Unethical Aspects of Open Access

David M. Shaw*, Bernice S. Elger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


In this article, we identify and discuss several ethically problematic aspects of open access scientific publishing. We conclude that, despite some positive effects, paid open access has at least three unethical aspects: it discriminates against researchers, creates an editorial conflict of interest, and diverts funding from the actual conduct of research. To be truly open access, all researchers must be able to access its benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalAccountability in Research-Policies and Quality Assurance
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2018


  • Publication ethics
  • open access
  • conflicts of interest

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