February 22, 2008

Reactions from academe to Harvard's OA mandate

In an article in the February 21, 2008 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lila Guterman explains how various institutions have reacted so far to the mandate from Harvard's Arts and Sciences faculty for open access to their journal articles:

- The University of California, which has been considering a similar policy in the last few years, is encouraged.

- Editorials in student newspapers at Boston College, New York University, and Swarthmore College called on their faculty members to follow Harvard's lead.

- Humanities and social sciences publishers expressed concern:

Sanford G. Thatcher, director of Penn State University Press and president of the Association of American University Presses, calls Harvard's policy "shortsighted" because it might result in the loss of subscription and reprint income to humanities and social-science journals. His own press receives two-thirds of its journal income through royalties from Project Muse, an online collection of journals. "If that were to collapse," he says, "so too would our journals disappear from the face of the earth."

[Michael W. Carroll, a professor at the Villanova University School of Law] finds that prospect unlikely. "I fear that people are unwilling to do anything innovative like Harvard's done," he says, "because of these highly speculative fears."

Besides, Harvard has an interest in maintaining the livelihood of scholarly journals, he argues. If its repository begins to hurt them, the university could take steps to reduce the impact on publishers, such as allowing a delay before posting articles online.

See the full article at: http://ej.lib.umn.edu/?url=http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/02/1738n.htm

Posted by stemp003 at February 22, 2008 4:51 PM
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