Best practices for university OA policies

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  • Last revised August 14, 2012. Version 0.8.
  • This version is only being shared with likely partners. When the text is a little more polished, and we have a critical mass of consulting experts and supporting organizations, we'll make it public.


  • This is a guide to best practices for university open access (OA) policies. It's based on the type of policy adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, U of Kansas, U of Oregon, Trinity, Oberlin, Wake Forest, Duke, U of Puerto Rico, Hawaii - Manoa, Columbia, Strathmore U, Emory, Princeton, Bucknell, Jomo Kenyatta, Utah State, Bifröst, Miami, California - San Francisco, and the U Massachusetts Medical School (listing some, not all, and in chronological order). However, it includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions with other sorts of OA policy as well.
  • The guide may always be incomplete. In any case, this version is incomplete and doesn't cover every point on which "best practices" would be desirable or might be discernible. It doesn't cover points still under discussion by the authors, or points on which best practices have not yet emerged. We plan to revise and enlarge the guide over time, and to mark each edition with a version number and date.
  • For a PDF version of any section of the guide, click the "printable version" link in the left sidebar.
  • The guide is written by Stuart Shieber (Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University) and Peter Suber (Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society). It reflects their views as individuals, in consultation with many others (below), not necessarily the views of Harvard University.
    • This version was written in consultation with Ellen Finnie Duranceau (Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, MIT Libraries), Heather Joseph (Executive Director, SPARC), Alma Swan (Convenor, Enabling Open Scholarship). ...///
    • The guide is endorsed by ///
    • For more detail, see the section on revising the guide.