Monday, April 21, 2008
Harvard to Establish Open-Access Repository
In a historic first, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) yesterday unanimously approved a motion that would compel faculty to deposit their research in an open access (OA) repository managed by the library to be made freely available to anyone via the Internet. Harvard University librarian Robert Darnton, in a pre-vote op-ed in the Harvard Crimson, declared that the motion "represents an opportunity to reshape the landscape of learning."
Under the proposal, individual members of the FAS would be directed to retain their copyrights, as opposed to assigning them exclusively to publishers as part of their publishing contracts, so their research could be made available. Faculty could still publish their articles in any journal that would not abridge Harvard's institutional repository rights. Darnton predicted the policy "would make scholarship by FAS freely accessible everywhere in the world, and it would reinforce a new effort by Harvard to share its intellectual wealth." Further, the plan could have major, transformative implications for the library, which would have the remarkable task of collecting and disseminating Harvard's faculty output in addition to its current roles.
The information divide is slowly eroding...now, if we could just do something about the digital divide!
Read the full press release here.