Key Principles Underlying a Policy’s Rationale

A good starting point in the drafting of a policy and accompanying communications documents is to identify key principles or values that will resonate with your institutional community so that the policy has strong institutional relevance and, therefore, greater potential for wider acceptance. These are best developed by aligning with core institutional values or principles derived from key university documents such as the university’s strategic plan or academic plan. By doing so, the policy signals to your community that it speaks to the heart of the institution’s ethos, that it is mission driven, and aligned with institutional priorities.  

Themed below are common categories of value statements that are frequently incorporated in open access policies. You may find these useful in adapting these to  suit your own organization’s value statements or stated institutional priorities. 

    • Intellectual and academic freedom

We believe that researchers have a right to choose where and how they share their scholarship. At the same time, all individuals have a fundamental right to unrestricted access to knowledge.

    • Democratization of knowledge

We believe that publicly funded research must be freely available to all. We further believe in the potential of technology to democratize knowledge production and use.

    • Advancement of research

We believe the mission of universities is to create and disseminate knowledge. Open scholarship is the best way to accelerate scholarly research across the disciplines and to connect scholars worldwide.

    • Benefit to society

We believe that an open scholarship system that is accessible to all scholars and readers offers the surest path towards positively impacting human life on all parts of the globe.

    • Integrity of scholarship

We believe that opening research to wide scrutiny will enhance reproducibility, increase accountability and promote collaboration – thus leading to higher visibility and impact.



Icon for CC-BY Creative Commons licenceThis work, the CARL Institutional Open Access Policy Toolkit, was developed by members of the CARL Advancing Research Committee and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.