Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #119
March 2, 2008
by Peter Suber

Read this issue online


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The open access mandate at Harvard

Harvard's new OA policy is not the first university-level OA mandate, but it's the first in the US, the first to be adopted by faculty rather than administrators, the first adopted policy to focus on permissions rather than deposits, and the first to catch the worldwide attention of the press and blogosphere. 

Here's the heart of it:

Each Faculty member grants to the President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Dean or the Dean's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member explaining the need.

To assist the University in distributing the articles, each Faculty member will provide an electronic copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Provost’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Provost's Office. The Provost's Office may make the article available to the public in an open-access repository.

The Office of the Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time.

Text of the resolution adopted by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, February 12, 2008

Robert Darnton's defense of the policy in the Harvard Crimson the morning of the vote.  Darnton is a Professor of History and the Director of the Harvard University Library.

The Harvard press release the day after the vote.

Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

(Disclosure:  I consulted informally with proponents of the Harvard policy several times over the past few years.)

Here are some notes and reflections:

* The policy applies from February 12, 2008, onward and is not retroactive.

* So far, it applies only to Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), not to the business school, law school, medical school, or other schools within the university.  However, the Harvard library is actively taking the policy to the rest of the institution.  As Robert Darnton told Library Journal Academic Newswire:  "My position is to spread the FAS motion...throughout the whole university. That is going to be one of my top priorities in the weeks and months ahead. I will be discussing this with the law school, medical school and business schools."  Stay tuned. 

* If the Harvard policy is not the first university-level OA mandate, then what was?

Preceding the Harvard mandate are at least 12 other institutional mandates and three departmental mandates in nine countries:  Australia, Belgium, France, India, Portugal, Russia, Swizterland, Turkey, and the UK.

The pioneers on this frontier are Queensland University of Technology in Australia, whose mandate took effect on January 1, 2004, and the University of Minho in Portugal, whose mandate took effect one year later on January 1, 2005.

If a dozen earlier university mandates came first, why was Harvard's was the first to grab the attention of the press and blogosphere?  The answer is pretty clear:  because it's Harvard and because this policy was adopted by the faculty itself. 

* Did I mention that the Harvard policy was adopted by the faculty itself?  Did I say that the vote was unanimous?

The policy has critical support beyond the faculty, for example from Provost Steven Hyman and University Librarian Robert Darnton.  But Professor of Computer Science Stuart Shieber, the policy's chief strategist and advocate, deserves special kudos for choosing to make the policy rest on faculty support and for his patient campaign of information and persuasion, which culminated in the unanimous faculty vote. 

This is strong:  Imagine any faculty voting unanimously for any interesting policy.

The publishing lobby has often argued that the call for OA mandates is a sign that researchers oppose OA and must be coerced.  This argument always flew in the face of the evidence, but the unanimous Harvard vote should be the last nail in the coffin in which we bury the idea.  For the same reason, the Harvard vote decisively confirms Alma Swan's finding that the overwhelming majority of researchers do not resent OA mandates and would *willingly* comply with one from their funder or university.

But even OA supporters can learn something from this vote.  We knew that faculty didn't oppose OA or need to be coerced.  We knew that sluggish faculty support for OA initiatives was due more to lack of familiarity than informed opposition.  While an administrative mandate is an effective shortcut to good outcome, and one with which most researchers would willingly comply, Stuart Shieber and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences have shown that there's another route to the same goal.  It may take longer, but it directly addresses the problems of faculty unfamiliarity and misunderstanding, and brings informed consent with it. 

I've said many times that I only support OA mandates that are conditions on voluntary contracts.  And while I believe that even administrative mandates fit this description, the voluntariness of the Harvard policy is conspicuous and unparalleled. 

(For the fullest version of my argument that mandates should be conditions on voluntary contracts, and that administrative mandates at funding agencies and universities qualify, see my July 2006 article on mandating OA for electronic theses and dissertations.)

* The policy requires two things of FAS faculty:  (1) that they give Harvard non-exclusive permission "to exercise any and all rights under copyright" over their scholarly articles, which includes permission to disseminate OA copies through the institutional repository, and (2) that they send digital copies of their articles to the Provost's Office. 

I call these requirements, but the resolution approved by the faculty avoids words like "requirement", "mandate", and "must".  Instead, it says that "[e]ach Faculty member grants...permission...", "[t]he policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while...", and "each Faculty member will provide...."  These are direct statements of what is and will be the case, much as statutes describe legal obligations with the word "shall".  If there's any give in the policy, and there is, it lies in the fact that the policy allows opt-outs. 

* Faculty may opt out of both requirements.  From the resolution:  "The Dean or the Dean’s designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member explaining the need." 

So far we don't know whether Harvard will allow partial waivers.  For example, could a faculty member agree to give Harvard non-exclusive permission to host a postprint in the IR, but not agree to make the postprint OA until the publisher's embargo runs? 

Will it be easy or hard to get a waiver?  In one sense, it will be very easy.  Stuart Shieber elaborated for Nature News:  "If the author requests a waiver, the dean will provide a waiver."

But the request and explanation must be in writing.  Moreover, faculty members may not ask for one waiver to cover all their articles, but must submit separate requests for separate articles.

This mix of ease and difficulty is clearly deliberate.  On the one hand, FAS faculty wanted the freedom to make exceptions.  Either they could foresee cases in which they would want exceptions for themselves or they foresaw the vote without that freedom built in.  On the other hand, they wanted to give themselves an additional incentive to push back against the publishers who will ask faculty to ask for waivers.

Does the existence of an automatic opt-out, even with a small administrative hurdle, vitiate the policy?  Not at all.  Think of a classroom in which teachers require students to sign out before leaving the room.  The "waiver" is automatic and students use it.  But it's the exception and most students are in their seats most of the time.  The policy sends the signal about what is expected, and the expectation alone, perhaps with a small administrative hurdle, makes the scene very different from one with no policy at all.

Is a policy with an automatic opt-out on request still a mandate?  This is an unfruitful question which devolves quickly into a verbal dispute.  A better question is whether opt-outs will be rare or common.

