Monday, May 12, 2008

Harvard Law Faculty join their colleagues voting for "open access" to scholarly articles

As their Arts & Sciences colleagues did in February 2008 the faculty of Harvard Law School voted unanimously to mandate that their peer reviewed articles be deposited in a digital institutional repository and be open access.

From the May 7, 2008 announcement:

In a move that will disseminate faculty research and scholarship as broadly
as possible, the Harvard Law School faculty unanimously voted last week to make
each faculty member’s scholarly articles available online for free, making HLS
the first law school to commit to a mandatory open access policy.

"The Harvard Law School faculty produces some of the most exciting,
groundbreaking scholarship in the world," said Dean Elena Kagan '86. "Our
decision to embrace 'open access' means that people everywhere can benefit from
the ideas generated here at the Law School."

Under the new policy, HLS will make articles authored by faculty members
available in an online repository, whose contents would be searchable and
available to other services such as Google Scholar. Authors can also legally
distribute the articles on their own websites, and educators here and elsewhere
can freely provide the articles to students, so long as the materials are not
used for profit. "

This exciting development is something in which the whole Harvard Law
School community can take great pride," said John Palfrey '01, executive
director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and newly appointed
vice dean of library and information resources. "The acceptance of open access
ensures that our faculty's world-class scholarship is accessible today and into
the future. I look forward to the work of implementing this commitment."The vote
came after an open access proposal was made by a university-wide committee aimed
at encouraging wider dissemination of scholarly work. Earlier this semester, the
Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to adopt a policy similar to the Law School’s
new initiative.

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