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Harvard Faculty Adopts Open-Access Requirement

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the step-in-the-up-direction dept.

Education 147

Vooch writes "Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy this evening that requires faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online." I may not be smart enough to go to college, but at least I can pretend to have a Harvard eduction. I don't think that will be enough to get a gig as a Simpsons writer.

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147 comments

Do you mean education? (5, Funny)

mysqlbytes (908737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407552)

A Harvard eduction?? Some of us learn english proper!

Re:Do you mean education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407620)

Maybe he meant a Harvard seduction...

Re:Do you mean education? (2, Funny)

LMacG (118321) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407690)

That's unpossible!

Re:Do you mean education? (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407950)

You didn't supply a link [uncyclopedia.org] .

Re:Do you mean education? (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407852)

Nah, don't need it. I speak Engrish good.

Re:Do you mean education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407930)

Seems to me that an eduction would be a telescoping outward movement of a limb (cf. abduction, adduction), somewhat like E.T.'s head. I've always suspected that those Harvard wanks were aliens.

Re:Do you mean education? (1)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408004)

Just because you grammar know doesn't mean you need to make fun of other people.

Eduction (3, Funny)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408502)

eduction [merriam-webster.com] transitive verb

  1. to bring out
  2. deduce

Maybe everyone who attends Harvard has an eduction ceremony before they leave?? I just hope whoever ends up to educting their scholarly articles uses a better method of spell checking. :-P

Re:Do you mean education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408646)

... Some of us learn english proper!
If you properly learned English, you would know to capitalize the word "English," and you would also know that the word "proper" is not an adverb. Thus you should have written "Some of us learn English properly!" Therefore, you have made two ignorant errors versus the one error of the person you were trying to discredit!

yo, grammar nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22409290)

He was *joking*. Get a clue, get a life.

Nice of Them (4, Insightful)

Mickyfin613 (1192879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407572)

Considering Harvard University's staggering $34 billion stockpile...

Re:Nice of Them (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407684)

They can't be doing that well for themselves if they have to group arts and sciences into the one faculty, surely? >_>

PS FArts&Scienceslol

Re:Nice of Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408062)

They're saving up to buy Yahoo!.

Re:Nice of Them (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408142)

Yeah, silly idea for a university to use their endowment to promote research (including this measure as well as their numerous grants), drop tuition for lower income students [cnn.com] to improve learning, or recruit top-notch faculty. (in the interests of disclosure, I'm one of the few members of my family without a Harvard degree of some sort)

You'd almost think their purpose was promoting the advancement of human knowledge.

Re:Nice of Them (2, Funny)

Mickyfin613 (1192879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408668)

Hmm I could have sworn their mission was to make sure their yearly endowments topped the GDP of Luxembourg. You mean Harvard doesn't run themselves as a business first? I stand corrected :)

Re:Nice of Them (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409130)

(in the interests of disclosure, I'm one of the few members of my family without a Harvard degree of some sort)

You'd almost think their purpose was promoting the advancement of human knowledge.
I know a few Harvard grads (one of them is my lawyer). Unless they went to the medical school, most of them don't have very advanced knowledge of humans.

Re:Nice of Them... Open Source? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409284)

http://www.google.com/search?q=harvard+open+source+software&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com]

Would be nice to seem them plow ahead even further into Open Source and give a resurgence to Open Source-friendly magazines, able to cite Harvard faculty/staff/professor/tutor/student achievements and projects.

I bet that would infuriate Gates. Chairs might even start populating Harvard's lawns...

Re:Nice of Them (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408236)

If they don't throw us crumbs like this every once in while, then we lowly commoners might get uppity and demand they put an end to their unfair admissions practices [harvard.edu] or something.

Re:Nice of Them (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408746)

Hmm. I didn't realize that Harvard did away with Early Admission. If my memory serves me right, there is something called Early Action which isn't binding like Early Admission is. I was admitted to my college under Early Admission mostly because 1) I didn't want to fill out more than one college application and 2) I was quite certain I wanted to go that particular school at that particular time in my life. (It wasn't Harvard.)