The opt-out will certainly reduce compliance from 100% to something less.  But if opt-outs are rare and the compliance only drops to 95%, give or take, then the policy will still be a huge success.  Moreover, even if the initial gap is large, it will very likely shrink over time.  For example, if some faculty are inclined to opt out today because they believe that OA archiving will bypass peer review or violate copyright, then they'll drop that objection when they understand the facts.  If they are inclined to opt out because they want to publish in a certain journal, which asks them to opt out, then over time they may be more willing to ask the journal to accommodate Harvard, rather than the other way around, and over time the journal itself may be willing to do so.

In December 2006, the Australian Research Council (ARC) adopted a policy requesting --not requiring-- its grantees to self-archive, but requiring non-complying grantees to justify their non-compliance.  You could call that a mandate or not.  But as I pointed out at the time, it's the functional equivalent of a mandate.  "It creates a strategic consideration that is not a sanction but more consequential than anything to be found in some of the policies that use mandatory language." 

The Harvard policy is stronger than the ARC policy for going beyond the language of mere requests, but weaker for granting exemptions automatically.  And on top of this mix of strengths and weaknesses, the Harvard policy uses a strategy similar to the ARC's for shrinking the exemption loophole and creating the functional equivalent of a mandate.  Nevertheless, I'm the first to admit that English has a limited vocabulary for the shades and hues of regulatory strength.  If we had a better word than "mandate" for this particular shade, I would use it. 

(For more on the regrettable and sometimes misleading connotations of the word "mandate" in this context, see this dialog between Jan Velterop and me a year ago this month.)

Pat Schroeder, President of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), told Science Magazine that Harvard's willingness to grant opt-outs means that the policy is not a mandate.  OK.  But even Pat Schroeder knows that shifting the default and requiring dissenters to opt out can be a game-changer.  Otherwise she wouldn't object to Google's opt-out Library Project or make her organization the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to stop it.

Even at schools with more mandatory mandates, or no opt-outs, successful implementation depends (as I've often argued) on expectations, education, assistance, and incentives, not coercion.  For example, I don't know of any university that exacts a punishment for failure to comply with an OA "mandate".  Universities with mandates achieve their objectives, as Harvard plans to, by communicating a firm expectation, discussing the benefits, offering assistance, and creating incentives, even while they allow exceptions and avoid sanctions.

The Harvard policy shifts the default from non-archiving to archiving, and shifts the burden from OA cooperators to OA dissenters.  That's much more than a mere request or encouragement.  Before the Harvard vote, the default for faculty was non-archiving and the problem was to persuade them to do something they were not already doing (even if it takes very little time and brings a documented boost in citation impact).  The new policy makes archiving the default, mediated by the Provost's Office, and faculty who want to do anything else must bear the burden of explaining their desire to the Dean. 

It's not a heavy burden, but then neither is OA archiving.  As we well know from long experience on the other side of this line, even a light burden can change behavior on a large scale.  This is even more likely when we understand that the new default amplifies faculty research impact, rather than curtailing it, and that the Harvard policy nudges faculty toward their interests rather than away from them.

Daniel Pollock understood the policy well in Outsell Insights:  "The faculty is using researchers' inertia to its advantage...." 

Before anyone puts too cynical an interpretation on this shrewd strategy, remember that it has unanimous faculty support.  Harvard faculty now understand that faculty inertia works against self-archiving and have agreed to shift the default and let inertia work against publisher exclusivity instead.

Was the opt-out provision necessary to pass the resolution?  Apparently yes.  As Shieber told Robin Peek, "There was legitimate concern that there could be particular cases in which the license granted by the motion could work against the interest of a particular faculty member. The provision was certainly important in assuaging some faculty members' worries that they could be held hostage by the policy in cases where it wasn't serving their best interests."

* When Harvard authors refuse to request waivers, how many journals will refuse to publish their work?  Let's tighten the question even further.  Journals will know from the submission cover letter that an author is affiliated with Harvard, but they will not know whether the author is requesting an opt-out from Harvard until after the peer review process is over, the article has been accepted, and the journal asks the author to sign the standard copyright transfer agreement.  How many journals will refuse to publish works by Harvard authors when those works have already been approved by their peer review process? 

The number must be very small today and will shrink steadily over time as journals consider their options and other universities adopt similar policies.  Journals don't want to throw away the sunk costs of completed peer review; they don't want to turn away work they've already decided is good; and they don't want to become known as journals that reject good work because of the author's institutional affiliation. 

But in the short term, journals can demand that their Harvard authors request waivers and many Harvard authors may comply with these requests.  I won't regard that as a failure of the policy.  To me the question is what happens over time, not what happens in the early stages. 

If it's true that few journals will refuse to publish peer-reviewed work by Harvard authors, or that the number will decline over time, or both, then Harvard faculty have much to gain by refusing to request waivers.  This remains the case even if it's also true that a waiver will sometimes be the only way to be published in a certain prestigious journal.  The question is not how many journals want faculty to request waivers, but how many will refuse to publish an approved work in the absence of a waiver. 

Because faculty have their own reasons for refusing to request waivers (the request process is a nuisance and OA will enlarge their audience and impact), and because journals have their own reasons for publishing already-accepted work by Harvard authors, Robert Darnton was right to say that faculty "will have the collective weight of Harvard behind them if they resist a journal's demand for exclusive rights."  Harvard's collective weight will help faculty get published when they refuse to opt out, and (for that reason) it will also help them refuse to opt out.

Most schools don't have Harvard's weight, of course.  But as more universities adopt similar policies, they will increase their collective weight and increase the likelihood that publishers will have to accommodate them.  In that sense, the Harvard policy, and the earlier university-level OA mandates, are standing invitations to other universities to gain strength through common purpose and create a critical mass that will change journal policies for all authors.  Think of the current university mandates as the first wave of a consumer movement in a journal marketplace distorted by monopolists. 

Universities trying to estimate the benefits of an OA mandate should take into account that the benefits will be amplified by synergy with other institutions.  Universities that wanted an OA mandate but didn't want to be at the front of the pack, fearing that publishers could refuse to publish work by their faculty, will now find it safer to act.  Harvard has increased the bargaining weight of authors demanding the rights to self-archive, and every institution that now adopts an OA mandate will increase it even further, for themselves and for those still to follow.  

