Harvard Law votes Yes on open access

May 7, 2008

The faculty of Harvard Law School has unanimously approved a motion for open access: articles will be made freely available in an online repository. With the success of this motion, Harvard Law becomes the first law school to make an institutional commitment of this sort to open access to its faculty's scholarly publications. [full text of the motion for an opt-out open access policy]

The Berkman community is tremendously excited by the news, which resonates deeply with the Center's mission and helps set the stage for other academic institutions to establish open access policies. In February, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences did just that, unanimously passing an open access motion spearheaded by computer science professor and Berkman faculty co-director Stuart Shieber. (In addition, Harvard College Free Culture has launched a free Thesis Repository!) Professor Shieber's work and leadership, along with that of Harvard library director Robert Darnton, paved the way for Berkman's own Terry Fisher and John Palfrey to bring this open access proposal to the Law School.

"That such a renowned law school should support Open Access so resoundingly is a victory for the democratization of knowledge. Far from turning its back to the outside world, the HLS is sharing its intellectual wealth."
 - Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library

Please join us in congratulating all who have worked on these important initiatives!


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Last updated

May 14, 2008