Shifting to half-time

From Peter Suber
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I'm a few steps into phased retirement:

  • On January 1, 2022, I stepped down as Director of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. But I'm still at Harvard and still working for open access to research. My work now consists entirely of the pro bono consulting I previously did alongside my other work (details below). My new title is Senior Advisor on Open Access.
  • On July 1, 2022, I shifted from full-time to half-time.
  • On September 1, 2022, I shifted to all-remote work.
  • I asked for this arrangement and thank the library for agreeing to it.
  • See the Harvard Library announcement and my Twitter announcement, both from December 7, 2021.
  • These are all the steps I plan to take for the foreseeable future. I'm far from ready to retire any further!

   — Peter Suber

   For more than two decades I've done pro bono consulting on open access and related topics. I've worked with universities, libraries, funders, scholarly societies, publishers, government agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, tool-builders, start-ups, projects, and individual researchers. I advise on OA policies, strategies, practices, infrastructure, and 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 that wanted my 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, based in Harvard Library, and half-time running the grant-funded Harvard Open Access Project, based at the Berkman Klein Center. In 2018 I let the HOAP grants expire and began working full-time in the library. (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 continue my external consulting on work time. That was Phase 1 of a remarkable arrangement. When I shifted to half-time in July 2022, the library continued 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, and continue as director of the Berkman-based Harvard Open Access Project.

Return to my home page.