Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 07, 2009

Harvard, publishers work together

Stuart Shieber, Publishers cooperating with the Harvard OA policy, The Occasional Pamphlet, July 28, 2009.

One of the advantages of the Harvard open-access policies is that the university’s cumulation of rights allows it to negotiate directly with publishers on behalf of covered authors. Such discussions can lead to win-win agreements in which Harvard authors can more simply comply with the open-access policies they have voted and publishers can express solidarity with their academic community partners while avoiding bureaucracy like addenda or waivers on a per-article basis.

We first took advantage of this possibility with an agreement with the American Physical Society. ... APS agreed to acknowledge the policy and not require addenda to their publication agreements (much less waivers of the OA policy). In return, Harvard made clear that for articles covered by the OA policy it would

  1. Refrain from using facsimiles of the publisher’s version of the articles unless the publisher permits;
  2. Not charge for the display or distribution of articles;
  3. Cite to the publisher’s definitive version of the articles and link to them where possible;
  4. Authorize others to use the articles only subject to these same restrictions. ...

We’ve now concluded a large handful of such arrangements and have started listing the publishers and journals that have been supportive in this way in a listing of publishers who are “easiest to publish with”. The listing provides a resource for our faculty to let them know which journals they can publish in without waivers or addenda. Already, we have affirmations from scholarly societies (APS, American Mathematical Society, American Economic Association), non-profit publishers (Public Library of Science, Berkeley Electronic Press), commercial publishers (BioMed Central, Hindawi Publishing), and university presses (Duke, Rockefeller, and University of California Presses). We expect more to be added soon. ...