Harvard Research to be Openly Available

In an effort to share faculty research and scholarship more broadly, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously on February 12 to give the University a license to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles openly available. According to Peter Suber, chronicler of trends in open access, the new policy makes Harvard the first university in the United States to mandate open access to its faculty members’ research publications.

Wider Dissemination of Research

Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman reflected in the Harvard Gazette that “The goal of university research is the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. At Harvard, where so much of our research is of global significance, we have an essential responsibility to distribute the fruits of our scholarship as widely as possible….Today’s action in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will promote free and open access to significant, ongoing research. It is a first step in the creation of an open-access environment for current research that may one day provide the widest possible dissemination of Harvard’s distinguished Faculties’ work.”

Faculty members may request a waiver of the license; otherwise it applies to all articles completed after the adoption of the policy. Articles will be made available through an open access repository, run by Harvard College Libraries, using DSpace, repository software developed at MIT .

More information is available in the Boston Globe.

Related Discussions at MIT

As previously reported in this blog, MIT Professor of Geophysics Brian Evans has drafted a resolution under the auspices of the Faculty Committee on the Library System that addresses the same desire for open access to research that underlies the Harvard motion. The draft resolution states that “Broad dissemination and rapid, free flow of information is essential to insuring vigorous intellectual debate and efficient progress in any academic field” and it calls for MIT faculty to “support the general concept of open access… and recommend the use of the least restrictive copyright agreements.”

Those interested in more information may contact copyright-lib@mit.edu.