Good practices for university open-access policies

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  • Last revised September 18, 2012. Version 0.8.
  • This version is not yet public. 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. We're aiming for a public launch before Open Access Week 2012.


  • This is a guide to good 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 but 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 good practices would be desirable or might be discernible. 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 edited and written by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber. Stuart is a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University. Peter is the Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Special Advisor to the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The guide reflects their views as individuals, in consultation with many others (below), not necessarily the views of Harvard University.
    • Emily Kilcer researched and wrote the section on Filling the repository. Emily is a Project Coordinator at the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and Research Assistant at the Harvard Open Access Project.
    • The consulted experts and endorsing organizations have agreed to be listed but do not necessarily approve every recommendation in the guide.
    • This version was written in consultation with Ellen Finnie Duranceau (Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, MIT Libraries), Heather Joseph (Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Iryna Kuchma (Open Access Programme Manager, Electronic Information for Libraries), Alma Swan (Convenor, Enabling Open Scholarship).
  • The guide is endorsed by:
    • EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries)
    • EOS (Enabling Open Scholarship)
    • OASIS (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook)
    • SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
    • SPARC Europe