“Snowball (verb)” UF “Snowball’s Chance in Hell”

Another faculty steps up for open access. This time it’s Stanford’s School of Education that has voted to deposit their scholarship in open access format.

The resolution has an opt-out provision, which it seems to me quite necessary for buy-in and for realism. But the school commits to making their faculty member’s research available through a university repository.

This kind of resolution, it seems to me, would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Now the effort’s paying off; it’s really snowballing.

photo courtesy of hyperboreal

Open Access at Harvard – Seriously

Sorry to tread on Steven’s heels with another post so quickly – but this is a story worth reading.

Publish or perish has long been the burden of every aspiring university professor. But the question the Harvard faculty will decide on Tuesday is whether to publish — on the Web, at least — free.

Faculty members are scheduled to vote on a measure that would permit Harvard to distribute their scholarship online, instead of signing exclusive agreements with scholarly journals that often have tiny readerships and high subscription costs.

Although the outcome of Tuesday’s vote would apply only to Harvard’s arts and sciences faculty, the impact, given the university’s prestige, could be significant for the open-access movement, which seeks to make scientific and scholarly research available to as many people as possible at no cost.

“In place of a closed, privileged and costly system, it will help open up the world of learning to everyone who wants to learn,” said Robert Darnton, director of the university library. “It will be a first step toward freeing scholarship from the stranglehold of commercial publishers by making it freely available on our own university repository.”

If adopted, the system will be opt out, not opt in – and as experience from both the NIH and library repositories goes, opt in hasn’t created a groundswell among researchers. This is a bold move.

UPDATE: The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has approved the plan. Wow.