* Under the policy, Harvard faculty will still own the copyrights to their research articles.  Harvard is not acquiring ownership, just a non-exclusive license.  However, once faculty grant that non-exclusive license to the university, they will not be able to transfer the usual package of exclusive rights to a publisher.  Under the new policy, then, faculty still own their own work "subject to" the Harvard license (as the Harvard press release puts it), and may still transfer their rights to publishers, subject to the same condition. 

This has two important legal consequences, when faculty do not request opt-outs.  First, Harvard will have an express license from the copyright holder to host and disseminate OA copies of these works.  Second, publishers will never acquire the rights which would allow them to forbid OA archiving at Harvard or to claim that it infringes their copyright.

This elegantly solves every copyright-based objection to OA archiving.  The strategy was pioneered among funding agencies by the Wellcome Trust and among universities by the University of California (see the Postscript below).  The idea is for authors to reserve the right to self-archive, even if they transfer everything else to a publisher.  The less elegant and less effective alternative adopted at some funding agencies and universities is to require OA archiving except when publisher policies don't allow it, thereby giving the opt-out to publishers rather than authors.

If publishers dislike the Harvard policy, they must either ask the Harvard author to request a waiver, and hope the author will agree, or refuse to publish the work.  It won't be enough to adopt an in-house policy against OA archiving, as it would have been in the old days when authors gave publishers the full package of exclusive rights.

This may be obvious, but let me elaborate for one more second.  Publishers have two very different legal grounds to deny author preferences for OA:  (1) the rights transferred to them by the author and (2) their own background right to refuse to publish any work for any reason.  The first is based on copyright --the public statute and the private contract transferring rights from author to publisher.  The second is utterly independent of copyright.  When Harvard authors follow the new OA default, rather than request an opt-out, publishers have no copyright-based grounds on which to protest or prohibit the resulting OA.  All they have left is the right to refuse to publish.  There's no doubt that this power counts for much, especially at high-prestige journals.  But there's also no doubt that authors have their own power in this game, from their ability to submit their work to other journals and from the growing number of authors who will demand the right to self-archive.  At some journals, publishers will have the upper hand, but at others authors will have the upper hand.  For Harvard authors who follow the new OA default, it's a power game now, not a rights game.  And the balance of power just tipped toward authors because Harvard decided to throw its weight on that side.  It will tip further toward authors every time another university adopts a similar policy. 

* The dozen pre-Harvard university mandates require faculty to deposit their eprints in the institution's OA repository.  By contrast, Harvard requires faculty to give permission for OA archiving but not to make the deposits itself.  That's why I call it a permission mandate rather than a deposit mandate.

Instead of making the actual deposits, Harvard faculty must send copies of their work to the Provost's Office, which will then deposit them.  This approach raises at least three questions.

First, what will the Provost's Office actually do with the eprints?  The resolution says only that "[t]he Provost's Office *may* make the article available to the public in an open-access repository" (emphasis added).  I wish it had said "will" rather than "may" here.  Will the Provost's Office be selective, depositing some but not others?

Second, how quickly will the Provost's Office make the deposits?  If it works quickly, it could provide OA at or before the moment the article is published.  If it works slowly, it will miss a beautiful opportunity to use the permissions it already has in hand.  If it delays 6-12 months, then it may as well defer to publisher embargoes. 

Third, if the faculty was willing to self-impose the expectation that they should send their eprints to the Provost's Office, why not self-impose the expectation that they should deposit them directly in the IR? 

I don't know.  But I suspect the answer is that the faculty wanted to lower the barrier to compliance, or reduce the burden on faculty, and understood that it's easier to email an eprint than to deposit one in a repository, even if the difference is small.  For example, St. Andrews University takes this difference into account and boosts the deposit rate in its IR by asking faculty email their eprints to a librarian, who then makes the deposits.

Les Carr and Stevan Harnad have shown that repository deposits are less time-consuming than faculty fear, averaging about 10 minutes per paper.

Similarly, Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown have shown that the process is simpler than faculty fear, and that even the few who face difficulties the first time face fewer difficulties the second time.

However, if faculty fear that self-archiving is difficult and time-consuming, even if their fears are groundless, then they aren't likely to vote to mandate self-archiving.  If this is why the Harvard resolution didn't include a direct deposit requirement (and it may not be), then it's possible that further faculty education will reduce the anxiety level and allow a revision that ensures direct deposits in the IR.  But it's also possible that no revision is needed.  It's possible that the slightly reduced burden for authors will actually boost compliance, and it's possible that the Provost's Office will make the deposits at least as quickly and surely as faculty would under a direct deposit mandate. 

Here's how I described the advantages of a permission mandate in SOAN for December 2007:

This model reduces the demands on faculty and increases the certainty about permissions.  As long as the university is willing to pay people...to make the actual deposits, it could be a faster and more frictionless way to move the deposit rate toward 100%.

* The two key variables in implementing the Harvard policy are the rate of opt-outs and the speed of deposits.  If the opt-out rate is low and the deposit speed is high, then it's hard to imagine a better university-level OA policy.  But if the opt-out rate is high, or the speed is low, or both, then the policy won't meet its own objectives and Harvard faculty should consider revisions to fine-tune it. 

Stevan Harnad is already calling for revisions.  In particular, he'd like to see a deposit requirement (without an opt-out) alongside the existing permission requirement (with an opt-out).  The particular deposit policy he'd like to see is what he calls immediate deposit / optional access (ID/OA), or what I call the dual deposit/release strategy:  all articles are deposited immediately upon publication, but only the metadata are made OA at the same time; the texts become OA only when the university acquires permission or publisher embargo runs.  Stevan and I both support the dual deposit/release strategy.  But he argues that it is needed now to strengthen the Harvard policy, and I argue that it is not needed now and may never be needed.  See our two blog posts encapsulating this debate,

My argument in a nutshell is that the policy won't need revision if the rate of opt-outs is low and the speed of deposits is high.  Harvard has adopted the world's first permission mandate and it deserves time to work out implementation procedures that will deliver on its own objectives.  If the implementation doesn't deliver, then I'm confident that Harvard insiders will be at least as concerned as outsiders like me and will already be thinking about fine-tuning.