--Mike

Springfield (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407628)

I may not be smart enough to go to college, but at least I can pretend to have a Harvard eduction. I don't think that will be enough to get a gig as a Simpsons writer.

You mean Springfield's Springfield Alderman Simpson? [illinoistimes.com]

Faculty members can publish in any journal that... (4, Insightful)

mhore (582354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407634)

Ok, that's fine and well that if the journal allows it, Harvard makes a copy of the article freely available. What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this. Does this mean that Harvard faculty will not publish in Nature and Science? Somehow I doubt that. Does this mean that Harvard will break copyright agreements? Maybe? The article doesn't quite say.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (4, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407696)

I think their theory is that journals that don't allow this will have to change their policy, as they wouldn't want to lose out on publishing articles from Harvard profs.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408150)

Somehow, I think Science and Nature aren't that worried. If you count the percent of articles published in them by Harvard only professors, it will be a relatively small hit. They take the best in all science disciplines from all over the world.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408274)

I think more professors want their articles available on SSRN networks than just Harvard's.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (1, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408188)

I think their theory is that journals that don't allow this will have to change their policy, as they wouldn't want to lose out on publishing articles from Harvard profs.

Ah, good old fashioned Harvard arrogance. Let's see how long this lasts. In my field, the number of decent journals I can think of that allow open access and reproduction could be counted on the fingers of one hand. After playing with a live hand grenade.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (4, Interesting)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408358)

You call it Harvard arrogance, I call it a noble effort. They have a strong hand, and I think they have every ethical right to attempt to enforce a more open atmosphere of knowledge in the face of academic journals which seem to be working contrary to that end.

Whether anything comes with it is another matter, but I'm glad they're trying.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408404)

Yeah, whatever. Maybe it is arrogance but they're doing what is the right thing and they expect you to deal with it. It's what any moral principle is; worth fighting for.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Informative)

thsths (31372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408560)

> Ah, good old fashioned Harvard arrogance. Let's see how long this lasts.

My university has the same policy, although it is only recommended, not mandatory. So far I had no serious issues, as most publishers will accept copyright forms that retain the right to make the paper available on-line. Change is certainly happening, and it is about time to hop on the band wagon. :-)

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408764)

The arrogance comes not from Harvard, but from the people who expect to make a living off of their reputation alone. The research is paid for by tax payer dollars. The reviewers work for free. They add literally no value besides their name. And in science what really matters is the quality of your research, not the name attached to it. It's a total racket, and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. I'll be glad to see them go the way of the buggy whip makers.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22409360)

Hey! I'm a buggy whip maker, you insensitive clod!

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Informative)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408320)

Their theory also is that other professors and universities will follow Harvard's lead again. Laugh all you want, but so many aspects of the American education system originated at Harvard.

This is an obvious and important adjustment to the internet.

Go to SSRN and look at the law articles. A lot of very nice ones, the best ones published in a journal that allows a free copy to be distributed. I've seen first hand this trend. Journals will take notice and adjust.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408684)

I think their theory is that journals that don't allow this will have to change their policy, as they wouldn't want to lose out on publishing articles from Harvard profs.

But wouldn't that just accelerate the demise of those journals, since then there would be little reason to subscribe? I know that lately I've been chaffing at the cost of IEEE and ACM journal subscriptions. The main reason I bother is to get access to the articles I need for my research.

This conversation reminds me of the dilemma faced by newspapers regarding putting their content online, and if so whether or not to require an online subscription. There's no good answer for the newspapers now that the web offers an arguably superior distribution method for the content.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408964)

But wouldn't that just accelerate the demise of those journals, since then there would be little reason to subscribe?
Only if the only value those journals add is distribution. They will still provide a very important role in aggregating articles of interest, so you're not digging through hundreds that you don't care about. They can also provide a forum for criticism and defense of articles.

