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February 13, 2008

Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences Adopts New Open Access Requirement

Yesterday Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously approved a motion that would allow Harvard to place the final peer-reviewed version of all journal articles into an open access repository (an institutional repository similar to UIUC's IDEALS - http://ideals.uiuc.edu/).

This kind of requirement is becoming more common in Europe and at a few institutions in the UK and Australia, but this is close to the first - if not the first - such requirement in the United States. Alongside the new NIH requirement for deposit into PubMed Central, this may indicate the beginnings of a real sea change.

The full text of the Harvard motion is below:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopts the following policy: Each Faculty member grants to the President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Dean or the Dean's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member explaining the need.
To assist the University in distributing the articles, each Faculty member will provide an electronic copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Provost's Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Provost's Office. The Provost's Office may make the article available to the public in an open-access repository.
The Office of the Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Faculty.

See also the Chronicle of Higher Education's entry
and Peter Suber's comments.

Posted by Sarah Shreeves at 10:12 AM