Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 11, 2008

Harvard newspaper endorses Free Thesis Project

Theses For All, Harvard Crimson, April 10, 2008.  An editorial.  Excerpt:

Students should jump on the Free Thesis Project....

The creation of a website to save all senior theses—created by Harvard College Free Culture, a student group—should be welcomed as a great addition to the campus and Harvard’s ever-widening and expanding academic community....

The Free Thesis Project provides researchers much easier access to all of Harvard’s senior theses, if students choose to put them on the site. Theses are accessible at any time on the Internet, and all senior theses can be submitted, regardless of grade [in contrast to the previous system]....

This project is a perfect student-led extension of the open access motion recently passed by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which, through the Harvard University Library’s new Office of Scholarly Communication, will offer free access to all professors’ newest scholarly work. We hope that all students will submit their theses to the online depository, though we understand that if a student plans on running for the White House (or plans on being a President’s spouse), senior theses can be a delicate issue.

In all other situations, however, senior theses, like Harvard professors’ work, should be openly available to the public so that knowledge can be spread and research facilitated more easily.