Harvard goes Open Access

February 13, 2008

From Berkman Fellow Melanie Dulong de Rosnay...

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) unanimously voted a motion on open access policy. FAS Faculty members now grant to the university a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to distribute their scholarly articles, provided it is for non commercial uses. An opt-out mechanism allow Faculty members to waive this mandatory assignment upon request for some articles, for instance in the case of incompatible rights assignment to a publisher...

This mandated permission to the university contrasts with other approaches to open access, such as:
- self-archiving mandate, or obligation for authors to deposit their articles in open access repositories (research funded by NIH in the US, European Research Council, Wellcome Trust deposit mandate in the UK)
- negotiation by individual authors, without the bargaining power of an institution, to retain some of their rights to reuse and archive pre-print and/or post-print, immediatly or after an embargo period, through copyright addendum to be attached to publisher’s copyright agreement, such as those proposed by Science Commons Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine, developed with SPARC and MIT,
- publication in open access journals, where authors’ institutions often have to pay to be published (up to 3000$ per article), instead of the library having to pay a subscription to access to published articles.

It will be interesting to compare the different policies results...

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Last updated April 03, 2008

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