Harvard: we have a problem

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-08-20


“This is astonishing. Harvard is one of the best and one of the wealthiest universities in the world. But last week its Faculty Advisory Council* announced that it can no longer afford to maintain its subscriptions to academic journals. The announcement was made online by the Council as a message to the academic staff at the university. I have taken the liberty of quoting it in full below. The message is notable since it bears out many of the factors — in terms of costs — that have been highlighted by the Elsevier boycott (though no particular publisher is mentioned in the communiqué). Perhaps this announcement is simply part of a negotiating strategy (one would expect Harvard librarians to be a clever bunch). But, be that as it may, what is particularly striking is the advice offered to staff regarding what they can do to help the situation, which chimes with what I and many others have been arguing as pathways to bolstering open access publishing (and was writing about only yesterday). ‘Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access... If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning.’ This sends an important message (one is tempted to the hyperbole that it may even be a ‘shot heard round the world’). If one of the most prestigious and richest institutions in the world cannot afford its journal subscriptions, then there is a serious problem in academic publishing. Well done to Harvard’s Faculty Advisory Council for coming up with concrete proposals for what academics should be doing to improve matters..." [Use the link above to access the full text of the memorandum.]




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


oa.new oa.gold oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.universities oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.libraries oa.librarians oa.prices oa.harvard.u oa.budgets oa.colleges oa.hei oa.journals



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 18:08

Date published:

04/24/2012, 13:35