Distribution is easy money, because you don't have to create anything to gain profit, so I'm sure many of these journals will be upset by this new way of doing things, just like the RIAA companies are upset by even legal music download. In the end, laziness is a poor business model, and if you don't add value to a product you won't survive in an internet economy.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409244)

Only if the only value those journals add is distribution. They will still provide a very important role in aggregating articles of interest, so you're not digging through hundreds that you don't care about. They can also provide a forum for criticism and defense of articles.

I agree. Knowing that an article got published in ACM's Transactions on Programming Languages is a great sign that it's a paper worth making time to read. I think it's terribly important that we somehow retain a set of reviewers who decide what paper are worth broad attention.

But aren't these reviewers unpaid? If so, they could just as well organize themselves outside of the context of some journal. I think all that's really missing at that point is getting a small editorial board to decide what topics are worth focusing on, etc. Of course, since academics' and researchers' careers are measured in terms of their publication history, there is some impedance to changing this system.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (3, Informative)

TheGoodSteven (1178459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407782)

I study criminology and a large portion of studies that are found in scholarly journals are funded by government grants. A stipulation to getting that grant money is that the study is offered online for free. What often happens is that the same author writes two papers using the same data. The two papers will be about the same study, will arrive at the same conclusion, but the paper offered for free simply doesn't state that it is peer reviewed.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (3, Informative)

proxima (165692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407924)

Ok, that's fine and well that if the journal allows it, Harvard makes a copy of the article freely available. What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this. Does this mean that Harvard faculty will not publish in Nature and Science? Somehow I doubt that. Does this mean that Harvard will break copyright agreements? Maybe? The article doesn't quite say.

My understanding of this system is that it's opt-out rather than opt-in. Faculty members retain the copyright to their papers if they're included in the archive, and they have to right to remove them from the archive (opting out). Publishing to many (most?) journals entails signing over the copyright of the final form of the paper to the journal.

It seems entirely conceivable that some journals will require Harvard profs to remove the article from the archive as a condition for publication. On the other hand, in some fields it's common for "working paper" versions of a paper to circulate widely before they are officially published. Official publication does not usually entail the removal of these working paper versions. I suspect that this is part logistical (it's hard to revoke something that's been made available free on the web), part non-competing (the final version of the paper tends to be more polished and you'll almost certainly prefer citing it over the working paper version), and part publicity (it's easy to find working papers, and if you really like it you'll seek out the published version, serving as advertising).

So basically, this archive can serve as a working paper repository for Harvard profs. They don't need to put it up on their own web page or have a website in their field dedicated to it, so hopefully this will make it even more convenient to have research available freely on the web.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407982)


What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this.

They'll just have to change their policy. I'm sure this is really what this whole policy is about. If enough research institutions make this a policy, the journals which have had so much control over controlling publication will have no other choice.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (3, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408078)

What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this.
Well Nature Magazine [nature.com] actually does allow you to publish even if you've put the article on a pre-print server (see this blog post [nature.com] that explains their editorial policy [nature.com] ). In fact, Nature runs their own pre-print server called Nature Precedings [nature.com] , so they are obviously preprint-friendly. In fact, a large number of journals [nature.com] are preprint-friendly (about 2/3 of all journals, according to TFA). Although many journals are not yet supportive for open access (I can't find a preprint policy for Science Magazine [sciencemag.org] ), the trend is clearly towards allowing preprint archiving.

Does this mean that Harvard will break copyright agreements?
According to TFA [chronicle.com] :

The new policy will allow faculty members to request a waiver, but otherwise they must provide an electronic form of each article to the provost's office
So evidently they will make it possible for authors to publish in more restrictive journals if necessary. But the overall push towards open access is clear.

My guess is that within a few more years, all the journals will be preprint-friendly. After all, the journals need the authors more than the authors need them. Any journal that refuses to allow these kinds of policies will find it difficult to attract high-profile publications in coming years.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408302)

copyrights don't matter when you have educational purposes. I always have wondered by folks that download mp3s and end up in court because of it haven't said they were trying to broaden their education...?