* Harvard's permission mandate will assure that Harvard has the right to make every faculty eprint OA (except when faculty request opt-outs).   Is this unnecessary in light of the fact that about two-thirds of surveyed TA journals already allow OA archiving?

No; it's still necessary and desirable.  At most green journals, the Harvard author addendum (allowing authors to retain key rights) will be accepted as a matter of course.  But it will clearly be necessary for the ungreen third of TA journals.  It will even be necessary for some of the green two-thirds, as insurance against later changes to the journal's access policy.  It will also be necessary for greenish journals that aren't green enough, for example, because they prohibit deposit in certain repositories, impose fees or embargoes on self-archiving, or limit re-use rights. 

If you had to drive across a friendly border every day to get to work, and knew that two-thirds of the time you would be waved through, it would still make good sense to carry your passport.  Likewise, Harvard's permission mandate makes good sense precisely because Harvard wants OA for all of its research output, not just for the fraction for which publishers are already granting permission.

* Harvard is creating a new Office for Scholarly Communication to work out the all-important implementation procedures.  Darnton's article says the new OSC will be located in the library, and the resolution says the Dean's Office will interpret the policy and resolve disputes.  The new OSC and the Dean's Office still have plenty to do (apart from launching the OSC itself):

--They must launch the Harvard repository, which doesn't yet exist. 

--They must finish drafting the license that faculty will grant to the university, and the author addendum that faculty will use to retain the right to grant the university a license.  These may be ready to go, but until they are released, neither Harvard faculty nor their publishers (nor other universities studying Harvard's example) will know exactly which rights Harvard faculty will retain and which non-exclusive rights they will grant to the institution.

--They should clarify which versions of faculty articles are covered by the policy.  The resolution says the policy applies to "the final version of the article".   Does that mean the published file, including the pagination and look-and-feel?  Does it mean the published language without the look-and-feel?  Does it mean the language approved by peer review but not necessarily copy edited?  Could it mean more than one of these things so that faculty would have to submit more than one version of the same article? 

--They should clarify the timing of faculty submissions to the Provost's Office.  For example, if the policy applies to the language approved by a journal's peer review process, then how soon after that approval must the author submit it to the Provost's Office? 

* I've already seen a rash of misunderstandings in the press and blogosphere about the Harvard policy.  Here are the seven most common:

--"This is the first OA mandate at a university."  Nope.

--"Harvard faculty may only submit articles to green journals (those that permit OA archiving)."  Harvard faculty may submit to any journal.  When they submit to a journal that does not ordinarily permit OA archiving, then either the author will ask it to do so in this case (through an author addendum) or the publisher will ask the author to request a waiver from Harvard.  No journals will be off-limits to Harvard authors unless the journals themselves refuse to publish work by Harvard authors.  This misunderstanding is closely related to the next:

--"The Harvard policy conflicts with policies at journals that do not allow OA archiving."  First, either Harvard authors will request opt-outs or they won't.  If they do, there's no conflict.  If they don't, then either a journal will accept a particular paper (with the author's request to retain key rights) or it won't.  If it does, then there's no conflict.  If it doesn't, then the author will look for another publisher.  Either the author and journal end up agreeing on terms, or the Harvard author is in the same position as a non-Harvard author with a rejected manuscript.

--"Harvard will own faculty writings."  Faculty will continue to own the rights to their own work, until or unless they transfer those rights to a publisher.  Harvard is a getting non-exclusive license, not ownership.

--"Harvard faculty will have to pay a fee to comply with this policy (either to publishers or to Harvard)."  This is deeply confused.  First, it falsely assumes that the Harvard policy is about publication in OA journals (gold OA), when it's really about distribution through an OA repository (green OA).  Second, it falsely assumes that all or most OA journals charge publication fees, when only a minority do so. 

--"The purpose of the policy is to bypass peer review."  Half the sources making this mistake then express horror and half say "good riddance".  But both the horror and joy are misplaced.  We may not know all the versions to which the policy applies, but it clearly applies to the "final version of the article" and therefore to some version of the peer-reviewed postprint.  Hence, the purpose of the policy is not to bypass peer review, but to provide OA to peer-reviewed articles.

--"The policy will undermine peer review."  If this one is based on a sloppy reading of the policy, concluding that its purpose is to bypass peer review, then it collapses into the previous misunderstanding.  But otherwise it's based on a hasty prediction of doom for subscription-based journals, heedless of the counter-evidence, and a careless conflation of peer review with peer review at subscription-based journals.  For a full answer to the objection that OA will undermine peer review, see my article in SOAN for September 2007.

* Harvard's example will spread.  Some universities will feel a competitive urge:  "This policy will help Harvard and we have to keep up."  Some will feel a cooperative urge:  "The more universities adopt OA mandates, the more we will accelerate research and guarantee that publishers will adapt."  Some will feel both. 

It's hard to imagine universities feeling neither unless they aren't paying attention.  But don't wait for your university to pay attention, don't wait for the policy to spread on its own, and don't wait for others to do the pushing.  Ask your university to adopt an OA mandate --which could be a Harvard-style permission mandate or the more widespread type of deposit mandate.  If your university already has a committee studying the issues or drafting a policy, support it and ask your colleagues to do the same.  Help educate your peers about the need and the benefits.

Already, student newspapers at Boston College, Swarthmore College, and New York University have run Harvard-inspired editorials calling for OA mandates at their own institutions.

* Here's some news coverage and comment on the Harvard policy.  Although this list is unusually long, it's still selective. 

Robert Darnton, The Case for Open Access, Harvard Crimson, February 12, 2008. 

Patricia Cohen, At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web, New York Times, February 12, 2008.

Will Harvard Become First American University To Mandate Open Access?  Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 12, 2008.

Stevan Harnad, Optimizing Harvard's Proposed Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate, February 12, 2008.

William Patry, Scholarly Journals and Open Access, Patry Copyright Blog, February 12, 2008.

Stan Katz, Harvard Scholarship on the Web, Chronicle Review, February 12, 2008.

Punya Mishra, Breaking free of academic publishers, Punya Mishra's web, February 12, 2008.

Kimberly Maul, Harvard Faculty Debates Publishing Online, Book Standard, February 12, 2008.

David Weinberger, Harvard to vote on open access proposal, Joho the Blog, February 12, 2008.

