Princeton has now joined institutions like Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas in approving a policy whereby Princeton is authorized to place a copy of a faculty member's scholarly article in the institution's online repository. As with the other schools, faculty members can opt out of the policy if they obtain a waiver.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education's Sept. 29 article on the policy:
"Both the library and members of the faculty, principally in the sciences, have been thinking for some time that we would like to take a concrete step toward making the publications of our extraordinary faculty freely available to a much larger audience and not restricted to those who can afford to pay journal subscription fees," said Karin Trainer, Princeton's university librarian. She said they had encountered "no resistance at all" to the idea among faculty members.
The new mandate permits professors to post copies of articles online in "not-for-a-fee venues," including personal and university Web sites. The faculty advisory committee that recommended the policy said that it will keep faculty members "from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal."
Career pressure on junior scholars as well as differences in publishing practices among disciplines"mean that some faculty are not in fact going to be in a position to comply with the new policy without asking for a waiver," Ms. Trainer said. "And we know that." She added that even faculty members likely to ask for waivers "understood that it was in the overall university's best interests to have such a policy in place."
From SCOAP3's Sept. 22 press release:
An international team of experts from institutions participating in SCOAP3 has prepared a detailed description of the peer-review and open access services that the consortium intends to purchase through high-quality peer-reviewed journals, the conditions for the provision of these services and the implications on existing licensing agreements
CERN has now issued a Market Survey for the benefit of SCOAP3. It is publicly available at: http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1384149
Publishers of high-quality peer-reviewed journals carrying content in the field of High-Energy Physics are invited to answer to this Market Survey, whose purpose is to identify potential bidders for the provision of peer-review and open access services to SCOAP3. The following phase of the process will be an invitation to tender to qualified providers by the end of 2011, for contracts to be placed during 2012 with services commencing 1 January 2013.
From the September 13 press release by Ithaka:
Ithaka S+R is pleased to announce Research Support Services for Scholars (RSS4S). This series of discipline-specific projects aims to provide critically needed research about the evolving behavior of scholars to the information support service providers who work with them. Through this work, Ithaka S+R will provide a scholar-centric foundation of understanding about scholarly practices intended to facilitate the development of new support services, policies, infrastructures and institutions which will facilitate innovative, effective, and efficient research practices.
We are launching with projects in the disciplines of history and chemistry. We are looking for feedback throughout this research process from scholars in the fields we are studying as well as the information service providers -- librarians, scholarly societies, computing support centers, and publishers-who support those fields.
From JSTOR's September 7 press release:
[T]oday, we are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.
And their rationales from their FAQ:
Our mission involves expanding access to scholarly content as broadly as possible, in ways that are sustainable and consistent with the interests of our publishers who own the rights to the content. We believe that making Early Journal Content freely available is another step in this process of providing access to knowledge to more people; that we are in a position both to continue preserving this content and making it available to the general public; and this is a set of content for which we are able to make this decision.
Copyright term outside the United States is set at the life of the author plus 70 years. We believe that 1870 is a reasonable date to assume that all copyright is expired.
We do not believe that just because something is in the public domain, it can always be provided for free. There are costs associated with selection, digitization, access provision, preservation, and a wide variety of services that are necessary for content to reach those who need it. We have determined that we can sustain free access and meet our preservation obligations for this particular set of content for individuals as part of our overall activities undertaken in pursuit of our mission.