The Berkman Center for Internet & Society Adopts Open Access Policy

October 22, 2014

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to announce that the Center’s faculty directors and staff have adopted an open-access policy. With this policy, approved on October 9, 2014, the Berkman Center’s faculty directors and staff join the nine School faculties in granting Harvard nonexclusive rights to their future scholarly articles. The policy ensures that the “fruits of [Berkman’s] research and scholarship” will be distributed as widely as possible.

Through this landmark unanimous vote, the Berkman Center has become the first research center at Harvard to adopt an open-access policy, and the first to extend the scope of Harvard’s open-access policies beyond the faculty.

“Since its inception, the Berkman Center has promoted and supported open access to scholarly works and educational materials, and this unanimous vote continues that tradition” said Urs Gasser Executive Director of the Berkman Center and Professor of the Practice at Harvard Law School. “It furthers our commitment to sharing and disseminating our scholarship as widely as possible. Through the Harvard Open Access Project and our collaboration with the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, we are excited to be the first research center at Harvard University to adopt an OA policy.”

Peter Suber, a Berkman fellow as well as the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication and Director of the Harvard Open Access Project remarked, “Harvard already has open-access policies for faculty at all its schools. Now for the first time it has an open-access policy at one of its research centers. Now that the Berkman Center has broken the ice, I expect to see many more Harvard research centers follow its lead.”

The new policy is consistent with previous practices at Berkman, where directors and staff typically made their scholarly articles, and sometimes books, open access. But now this community will also have a dedicated collection in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), including persistent URLs, preservation in the Harvard Library, and individualized traffic stats delivered every month. Berkman faculty directors and staff  have the benefit of the licensing provision of the policy, which allows them to retain rights to their own works that they might not otherwise have retained. They also have the nonexclusive rights to make all their future scholarly articles open, without the need to negotiate individually with publishers. The Berkman policy follows the model of Harvard’s school-level policies including a waiver option to ensure academic freedom.

The Harvard Open Access Project, based at Berkman, has collected Harvard’s experience under these policies, and the experience of a growing number of partner institutions, in a guide to good practices for university open-access policies.

Last updated

October 22, 2014