Stevan Harnad, Harvard Adopts 38th Green Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, February 13, 2008.

T. Scott Plutchak, The Harvard Vote, T. Scott, February 13, 2008.

Dorothea Salo, Making Waves, Caveat Lector, February 13, 2008.

Devan Desai, Open Crimson: Harvard's Arts and Sciences Goes Open Access, Concurring Opinions, February 13, 2008.

Brian Kladko, Harvard Liberal Arts Faculty Votes to Distribute Research Free, Bloomberg, February 13, 2008.

Chris Armbruster, Harvard Open Access and the significant move of Copyright Retention, BOAI Forum, February 13, 2008.

Andy Guess, Harvard Opts In to 'Opt Out' Plan, Inside Higher Ed, February 13, 2008.

Gavin Baker, Harvard faculty say yes to OA, Journal of Insignificant Inquiry, February 13, 2008.

Robert Mitchell, Harvard to collect, disseminate scholarly articles for faculty, Harvard University Gazette, February 13, 2008.

Megan Woolhouse, Harvard faculty votes to post research online, Boston Globe, February 13, 2008.

Michelle J. Nealy, Harvard Arts & Sciences Faculty Approve Open Access To Research, Diverse Education, February 13, 2008.

Robert VerBruggen, Harvard Mandates Open Access to Academic Work, National Review Online, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Big News for Open Access - Harvard and NIH, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Open Access - Harvard Makes History, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Open Access - Preliminary comments on the Harvard Initiative, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Open Access - Harvard - Impact on Librarians, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Open Access - Harvard - Author Education, Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Mike Carroll, Open Access - Who's Next?  Carrollogos, February 13, 2008.

Doug Caverly, Harvard Decides To Free Its Research, WebProNews, February 13, 2008.

Alexandre Enkerli, The H-Bomb in Open Access to Scholarship, Disparate, February 13, 2008.

Andrea Gawrylewski, Harvard first to force open access, The Scientist, February 13, 2008.

Jonathan Gitlin, Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences goes Open Access, Ars Technica, February 13, 2008.

Andrew Albanese & Norman Oder, Harvard Faculty Unanimously Agree To Establish Open Access Repository, Library Journal, February 13, 2008.

Melanine Dulong de Rosnay, Harvard goes Open Access, Copyright for Librarians, February 13, 2008.

Matthew Cockerill, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences votes to adopt mandatory open access policy, BioMed Central blog, February 13, 2008.

Michelle J. Nealy, Harvard Arts & Sciences Faculty Approve Open Access To Research, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, February 13, 2008.

Kristen Nicole, Harvard Pushes Policy for Free, Online Access to Research, Mashable, February 13, 2008. 

Andis Kaulins, A Revolution Begins in Academic Publishing as the Harvard Arts & Sciences Faculty Mandates Open Opt-Out Access to Faculty Publications, LawPundit, February 13, 2008.

Jonathan Eisen, Harvard's Moving To Open Access - Let's Use this to Push for OA at other places, Tree of Life, February 13, 2008.

Jon Garfunkel, Cite Unseen: Odlyzko's scholastic vision still unfulfilled, Civilities, February 13, 2008.

Martyn Daniels, Open Access opt out at Harvard, Brave New World, February 13, 2008.

Hilary Spencer, Harvard faculty votes on Internet-based open "publishing", Publishing in the New Millennium, February 13, 2008.

Stan Katz, What Is a 'Scholarly Article'? Tell Us More, Harvard, Chronicle Review, February 14, 2008.

Noah Gray, Harvard open-access policy – can you please be more specific? Action Potential, February 14, 2008.

Open access good for specialty journals, an unsigned editorial in BCHeights, the independent student newspaper of Boston College, February 14, 2008.

Ambitious NYU must look to Harvard, MIT, Washington Square News, February 14, 2008.

Stevan Harnad, Weaken the Harvard OA Mandate To Strengthen It, Open Access Archivangelism, February 14, 2008.

Kevin Smith, Suddenly, Open Access is all the rage, Scholarly Communications @ Duke, February 14, 2008.

Harvard open-access policy – can you please be more specific?  Action Potential, February 14, 2008.

A Shot Heard 'Round the Academic World: Harvard FAS Mandates Open Access, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 14, 2008.

After Harvard, the Open Access Deluge?  Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 14, 2008.

Shieber: Librarians Very Involved with Harvard OA Motion, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 14, 2008.

Adrian Ho, Open Access Mandate at Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Transforming Scholarly Communication, February 14, 2008.

Sophie Rovner, Measure will establish a repository of journal articles by Harvard's faculty, Chemical & Engineering News, February 14, 2008.

Klaus Graf, OA-Leuchtturm Harvard, Archivalia, February 14, 2008.

Gary King, Open Access to All of Harvard's Articles, Social Science Statistics Blog, February 15, 2008.

Dorothea Salo, Pyrrhic victories, Caveat Lector, February 14, 2008.

Harvard Faculty Approves Open Access Policy, American Library Association, February 15, 2008.

Paul Revere, Unfettered access to scientific work via open access publication, Effect Measure, February 15, 2008.

Heidi Ledford, Harvard adopts open-access policy, Nature News, February 15, 2008.

Jenny Delasalle, Harvard mandating open access, WRAP blog, February 15, 2008.

Ellen Duranceau, Harvard Research to be Openly Available, MIT Libraries News, February 15, 2008.

Samantha Broussard-Wilson, Harvard to publish faculty work online, Yale Daily News, February 15, 2008.

Kloncke, "Rubbing his head against the college wall," Cambridge Common, February 15, 2008.

Harvard mandating open access, WRAP Repository Blog, February 15, 2008.

Donna Wentworth, As Harvard goes..., Science Commons blog, February 16, 2008.

Peter Murray-Rust, Harvard and OA, CML Blog, February 16, 2008.

Paul Courant, The Michigan of the East goes Open Access, Au Courant, February 16, 2008.

The Implied Analogy of Open Access, History Hacks, February 17, 2008.

David Rothman, Blog-style annotation and in-depth criticism: New niche for academic journals, in wake of Harvard open-access move? Teleread, February 17, 2008.

