Go8 Statement on the Right to Publish

1 Jan 2008
Right to publish

  “If the teachers of mankind are to be cognisant of all that they ought to know, everything must be free to be written and published without restraint.”
—John Stuart  Mill, On Liberty

Go8 universities are dedicated to expanding knowledge through rigorous research and to disseminating the results for the benefit of the public.

The validity and credibility of universities rely upon the fact that academic work is carried out in an open and independent environment, where staff are free to reveal and challenge theories, knowledge and understanding in accordance with internationally accepted scholarly norms. These norms include the examination of criticisms and new ideas by other experts in a given field.

The publication of results obtained from properly constructed research carried out by experts is a fundamental component of academic freedom.

Therefore, where external funding supports university research there should not be undue influence brought to bear on the dissemination of the research results.

Go8 universities recognise that government and non-government bodies providing funding for research are entitled to specify the scope of the research they intend to support and monitor the quality and timeliness of the work. However, Go8 universities hold that it is inappropriate to accept external funding:

  • where the funder has the right to interfere in, or alter, the conduct of  sponsored research; or  
  • where the funder has the right to alter, suppress or indefinitely delay  publication of all or part of the outcomes.

Go8 universities do recognise that commercial or other considerations might sometimes require short, finite delays in publication. However, they will vigorously assert their right to publish the results of all research in a timely manner.