ work must be made readily available around the globe. Research-intensive universities also require timely and continuing access to international research results and scholarship in order to advance and disseminate knowledge, and to develop the next generation of researchers. This research life cycle depends upon a healthy communication ecosystem anchored in the following principles:

Open Access

The U15 shares international concerns regarding the necessity for an accessible and sustainable model of scholarly publishing. We are committed to the widest possible access to research and scholarly outputs.

Public Interest

An individual or an institution’s access to research results should not be limited by their ability to pay for that access. The U15 is committed to disseminating scholarly publications and other research outputs as widely as possible in order to maximize their economic, cultural, social and health benefits, and the effectiveness of public investments in research.

Quality

Critical evaluation of research lies at the heart of intellectual discourse and scientific method. The U15 supports rigorous peer review processes and effective research impact measures in all forms of academic publishing including articles, monographs and books. It also recognises that there is an unavoidable cost for the substantial expertise that is contributed to scholarly endeavours in the humanities and social sciences by not-for-profit university presses.

Accountability

The highest possible proportion of public dollars invested in research and education should be spent directly on research and education. While supportive of strong private-sector relationships, and understanding the complexities of scholarly publishing, the U15 is concerned that the business model that is prevalent among for-profit book and journal publishers may impose undue financial pressure on the research and education ecosystem.

Innovation

The digital environment provides new opportunities for accessing and preserving a wide range of research outputs within a global knowledge commons. The U15 encourages the collaborative development of new models of scholarly communications that would benefit the academy and the public by leveraging the power of the digital age in ways that enhance the quality of scholarly and scientific publications.

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