Sherman Dorn, On eprints at Harvard and Full Monty open-access, Sherman Dorn, February 17, 2008.

It is Time for Open Access, The Swarthmore Daily Gazette, February 18, 2008.  An editorial.

Elizabeth Pisani, Open access publishing: Harvard ups the ante, The Wisdom of Whores, February 18, 2008.

IvorytowerTube, Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2008.  An editorial.
--Thanks to UCLA Librarian for correcting the false assumption in this editorial.

Open access to brilliant insights, Boston Globe, February 19, 2008.  An editorial.

Aftershocks: Blogosphere Reacts to Harvard OA Mandate, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 19, 2008.

Amar Ashar, Harvard University Unanimously Votes 'Yes' for Open Access, Berkman Center, February 19, 2008.

Daniel Pollock, Body Blow from Boston Bruiser - Harvard Mandates Open Access, Outsell Insights, February 19, 2008. 

Gene Koo, Harvard's open publishing policy and the outlook for law schools, Law School Innovation, February 19, 2008.

Gabriel Michael, For rock stars and professors, perform or perish, Yale Daily News, February 20, 2008.

Alex Reid, Open access publishing, harvard and beyond, Digital Digs, February 20, 2008.

Keri Logan, Harvard votes for open access, Eckerd College Library News, February 20, 2008.

Stevan Harnad, Upgrade Harvard's Opt-Out Copyright Retention Mandate: Add a No-Opt-Out Deposit Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, February 20, 2008.

Uncharacteristically Brief Remarks, Easily Distracted, February 20, 2008. 

Lila Guterman, Celebrations and Tough Questions Follow Harvard's Move to Open Access, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 21, 2008.

Ivor Tossell, A new school of thought, Globe and Mail, February 21, 2008.

Andrew Lawler, Harvard Faculty Votes to Make Open Access Its Default, Science, February 22, 2008.

John Mark Ockerbloom, We call dibs! (or, the genius of the Harvard mandate), Everybody's Libraries, February 22, 2008.

Peter Brantley, Open Access, Harvard, Google Books, and a New Long View, Peter Brantley's thoughts and speculations, February 22, 2008.

Cornelius Puschmann, The Harvard Open Access Policy - could it kill peer-reviewed journals?  CorpBlawg, February 23, 2008.

Kristine, Harvard Votes for the Open Access Policy, Amused Muse, February 23, 2008.

Jim Till, Much ado about the Harvard OA policy, Be openly accessible or be obscure, February 26, 2008.

Newsmaker Interview, Part I: Harvard University Librarian Robert Darnton, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 26, 2008.
--Part II, Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 28, 2008.

Liza Sabater, Harvard Joins the Open Access Movement, Awearness Blog, February 26, 2008.

Colin Steele, Open access as an article of faith, The Australian, February 27, 2008.  (The captious title was an editor's idea, not Colin's.)

Robin Peek, Harvard Faculty Mandates OA, a preprint of her Focus on Publishing column for the April 2008 issue of Information Today, February 27, 2008.

Raising an academic 'Ruckus', Duke University Chronicle, February 27, 2008.  An editorial.

Harvard "joins" PRBB, PRBB News, February 28, 2008.

At Open Access News, Gavin Baker and I put together five collections of comments on the Harvard policy:

February 13, 2008
February 14, 2008
February 15, 2008
February 17, 2008
February 22, 2008

* Postscript.  While Harvard is the first university to adopt a permission mandate, the University of California was the first to draft one.

California approved its first draft policy in December 2005 and distributed it in January 2006.  It approved a revised draft in January 2007 and sent it to the 10 UC campuses for review in May 2007. 

The California draft policy says that faculty "shall routinely grant" to the university a non-exclusive license to provide OA to their works through the institutional repository.  When faculty sign copyright transfer agreements with publishers, they "must retain" the right to comply with the university policy.  The draft policy also allows faculty to opt out, one work at at time.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education for February 21, 2008, "Comments on [the California] draft last year reflected 'almost universal support for the concept,' says Gary S. Lawrence, director of systemwide library planning, 'but a great deal of concern about the implementation details.' Harvard's success in creating an arrangement that faculty members agreed on, he says, 'provides us a lot of encouragement.'"

University of California OA policy home page (updated as new steps are taken)

The latest draft of the policy, January 29, 2007

Policy FAQ, February 2007

Faculty Senate review of the draft policy, July 9, 2007

Administrative and other non-Senate reviews of draft policy, July 26, 2007

A study showing little faculty familiarity with OA or with the California draft policy:  Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University of California, August 2007



Here's what happened, or what I noticed, since the last issue of the newsletter, emphasizing action and policy over scholarship and opinion.  I put the most important items first, with double asterisks, and otherwise cluster them loosely by topic.  Most of the time I link to blog posts at Open Access News (where I am now assisted by Gavin Baker), not to the sources themselves, because I only want to use one link per item and the blog posts usually bring many relevant links together.

** The Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously adopted an OA mandate for their research articles.  (Details in the lead story above.)

** The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet) adopted an OA policy urging faculty to publish in OA journals or deposit their work in an OA repository.

** The University of Oregon Faculty Senate adopted a resolution encouraging faculty to use an author addendum to retain the right to self-archive.

** Ireland's Health Research Board issued a Position Statement in Support of Open and Unrestricted Access to Published Research.

** Australia's Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project launched OAKlist, a new database on publisher OA policies, and released a major report, Review and Analysis of Academic Publishing Agreements and Open Access Policies.  SHERPA and OAKlist will exchange data to remain in synch. 

* The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) created an implementation guide to the NIH public access policy for research universities.

* SPARC, Science Commons, and ARL published a white paper by Michael Carroll to help universities help authors comply with the NIH policy.

* SPARC created a page of information to help universities and libraries help researchers comply with the NIH public access policy.

* Eight library associations publicly released their letters to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Health & Human Services, Rep. David Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The letters urge the policy-makers not to delay the implementation of the NIH public access policy by acceding to publisher demands for a rule-making.

* Mike Rossner, Executive Director of the Rockefeller University Press, publicly released the letter he sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, supporting the NIH public access policy and opposing attempts by publishers to delay or derail it.

* Senator Arlen Specter sent a letter to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni expressing concern that the NIH has not consulted enough with publishers about its public access policy.

