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Harvard first to force open access

All papers by Harvard scholars accepted for publication as of today will be freely available to the public. The Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously passed a linkurl:motion;http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~secfas/February_2008_Agenda.pdf last night (February 12) that requires all arts and sciences faculty articles to be made publicly available. Harvard is the first US university to mandate open access to its faculty publications, Peter Suber, open access advocate, wrote on his linkurl:b

By | February 13, 2008

All papers by Harvard scholars accepted for publication as of today will be freely available to the public. The Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously passed a linkurl:motion;http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~secfas/February_2008_Agenda.pdf last night (February 12) that requires all arts and sciences faculty articles to be made publicly available. Harvard is the first US university to mandate open access to its faculty publications, Peter Suber, open access advocate, wrote on his linkurl:blog;http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html yesterday. The mandate "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," linkurl:Stuart Shieber,;http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/shieber/ Harvard computer science professor who introduced the motion, said in a news release from Harvard. "We do research and our goal is to disseminate this research as broadly as possible, nobody disagrees with that," Shieber told The Scientist. "Now we have to figure out the best way to do it." He called this vote a small step toward that end. He added that the mandate was in part modeled after an open access linkurl:proposal;http://osc.universityofcalifornia.edu/openaccesspolicy/ being considered at the University of California. The mandate does not apply to articles already completed before the legislation was passed, and will require that all faculty now only submit to journals that allow articles to be posted online immediately after they have been accepted for publication, Shieber told The Scientist. According to Suber, this is about two thirds of all journals. Some journals that implement a post-publication self-archiving embargo (such as Nature) may choose not to publish Harvard papers, Shieber said, but "it's hard to know exactly what will happen." Harvard will establish a repository for the articles that will be searchable through Google. Faculty can request a waiver that certain articles intended for publication in a journal not be published in the repository. UPDATE (posted Feb. 14): We asked Joseph Esposito, who linkurl:wrote about;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53781/ open access in our November issue, for his thoughts on this development. Here's what he said, via Email (note: BioMedCentral is a sister company of The Scientist): "The implications of Harvard's decision are broad, but one thing that is likely to happen as a direct result of the decision is that companies with Open Access services may get acquired by traditional publishers. If OA is the future (and Harvard says it is), then the publishing community is not going to sit back and let their businesses slip away. I imagine that all of the large commercial STM publishers have studied their acquisition options." "In the OA world some candidates (e.g., Public Library of Science) are off limits, as they are set up as not-for-profits. The commercial possibilities include such firms as Hindawi (which has a partnership with Sage) and BioMedCentral, but there are other options as well, including small OA firms with robust technology but as yet only a modest customer and user base. We should not be surprised to see the likes of Springer, Reed Elsevier, John Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and Wolters Kluwer taking out the checkbook."
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Comments

Avatar of: Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt

Posts: 199

February 14, 2008

I don't believe it is correct that a not-for-profit organization cannot be acquired. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3257/is_9_53/ai_55834428/pg_2 - Discusses exactly this in health care field. \n\nCertainly, not-for-profits can convert to for-profit entities. But I think that they can also be acquired, and then converted as well.
Avatar of: Fukai Bao

Fukai Bao

Posts: 15

February 14, 2008

Scentific research achievements should be shared by scientific community and public as mamy as possible. As a medical scientist from developing country, I am grateful to all the advocates who motivate open-access mtion. I hope that more open-access journals appear soon. In that case, I respect JCI, NEJM, Plos journals, BMC journals,etc.\n\nFukai Bao, MD\nKunming, China
Avatar of: Jesus Villar

Jesus Villar

Posts: 3

February 18, 2008

Scientists around the world will welcome the decision of Harvard University requiring that all its faculty members only submit their maniscripts to journals that allow access inmediately after being accepted. This policy will help to increase the profile and impact of open access journals, such as those published by BioMedCentral.\nCongratulations. The rest of universities and countries should do the same.\n
Avatar of: Michael Morris

Michael Morris

Posts: 19

February 18, 2008

As long as you have an internet connection and the email address of the corresponding author, open access is, in a sense, already available. That is very welcome, but possibly the one thing that has stopped OA from becoming the phenomenon that it was hoped to be.\n\nIn addition, the problem remains of open access for authors. OA journals such as PLoS and BMC charge a lot of money for publication. I don't mean they are overcharging. I only mean that authors seeking to publish in these OA journals pay a very high price compared to 'traditional' journals.\n\nI realise there is a fee-waiver system, a discount system, and even a take-it-from-your grant system in some cases, but these do not necessarily encourage an author to choose OA over a traditional journal which also probably has fee waivers.\n\nAuthors tend to mind their bottom line like anyone else, and they are usually happy to send a PDF of their article to anyone anywhere in the world if requested.\n

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