With thanks to Peter Suber's Open Access News and the Harvard Crimson ...
Harvard Faculty Council recommends an OA policy
Alexandria Hiatt, Profs Might Make Their Articles Free: Faculty Council proposes ‘open access’ for journal articles, Harvard Crimson, September 27, 2007.
The Faculty Council, the 18-member governing body of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), advanced a measure yesterday that would make articles written by Harvard professors in scholarly journals available online at no cost.
The proposal would create a system of “open access” whereby the authors could make their work available either on a personal or university Web site for free, according to Weary Professor of German and Comparative Literature Judith L. Ryan, who serves on the council.
Professors would have the option to opt out of the new system, Ryan said.
“The problem this is supposed to address is the increasing monopoly that has developed on the part of scholarly journals, who are now making it increasingly difficult for people to access the material they publish,” she said.
“Libraries everywhere are paying huge amounts to scholarly journals,” she added, “and that means the amount of money they can spend on other purchases is increasingly squeezed.”
The program has been spearheaded by Welch Professor of Computer Science Stuart M. Shieber. According to Ryan, Shieber has appeared before the council three times in the past year and a half and has worked closely with the University Office of General Counsel to address any possible legal issues....
The proposal will now come before the full faculty for a vote. Ryan said she expected it to be addressed at a Faculty meeting this term.
The measure will immediately take effect if passed, according to Ryan, and the publishers will have little recourse.
“It is pretty certain that other universities would follow,” she said, “And that is crucial because it would put pressure on big publishers.”
Local perspective --
University of Illinois' Provost Linda Katehi has strongly urged faculty to retain the rights to use their own articles and to make them as widely accessible as possible. The University Senate concurred, passing a resolution that urges faculty to modify the copyright agreement forms they sign when submitting their papers for publication, using an addendum created for use by CIC members.
From Katehi's 7/10/07 note to the faculty:
"It [the Addendum] supports authors rights to use their own published work in teaching and research, to post a publication on a personal website, or to deposit it in a repository maintained by their institution or a professional association. IDEALS (www.ideals.uiuc.edu) is the University of Illinois institutional repository."
Katehi goes on to say:
"It is our responsibility as scholars to ensure that our work is available as widely as possible to maximize its scholarly impact, accessibility, and educational use. I encourage you to use the Addendum and to deposit your research and scholarship in IDEALS, which provides reliable and persistent access to its holdings."
Posted by Katie Newman at September 27, 2007 1:51 PM