Back to top

Scholarly Communication

CAUT Policy Statement

The common good of society depends upon the search for knowledge and its free expression through scholarly communication. This goal is served by the widest and most accessible dissemination of scholarly work, which is facilitated when academic staff make their work available in reputable, accessible, open venues and foster a culture of open scholarship at their institutions and within their research networks.

Scholarly communication is therefore a public good that should not be limited by commercial or private interests or restrictive institutional policies. Any such limitations threaten academic freedom by restricting the dissemination and discussion of scholarly activity.

To ensure the widest possible dissemination of their work, scholars should retain their initial copyright and should critically examine publishing arrangements that require the surrender of exclusive copyright.

Academic staff should establish and support credible non-commercial fora such as institutional repositories for peer review and distribution of research.

The robust practice of fair dealing1 should be integral to scholarly communications.

Scholarly communication technologies should support the principles of this policy and the widest possible dissemination of knowledge.

Appointment, promotion and tenure committees, as well as external granting agencies, should recognize all forms of scholarship, including alternative avenues of scholarly communication such as non-commercial and digital publications, in the evaluation of the work of an academic staff member.

Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2004;
Approved by the CAUT Council, April 2013;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2023.

1 Cf. CAUT Fair Dealing Guidelines and CAUT Intellectual Property Advisory 3