SELF Platform Beta launched!

The Beta version of the SELF Platform is already available for testers and early adopters. You can check it right now at

Get Involved!

Contribute to the SELF project. See this list of examples of how you can get involved and/or subscribe to one of the mailing lists.


Founding Principles

We have put into action a set of founding principles that reflect our shared thoughts and ideas as a basis for the development of the platform. These founding principles help guide our work over time and are the means by which we articulate what is and has been intrinsically important to the organisation.

1. Sharing Knowledge

We share, create, stimulate and promote knowledge in the area of Free Software and Open Standards. Knowledge shared freely becomes much more valuable. For this reason, the materials on the SELF platform are available to everyone free of charge and can be used, adapted, modified, updated, translated, as defined in the Licensing Policy.

2. Reciprocity

The SELF project is based on scientific principles and thoughts, it considers itself committed to the scientific tradition. This tradition includes mutual sharing of knowledge to enlighten each other. Contributors share their work with the expectation that others do the same when they build upon their contributions. This is called reciprocity. That principle is fundamentally inherent in science and Free Software, and its requirement is the defining principle of Copyleft. SELF reflects this principle in its Licensing Policy, where both the software and the educational material will follow these traditions.

3. Freedom

The term "free" in "Free Software" exclusively refers to freedom, and never to price. The SELF project applies the same understanding of "free" to its other materials, and maintains the possibility of commercial use by third parties. However, as a non-profit activity, the SELF project itself will provide all materials gratis.

4. Free Software and Open Source

Free Software was first defined on January 1989 in the GNU's bulletins, and in 1992 "Libre Software" was proposed as a synonym based on the same definition. In 1997 Free Software was specified in the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), and in 1998 the DFSG were used as the definition of the term "Open Source" which was proposed as a marketing term for Free Software, later resulting in the combined terms "FOSS" and "FLOSS".

The SELF consortium chooses to speak of Free Software for various reasons. Using the term that was first defined is good scientific tradition, to which SELF is committed. Also, the term Free Software refers to the defining criterion, which is freedom, and is thus better suited in our view to convey understanding. As freedom is a central objective for SELF, we made a decision for Free Software.

5. Open Standards

Open Standards are the basis of interoperability, and fundamental to unencumbered flow of knowledge and information as well as freedom of competition as users do not depend any longer on formats and specifications that are controlled by one company.

Free Software tends to use and help define Open Standards as it consists by definition of publicly available specifications, and the availability of its source code promotes an open, democratic debate around the specifications, making them both more robust and interoperable (see: European Interoperability Framework).

The SELF project is committed to spread knowledge about Open Standards and at the same time strives to make the platform accessible by adhering to relevant Open Standards.

6. Education

We believe that educational resources should be accessible freely to everyone. Within the SELF platform, the possibility to contribute is guaranteed to teachers, students, parents, public and private institutions.

7. Not-for-profit

We are a not-for-profit organisation whose primary objective is to support our mission for non-commercial purposes. Others however may benefit from our work, including commercially.

8. No political affiliation

We are not attached to any political party. The ideas of Free Software and Open Standards are shared by people from all kinds of political influences.

9. Funding

The SELF project welcomes financial contributions to maintain and improve the platform over time. We do not accept funding that would compromise our abilities to share, create, stimulate and promote knowledge in the area of Free Software and Open Standards freely, thoroughly and objectively.

10. Organisation

SELF is a community of people that share the founding principles of the project and work together in order to achieve shared objectives. The SELF project and platform are guided by the SELF Executive Committee and SELF Board, which makes the final decision in case of disputes.

11. Open Forum

SELF is an open forum without prior censorship.

12. High Quality

The SELF project is a community effort. While we cannot guarantee the quality we strive to make available excellent materials both by stimulating the community as well as by implementing quality procedures and mechanisms.

13. Transparency

We promote transparency and inspire confidence by pursuing a proactive and comprehensive information policy.

14. Consensus

We strive to decide with consensus and to understand each others points of view.

15. Development, Accessibility, Cultural Diversity and Multilingualism

We strive to make the platform accessible to anyone, including physically impaired people and people in developing and transition countries with technological difficulties. We strive to contribute to improve education about Free Software and Open Standards in developing and transition countries and to help these countries reclaim technology and knowledge for themselves. Our endeavours are to provide the materials in as many languages as possible.

SELF - Science Education and Learning in Freedom