Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Harvard University promotes open access academic publications

This has been an evolving issue this past year, but the conflict between journal publishers and University researchers continues.  The Guardian reports that Harvard University has asked its professors to cease publishing in subscription based academic journals.  They have further asked for faculty to resign from posts serving such journals.  In its stead, they ask faculty to publish in open academia journals.

The driving force is the increasing cost of library subscriptions for such journals.  While this has been a substantive problem for public Universities, Harvard is one of the richest private schools.  Their complaint has to be seen as a broadside in favor of academic freedom.

As a published researcher, I am sensitive to the problems cited by Harvard.  Given the rise of electronic and self-publishing options, I wonder whether we are witnessing the opening rounds of a substantive conflict.

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