* The Wellcome Trust gave a progress report on its OA mandate.  Of the articles based on WT-funded research published in May 2007, eight months after the OA mandate took effect, 90% were in journals that comply with the WT's OA policy but only 27% were actually OA.

* Senator Kim Carr, Australia's Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, created a working group to study the question of OA for publicly-funded research.

* CARL and SPARC launched a Canadian version of Create Change, the researcher-oriented introduction to scholarly communication and OA.

* The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) issued a press release on its OA mandate, which took effect on January 1, 2008.

* Library and Archives Canada released the public comments on its Canadian Digital Information Strategy, which had called for OA to publicly-funded research in Canada.

* The draft Guidelines for Research as a Charitable Activity from the Canada Revenue Agency say that charitable research for educational purposes must be disseminated "to anyone who might want access to it".

* The government of Queensland adopted CC licenses for certain kinds of public sector information, and the government of Australia appears to be leaning in the same direction.

* The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) endorsed OA models for exchanging software and knowledge.

* An editorial in BMJ called for OA to publicly-funded research data in Europe.

* The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development announced the OASIS project (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), a continuously updated digital guidebook aiming "to provide 'all you need to know' about OA, its concept, principles, benefits, approaches and means to achieving it."  OASIS will be edited by Leslie Chan and Alma Swan, and funded by the Open Society Institute.

* For the first time, the American Anthropological Association is consulting its members about OA.  The February issue of Anthropology News is devoted to OA and the association has invited its members to comment on the AAA blog.

* Museum Anthropology Review is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the Indiana University Libraries.

* The South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal is a new peer-reviewed OA journal of social science research on South Asia.

* Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development is a new, peer-reviewed OA journal edited by students at Columbia University.

* The Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education is a new peer-reviewed OA journal published by the University of Bergen Library.  The first issue will come out in November 2008.

* Search: Journal for New Music and Culture is a new peer-reviewed OA journal.

* Marquette Books launched the Journal of Communication Studies, the first of seven planned peer-reviewed OA journals.

* BMC Medical Genomics is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.

* BMC Research Notes is a new, peer-reviewed OA journal from BioMed Central.

* Scholarly Research Exchange is a new OA journal from Hindawi with a new, transparent, interactive model of peer review.

* After 27 years as a TA journal, Informal Logic: Reasoning and Argumentation in Theory and Practice is converting to OA, starting with the March 2008 issue.

* The Slovak Republic became the 11th country to join CERN's SCOAP3 project.

* The Physical Sciences Section of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences joined CERN's SCOAP3 project.

* Romania's Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering joined CERN's SCOAP3 project.

* The 10 campuses of the University of California became the first US institutions to join CERN's SCOAP3 project.

* The Caltech Library is joining CERN's SCOAP3 project, making it the second institution in the US to do so, after the University of California.

* The libraries of four of the national laboratories of the US Department of Energy have joined the CERN SCOAP3 project:  Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. At the same time, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) expressed an interest in joining the project.

* Chemical Abstracts is indexing the OA journals in chemistry from Bentham Open.

* Heather Morrison reports that the rate at which the DOAJ is adding new OA journals is still accelerating.

* The Max Planck Society and Springer struck a deal giving Max Planck researchers access to Springer content as readers, and pre-paid publication fees as authors when they publish in Springer's Open Choice journals.

* The Journal of Visualized Experiments has agreed to provide videos for the Wiley-Blackwell journal, Current Protocols.  But although the journal is TA, the videos will be OA.

* Elsevier allows electronic interlibrary loan of its journal articles, but only if the library makes a printout, scans it, and loans the scan.

* Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL) launched a portal for 97 institutional repositories from 16 developing countries.

* Johns Hopkins University launched an institutional repository, JScholarship.

* Three Dutch universities announced plans to create a consortial data repository.

* Donat Agosti announced the launch of Plazi.org, an OA repository for biological species descriptions.

* Gudrun Gersmann is building Perspectivia.net an OA platform for the research of the six German historical institutes outside Germany, such as the Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris where Gersmann is a professor.  The site should launch in October 2008.

* The US National Science Digital Library is moving beyond its past role as a research platform to new uses as an education platform.

* The American Botanical Council has acquired the OA database, HerbMed, from the Alternative Medicine Foundation.  HerbMed provides access to scientific research on the medicinal use of herbs.

* The national libraries of eight Balkan countries and former Soviet states joined The European Library.

* The European Digital Library released a demo of Europeana.

* The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) is funding 22 new databases of research data.  Its goal is to make the data OA whenever that is consistent with the law and the privacy of individuals.

* The organizing committee for next year's World Climate Conference called for OA to climate data.

* The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed its new XML-based method of disseminating EPA research data.

* Luis Martinez Uribe has launched a blog on how the Oxford repository can support research data.

* Germany's 30-volume Brockhaus Encyclopedia will drop its price barrier and be free online starting in mid-April.

* A set of Columbia University Press monographs became OA through the Columbia University library and the ACLS Humanities E-Book collection.  All the titles are part of the Gutenberg-e project, co-sponsored by Columbia and the American Historical Association.

* Jim Jordan, the President and Director of Columbia University Press, wrote an open letter to clarify the business model for the Gutenberg-e project books, which continue to have priced editions alongside the new OA editions.

* HarperCollins is offering free online access to selected full-text books in order to test the hypothesis that OA editions increase the net sales of priced, print editions. 

* Hamburg University Press announced three new OA books.  (In July 2007, the press began publishing all new titles in OA editions with a POD option.)

* Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN), which will publish OA monographs in the humanities, advanced to the next level of negotiations for funding from the European Commission.

* As a proof of concept, Exact Editions produced a mini-library of the OA books of Lawrence Lessig, allowing users to search them all at once, link directly to any individual page, and access them from any web-enabled device like a high-end mobile phone.

* Wikitravel Press released its first print titles, travel guides for Chicago and Singapore.  The same books exist in OA wiki form at the press web site.

* The Nebraska Library Commission started cataloging CC-licensed books and posting them to the library's web server.

* The University of Delaware's institutional repository began hosting OA books by UD faculty.

* Johns Hopkins University joined the Open Content Alliance.

