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Peter Suber to Direct Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication

Peter Suber to Direct Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication

Succeeds Founding Director Stuart Shieber

May 21, 2013 — The Harvard Library and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Suber as director of the Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC), starting July 1, 2013. Suber will continue his current activities as director of the Harvard Open Access Project, based at the Berkman Center, as well as his affiliations as a Berkman faculty fellow, senior researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and research professor of Philosophy at Earlham College.

Suber's new role with the OSC closely aligns with his work leading the Harvard Open Access Project. Both are driven by a common vision for opening access to cutting-edge research for everyone who can make use of it. Integrating the two roles into one position will allow the projects to better share strategies, staff, resources and knowledge, and accelerate the progress of open access both within and beyond Harvard.

“This new phase of collaboration represents a wonderful recognition, extension, and synchronization of the efforts of the Berkman Center and the Harvard Library. It promises continued progress inside Harvard as well as leadership and collaboration outside its increasingly permeable walls,” said Urs Gasser, Berkman’s executive director.

Suber is taking over executive leadership of the OSC from Stuart Shieber, Welch Professor of Computer Science in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and founding faculty director of the OSC. Shieber will continue as faculty director, though with a reduced role, co-chairing the Faculty Advisory Committee to the OSC with Suber, serving in an advisory capacity to the Office, and working on individual projects with the OSC. Sue Kriegsman, OSC program manager, will continue to oversee the Office’s operations and staff, as the activities of the Office continue to expand and mature.

According to Shieber, “Peter Suber is the world expert on open access; he literally wrote the book on the topic (Open Access, 2012, MIT Press). I am tremendously excited to get Peter even more involved in the OSC, where his leadership will foster our position at the forefront of the open-access revolution.”

University Librarian Robert Darnton noted the importance of the OSC to Harvard and to the scholarly community more broadly. “Under the leadership of Stuart Shieber, the OSC has placed Harvard at the forefront of the open-access movement. Peter Suber is the ideal choice to carry on that tradition and enhance it.”

The Office for Scholarly Communication spearheads campus-wide initiatives to open, share, and preserve scholarship. In cooperation with the OSC, faculty at eight of Harvard’s schools have put in place default rights-retention open-access policies, which have influenced similar policies at universities throughout the world. The Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) repository established and operated by the OSC holds over 12,000 scholarly articles, which have been downloaded almost 1.5 million times from every continent, some 3,000 downloads per day. The Library Lab program, funded by the Arcadia Fund and managed by the OSC, has supported dozens of entrepreneurial grants within the Harvard Library system to solve problems and improve services.

The Arcadia-funded Harvard Open Access Project is housed at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and works with the OSC to foster open access within Harvard. At the same time, it looks outward to promote open access beyond Harvard. It currently consults pro bono with more than 40 universities, foundations, publishers, and government agencies on their open-access policies. It maintains a widely-endorsed guide to good practices for university open-access policies, and a series of reference pages on topics such as federal open-access legislation, business models for open-access journals and books, and scholarly societies publishing open-access journals. HOAP also runs the Open Access Tracking Project, a comprehensive source of real-time news and comment on worldwide open-access developments.

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