Shifting to half-time

From Peter Suber
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   I'm stepping down as Director of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. But I'm staying at Harvard and continuing to work for open access to research. I'll shift to a new half-time position in July 2022 ("Senior Advisor on Open Access"). My new work will consist of the pro bono consulting for open access that I've been doing for years alongside my regular work. I asked for this arrangement and thank the library for agreeing to it. — Peter Suber

  • Also see the Harvard Library announcement and my Twitter announcement, both from December 7, 2021.
  • There are actually two shifts here. I shift from directing/managing to consulting/advising on January 1, 2022, and from full-time to half-time on July 1, 2022.

   For two decades I've done pro bono consulting on open access and related topics, for example, with universities, libraries, funders, scholarly societies, publishers, government agencies, tool-builders, start-ups, projects, and individual researchers. I consult on OA policies, strategies, practices, and context-sensitive answers to frequently heard questions, objections, and misunderstandings.

   I've done this kind of consulting under grants since 2001. First I did it as a philosophy professor on sabbatical, then as freelancer living on grants, then as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. The grants paid for my time so that I could give time freely to OA initiatives in need of help. For these grants I thank the Open Society Foundations (2001-2009), Wellcome Trust (2007-2009), Arcadia Fund (2011-2016), and Laura and John Arnold Foundation (2016-2018).

   From 2013-2018 I worked half-time directing the Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC), based in Harvard Library, and half-time running the grant-funded Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP), based at the Berkman Klein Center. In 2018 I let the HOAP grants expire and began working full-time in the library running the OSC. (Basically, my two half-time jobs had become two full-time jobs, and I needed to retreat to one full-time job.) That could have meant giving up my grant-funded consulting. But as soon as I came full-time into the library, it encouraged me to use work time to continue my external consulting. That was Phase 1 of a remarkable arrangement. When I shift to half-time in July 2022, the library will continue to support my external consulting, augmented by internal consulting and direct advising to Martha Whitehead (Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian) on the same issues. That's Phase 2 of a remarkable arrangement, and I'm very grateful.

    I'll continue my affiliation with the Berkman Klein Center.

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