Harvard moves to open access

Initiatives like the Public Library of Science have began to challenge the scientific publishers’ monopoly over the dissemination of research but now that high profile institutions like Harvard are coming on board with their own open access policies it really looks like the end of an era.

Earlier this year, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard voted to make their work available for free and shake off the exclusivity shackles of big name academic journals. The policy allows individual faculty members to opt out but it is nevertheless a major step in the right direction. It’s a shame that while much of the research generated in universities is formally in the public domain, one has to pay to access it unless they happen to be a student or a researcher at an academic institution whose library subscribes to the particular journal that published it.

All universities should follow Harvard’s open access example and make works in the public domain actually available free of charge to the wider public!

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