Good practices for university open-access policies

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  • Last revised October 4, 2012. Version 0.8.
  • This version is not yet 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, building on our own experience and the experience of colleagues elsewhere. We welcome suggestions.
  • For a PDF version of any section of the guide, click the "printable version" link in the left sidebar.
  • The guide was in the works for several years before the first public version launched in October 2012. It's one small part of the larger goal described in Recommendation 4.2 of the ten-year anniversary statement of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (September 2012): "We should develop guidelines to universities and funding agencies considering OA policies, including recommended policy terms, best practices, and answers to frequently asked questions."
  • 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, not necessarily those 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 following consulted colleagues and endorsing organizations have agreed to be listed but may not approve every recommendation in the guide. We hope both lists will grow over time.
    • The guide has been written in consultation with these expert colleagues:
      • Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, MIT Libraries
      • Ada Emmett, 2012-2013 Visiting Associate Professor of Library and Information Science and Special Assistant to the Dean for Scholarly Communications, Purdue University; Scholarly Communications Program Head, University of Kansas (KU) Libraries, and Chair of the KU Open Access Task Force
      • 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 these projects and organizations: