At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 10:02

One From The NY Times: Publish or perish has long been the burden of every aspiring university professor. But the question the Harvard faculty will decide today 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. “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.”

Under the proposal Harvard would deposit finished papers in an open-access repository run by the library that would instantly make them available on the Internet.