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Good practices for university open-access policies

Good practices for university open-access policies

In anticipation of worldwide Open Access Week, the Harvard Open Access Project is pleased to release version 1.0 of a guide to good practices for university open-access policies.

Gathering together recommendations on drafting, adopting, and implementing OA policies, the guide is based on policies adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and a couple of dozen other institutions around the world. But it's not limited to policies of this type and includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions taking other approaches.

The guide is designed to evolve. As co-authors, we plan to revise and enlarge it over time, building on our own experience and the experience of colleagues elsewhere. We welcome suggestions.

The guide deliberately refers to "good practices" rather than "best practices". On many points, there are multiple, divergent good practices. Good practices are easier to identify than best practices. And there can be wider agreement on which practices are good than on which practices are best.

The current version of the guide has the benefit of the advice of expert colleagues, and the endorsement of projects and organizations devoted to the spread of effective university OA policies. It has been written in consultation with Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Ada Emmett, Heather Joseph, Iryna Kuchma, and Alma Swan, and has already been endorsed by the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS), Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP), Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS), Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and SPARC Europe. 

Over time we hope to name more consulting experts and endorsing organizations. Please contact us if you or your organization may be interested. We do not assume that consulting experts or endorsing organizations support every recommendation in the guide.

The guide should be useful to institutions considering an OA policy, and to faculty and librarians who would like their institution to start considering one. We hope that institutions with working policies will share their experience and recommendations, and that organizers of Open Access Week events will link to the guide and bring it to the attention of their participants.

Good practices for university open-access policies

Stuart Shieber
Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University
Peter Suber
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

Harvard Open Access Project

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