Academic Freedom

Drawing of a pen in a hand

Social Science Space believes that academic freedom is the bedrock of modern scholarship. With that in mind, we are collecting resources that examine current threats to academic freedom, commentary on its issues and importance, and tools for combatting efforts to curtail academic freedom.

Our parent, Sage, was the main sponsor for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award and joined the Unite Against Banned Books Campaign in support of intellectual and academic freedom. 

The Sage Independence With Impact Report discusses how Sage supported academic freedom in 2022.

Academic Freedom In Social Science

Banned Book Week: What’s the role of the Higher Ed community in supporting intellectual freedom?

What role can — and should — members of the academic community play as censorship increasingly becomes institutionalized and bans and restrictions are on the rise?

Research in Difficult Times

Dr. Marc Spooner discusses current issues for researchers and academics with Dr. Janet Salmons, Manager of Sage Methodspace.

Academic Freedom Roundtable 1

Five researchers who contributed to a special issue of Qualitative Inquiry discuss academic and intellectual freedom.

Academic Freedom Roundtable 2

Janet Salmons, Research Community Manager for Sage Methodspace, joins Dr. Marc Spooner and four other researchers to discuss constraints on academic freedom and recommendations for researchers.

Some of the Posts at Social Science Space

Report: Latest Academic Freedom Index Sees Global DeclinesThe latest update of the global American Freedom Index finds improvements in only five countries.

Critics Of Academic Freedom Must Not See The Value It BringsAcademic freedom is simply the commonplace and understandable request of workers asking for the conditions they need to competently and effectively carry out their duties as expected, required and urgently needed by society.

Does Protecting ‘Academic Freedom’ Include Protecting Academics? | Associate professor Siouxsie Wiles and professor Shaun Hendy have become well known for their work explaining the science behind COVID-19 and guiding the public and government response. Is their home institution doing enough to protect them from bad actors?

Academic Freedom Can Clash With Employers’ Rights In U.S. |First Amendment law in the United States generally prohibits the government from restricting individuals’ right to speak freely. But the First Amendment rules that apply to the government when it limits the speech of its own employees are much more government-friendly, allowing greater restrictions of those workers’ speech.

Highlighted Media



The Five Books Banned the Most In America This School Year

Organizations and Resources

  • Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) — The Academic Freedom Alliance is a non-profit organization that aims to protect the rights of faculty members at universities to speak, instruct and publish without fear of punishment. 
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP) — The American Association of University Professors is a non-profit that helps develop standards and procedures for education and academic freedom in American universities. 
  •  National Assocation of Scholars (NAS) — The National Association of Scholars is a non-profit organization that aims to reform higher education by supporting intellectual freedom.
  • American Library Association (ALA) — The American Library Association is a library organization that works to support the development and improvement of library and information services.
  • PEN America — PEN America protects free expression and defends liberties that enable creative expression. 
  • Unite Against Book Bans — Unite Against Book Bans works to fight censorship and defend the freedom to read.