• September 21, 2014

Harvard Faculty Adopts Open-Access Requirement

Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy this evening that requires faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online.

Peter Suber, an open-access activist with Public Knowledge, a nonprofit group in Washington, said on his blog that the new policy makes Harvard the first university in the United States to mandate open access to its faculty members’ research publications.

Stuart M. Shieber, a professor of computer science at Harvard who proposed the new policy, said after the vote in a news release that the decision “should be a very powerful message to the academic community that we want and should have more control over how our work is used and disseminated.”

The new policy will allow faculty members to request a waiver, but otherwise they must provide an electronic form of each article to the provost’s office, which will place it in an online repository.

The policy will allow Harvard authors to publish in any journal that permits posting online after publication. According to Mr. Suber, about two-thirds of pay-access journals allow such posting in online repositories. —Lila Guterman

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