Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy

Version 1 : Received: 20 January 2020 / Approved: 21 January 2020 / Online: 21 January 2020 (11:00:41 CET)

How to cite: Sanders, K.; Bowie, S. Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy. Preprints 2020, 2020010240. Sanders, K.; Bowie, S. Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy. Preprints 2020, 2020010240.


The terms 'open' and 'openness' are widely used across the current higher education environment particularly in the areas of repository services and scholarly communications. Open-access licensing and open-source licensing are two prevalent manifestations of open culture within higher education research environments. As theoretical ideals, open-licensing models aim at openness and academic freedom. But operating as they do within the context of global neoliberalism, to what extent are these models constructed by, sustained by, and co-opted by neoliberalism? In this paper, we interrogate the use of open-licensing within scholarly communications and within the larger societal context of neoliberalism. Through synthesis of various sources, we will examine how open access licensing models have been constrained by neoliberal or otherwise corporate agendas, how open access and open scholarship have been reframed within discourses of compliance, how open-source software models and software are co-opted by politico-economic forces, and how the language of 'openness' is widely misused in higher education and repository services circles to drive agendas that run counter to actually increasing openness. We will finish by suggesting ways to resist this trend and use open-licensing models to resist neoliberal agendas in open scholarship.


openness under neoliberalism; open-access licensing in capitalism; the politics of open-licensing


Social Sciences, Library and Information Sciences

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our Diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
* All users must log in before leaving a comment
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0

Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.