Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Harvard votes for open access

In a great boon for the Open Access movement, the faculty of Harvard's College of Arts and Sciences has adopted a policy requiring researchers to provide their articles for an open-access institutional repository. Following NIH's new policy, this seems to represent major forward momentum in the efforts to revise the current publishing paradigm. In my opinion, it would be difficult and likely damaging to journals to refuse to publish NIH or Harvard researchers. Therefore, more journals should be looking at their copyright policies and allowing authors to place of peer-reviewed, published articles into open-access repositories. Perhaps some journals will decide to follow open-access publishing models, such as BioMed Central, many of whose journals are gaining rank in Journal Citation Reports.

For a Chronicle of Higher Learning report and very interesting commentary from major detractors, such as the president of the American Association of University Publishers Sandy Thatcher, to important promoters, such as Ray English, Director of Libraries at Oberlin College, visit their news blog.

For the text of the policy, visit Peter Suber's Open Access News blog.

Swarthmore, a college classified similarly to Eckerd by the Carnegie Foundation, published an editorial urging its students to follow Harvard's lead.

Students and faculty interested in learning more about open access should visit the SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Web site. I would also be happy to come to a class or have a discussion lunch to discuss this issue.

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship webliography on Open access

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