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I am a Professor of Law and the Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University, Washington College of Law and am a founding member of the Creative Commons board.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big News for Open Access - Harvard and NIH

There are two big developments for Open Access going on right now. In December, Congress directed NIH to make its Public Access Policy mandatory, and NIH has set an effective date of April 7, 2008 for its new mandate.

Yesterday, the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences adopted a historic open access policy by which they agreed to grant Harvard permission to post their scholarly works in the institutional repository and to make their work publicly available through other means.

I'll provide more details on each in separate posts, but we are now living in interesting times as far as the future of scholarly communication goes.

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Blogger Stevan Harnad said...

Optimizing Harvard's OA Mandate

Here are a few small but crucial changes that will immunize the deposit requirement against any opt-outs from the copyright-retention requirement. They will increase the probability that the mandate will succeed and that it will be taken up by other universities (note the re-ordering of the clauses, and the addition of the italicized passages):

Motion on behalf of the Provost’s Committee on Scholarly Publishing:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopts the following policy:

[DEPOSIT MANDATE] To assist the University in providing Open Access to all scholarly articles published by its Faculty members, each Faculty member is required to provide, immediately upon acceptance for publication, an electronic copy of the final version of each article at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Provost’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Provost’s Office. This can be done either by depositing it directly in Harvard's Institutional Repository or by emailing it to the Provost’s Office to be deposited on the author's behalf.

[COPYRIGHT RETENTION POLICY] Each Faculty member is also encouraged to grant to the President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.

[POLICY OPT-OUT CLAUSE] The copyright retention and licence-granting policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Dean or the Dean’s designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member explaining the need.

The Office of the Dean will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty from time to time. The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to the Faculty.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

2:34 PM  

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