What Is Open Access and Why Does It Matter?

Platinum Open Access - Free to Publish, Free to Download

Philosophical Inquiry in Education (PIE) is a "Platinum" open-access journal, the hallmark of which is that "the costs associated with scholarly publication are covered by the benevolence of others, such as through volunteer work, donations, subsidies, [and] grants." Our core principle is that we neither accept money to publish articles nor charge money to download articles.

The journal is operated on behalf of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society and, with the exception of copy-editing and website management, it is staffed by volunteers. The funds for the operation of PIE are sourced from the membership of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education and institutional or government grants to scholarly publications.

How is PIE different from Predatory Open-Access Journals?

There has been a proliferation of predatory and dubious open-access journals. These types of journals typically provide minimal peer review, charge authors "processing fees" in order to publish, and fail to maintain adequate editorial standards. 

How is PIE different from Fee-Based Open Access Journals?

Some reputable publishers maintain journals which are open-access but which charge authors a fee for publishing. Other publishers maintain journals that are generally paid-access but which offer authors the option of paying to make their articles open-access. An example from our field is Studies in Philosophy and Education, which charges a fee of $3000 US for the open-access publication option. By contrast, when you publish in PIE, you and your institution will always receive full access gratis, as will the public at large.

Moving Away from a Model in which the Public Pays Twice

As it stands, the majority of the work in educational philosophy and theory is published in journals which are administered by large publishing companies like Springer, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley-Blackwell. These companies charge high subscription prices to libraries, and these costs have been rising disproportionately over the last 30 years. For example, an especially expensive journal is Wiley's Journal of Philosophy of Education, which prices a one-year subscription at $1725.00 US. What this means is that cash-strapped institutions end up paying a second time for work that they have already funded, either through faculty salaries or through grants. In some cases, students even pay a third time for access when journal articles are republished in a course reader. The key advantage of PIE and other Platinum open-access journals is that you only pay once, through your tax dollars that support the operation of public universities and granting agencies.