The Harvard Law School has voted for an open access policy requirement similar to the one passed earlier this spring by Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. From its May 7 press release:
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.
The vote came after an open access proposal was made by a university-wide committee aimed at encouraging wider dissemination of scholarly work.
As with the earlier policy, there is an opt-out clause. The policy will be reviewed after 3 years.
Coverage of this development in the Chronicle, and reaction from fellow academics and Harvard alumni, is available at: