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According to the Harvard Crimson, the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences’ governing body has proposed an open access policy according to which faculty members would make their research available for free either on a university site or on their own site. This would be in addition to publishing in academic journals, some of which charge $20,000 a year for a subscription. It’d be an opt-out program. The Harvard Crimson has a good editorial supporting it.

Yay! Locking research up in for-pay journals slows the pace of knowledge. The peer review system — one important way ideas are vetted — does not require the existing print publication system. Harvard’s move will not only make more information more widely available, it may help nudge the system itself into a form that better serves our species’ interests: As more schools adopt open access programs, researchers will have an increasing disincentive not to lock their work up.

I’m actually not sure how this will work, especially with regard to its being opt-out. If I’ve just had an article accepted by The Journal of Hydroponic Pediatrics. do I then also submit it to the Harvard open access server? If so, in what sense is that opt out?

Obviously, I’m also interested in what sort of metadata and aggregation facilities Harvard will supply to make these articles easily findable.

But what pleasant questions to contemplate! [Tags: open_access harvard publishing copyright a2k]

One Response to “Harvard moves towards Open Access”

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