* The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) joined the Open Content Alliance.  The members of TRLN are Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

* The Indonesian government announced a plan to buy the copyrights on 250 expensive textbooks and produce inexpensive editions.  OA activist Stian Håklev called on it to produce OA editions.

* Bayanihan Books is a new project to develop wiki-based OA textbooks with CC licenses for the Philippines.

* The University of Michigan reached the milestone of posting 1 million books online for free online access.

* United Nations University launched an OpenCourseWare Portal.

* The University of Auckland is offering a Creative Commons option for all new theses and dissertations deposited in its institutional repository.

* The Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) and the Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid (Belgian Science Policy) signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.

* Creative Commons and Public.Resource.Org launched Legal Commons with 1.8 million pages of OA case law from US federal courts.

* PreCYdent is a new OA database and search engine for primary sources in law, now available in alpha.

* Fastcase has launched the beta version of the Public Library of Law.

* The number of law review articles citing legal blogs has grown rapidly over the past four years.

* SPARC launched a new mailing list for discussing author rights. The list is moderated by Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer for Duke University Libraries.

* Commons-research is a new discussion list for researchers studying the commons.

* The Open Knowledge Foundation announced a new Advisory Council to maintain and develop the Open Knowledge Definition and the Open Service Definition.

* The Open Knowledge Foundation released version 0.5 of its Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), an open-source registry of open knowledge packages.

The Open Knowledge Definition has been translated into Danish.

* The Open Knowledge Definition has been translated into Polish.

* The OpenWetWare steering committee is looking at different options for an open publishing system.

* Kerim Friedman released a new poster encouraging anthropologists to self-archive.

* The same group that launched e-Math for Africa in 2006 is now working on e-Physics for Africa and e-Chemistry for Africa.

* MasterKey is a new search engine specializing in federated searching.  The free version of currently searches a handful of OA sources, including OAIster, the Open Content Alliance, Open Directory, Project Gutenberg, Wikipedia, and several large library catalogs.

* Mike van Eerden launched Search Pigeon, a collection of Google Co-op search engines covering English-language OA journals in the humanities.

* DSpace released version 1.5 Beta 1.

* Beijing-based Presenter, Inc. launched Mobil Med Journal Abstracts, a new service to provide OA abstracts to cell phones.

* Anne O'Tate is a new web-based tool that re-processes PubMed searches and offers users more information on articles and authors.

* Sam Pitroda the Chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission, which has repeatedly recommended an OA mandate for publicly-funded research in India, has been asked to advise the Mexican government on how to make Mexico the knowledge capital of Latin America.

* The US Army revoked OA to the unclassified Reimer Digital Library (of Army doctrinal publications).  The Federation of American Scientists filed a request for a copy of the library through the Freedom of Information Act and plans to make it OA through the FAS web site.

* The US Army agreed to restore OA to the Reimer Digital Library, 15 days after closing it.

* Three Creative Commons licenses (Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, and Public Domain dedication) now display a badge indicating the license is "Approved for Free Cultural Works". These are the CC licenses consistent with the Definition of Free Cultural Works.

* Open Culture put together a list of Free Online Courses from Great Universities, organized by field.

* The folks at iBerry are compiling an annotated Open Courseware Finder.

* EBSCO and Hasselt University in Belgium launched an Open Science Directory for developing countries.

* The OA Encyclopedia of Life announced its launch back in May 2007, but released its first OA content in February 2008.

* University Scholarly Knowledge Inventory System (U-SKIS) is an open source software which "tracks .pdf files, records communication, and provides publisher's archiving policies to determine what may be added to institutional repositories."

* The Netsqured Mashup Project Challenge will award cash prizes for ideas for data mashups for social change. They've got $100,000, to be divided among 20 projects.

* SHERPA has upgraded its JULIET directory of funder OA policies.  JULIET now tracks funder policies on three fronts:  OA publishing, OA text archiving, and OA data archiving, and for each one distinguishes different levels of strength or support for OA.

* The American Library Association received a MacArthur grant to strengthen the case for public access to information in the debates on digital copyright.

* Senator Joe Lieberman renewed his call for OA to CRS Reports.

* A SURFfoundation survey of 47 TA publishers found that more than half supported the principles embodied in the JISF-SURF license to publish, which allows authors to retain the right to self-archive in an OA repository.

* New Jersey launched NJVid, a statewide repository for OA academic videos.

* The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that 10 more universities are now offering OA videos through YouTube or The University Tube.

* The Budapest Open Access Initiative turned six.


Coming this month

Here are some important OA-related events coming up in March.

* March 3, 2008.  The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange protocol will officially launch.

* March 7, 2008.  SCOAP3 day at PhysMath Central, which will waive publication fees for all articles submitted to or accepted by PMC Physics A on that day.

* March 31, 2008.  JISC and AHRC funding will cease for AHDS. 

* Notable conferences this month

OAI-ORE Specification Roll-Out
Baltimore, March 3, 2008

Implementing Open Data: The Open Data Commons project (a public lecture by Jordan Hatcher)
Oxford, March 7, 2008

Institutional Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy: Ensuring Deposit Rights (sponsored by ARL)
March 7, 2008 (a webcast)

National Workshop of Building Digital Libraries Using GSDL and DSpace
Jaipur, India, March 14-15, 2008

Open Knowledge Conference 2008 (OKCon 2008) (sponsored by the Open Knowledge Foundation)
London, March 15, 2008

SciBarCamp 2008 (OA is among the topics)
Toronto, March 15-16, 2008

As Worlds Collide (ASIDIC Spring 2008 Meeting) (OA is among the topics)
Las Vegas, March 16-18, 2008

2008 E-Journal Summit (OA is among the topics)
Washington, DC, March 18, 2008

Why are we still just publishing text? (sponsored by ALPSP)
London, March 19, 2008

Hosted Repository Software: A seminar for repository managers
Guildford, March 27, 2008

* Other OA-related conferences



* I've added 16 new conferences to my conference page since the last issue.  In the next few days I'll delete the second asterisk marking them and the new entries will blend into the rest of the collection.


This is the SPARC Open Access Newsletter (ISSN 1546-7821), written by Peter Suber and published by SPARC.  The views I express in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of SPARC or other sponsors.

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