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (3, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408342)

Ok, that's fine and well that if the journal allows it, Harvard makes a copy of the article freely available. What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this. Does this mean that Harvard faculty will not publish in Nature and Science? Somehow I doubt that. Does this mean that Harvard will break copyright agreements? Maybe? The article doesn't quite say.
Actually the article does say:

The new policy will allow faculty members to request a waiver, but otherwise they must provide an electronic form of each article to the provost's office, which will place it in an online repository.
In other words, to publish in journals that do not allow open access, the authors will simply need to request a waiver. Presumably this will be a minor bureaucratic matter. But note that even if a journal isn't 'open access', many such journals let authors do what they will with "author's versions" of the article (or the journals just ignore the practice). Such a version lacks the journal's formatting and so forth. So there might not be a problem here at all.

Overall this is a very good move. The default will now be to publish articles openly, at least "author's versions". Yes, some authors might request the waiver to not do so, but this applies pressure on them and the journals. Very nice, Harvard, hopefully others will follow you soon.

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408718)

Many journals allow open access if the author pays a fee.

citations please .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408770)

"Harvard makes a copy of the article freely available. What about those journals (Nature and Science, maybe?) that do not allow this"

How would Havard publishing online prevent them getting published in Nature or Science. Do you have any citations that say this?

"the author grants AAAS exclusive rights to use and authorize use of the work, but retains actual copyright [sciencemag.org] and substantial reuse rights"

"Nature Publishing Group offers a range of reprints and permissions [nature.com] services for authors, readers, writers and commercial companies"

Re:Faculty members can publish in any journal that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408892)

I've never published to Science or Nature, so I can't speak authoratatively about those. I do know about where I have published: the Physical Review journals, including the esteemed Phys. Rev. Letters, all have a clause in their copyright notice saying that the authors give up all rights to publish their paper elsewhere except on their personal/professional webpage (as long as they don't charge money).

Thus, you can often find the articles you want by simply googling the author.

Also, a lot of people are willing to send you their papers if you ask them. Most people are really happy to oblige when someone shows an interest in their work.

And then there's always arxiv.org.

Not a bad idea (5, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407638)

One of my major frustrations is how it's very difficult to find serious scholarship outside of a certain number of journals, all of which require expensive subscriptions. It severely limits my ability to make a point on, say, evolutionary biology if I cannot cite and link to a peer-reviewed paper on said subject.

Hopefully, we'll be able to see some more of this sort of thing in the future.

Re:Not a bad idea (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407718)

You should already have access to journals in your university library. And if you are not affiliated with a university, what business have you making points on such things in the first place?

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407754)

Only those who are currently affiliated with a university have a right to understand how the world works?

Re:Not a bad idea (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407798)

Only people affiliated with a university should be trying to make use of scholarly materials to tell others how they believe the world works. Educating people is not your concern if you are outside the community of educators itself.

Re:Not a bad idea (3, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407938)

I posit that education is everyone's concern. Is it not my responsibility, for instance, if I see a janitor about to pour bleach into an ammonia bottle, to let him know that that may not be the best of ideas? If not out of a desire to ensure his safety and the safety of others, then out of a desire not to get chlorine poisoning myself?

We provide, in the western world, a basic education free of charge to everybody. This is in order to impart basic life skills that everybody needs in order to contribute successfully to our society.

Does it need to stop there? Are you only allowed to learn inside a classroom? How absurd! Rather than restricting education to a cloistered few, is it not in the best interests of humanity to allow everybody to learn what they will, should they have the desire to learn?

Or are you hinting that you'd like to pay for my college tuition? I'd be mightily obliged; my email's in my profile if you'd like to make the arrangements that way.

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22409194)

I don't go to a plumber for house painting.

You're not qualified to educate people. That doesn't mean you can't help them, but you're not qualified to teach anything.

You're pretending there isn't a fundamental difference between preventing the janitor from putting ammonia with bleach and teaching him how the chemistry of the bleach/ammonia reaction works.

There most certainly is a difference, and you're aware of it, but admitting it fouls your point, so you pretend it isn't there.

You've just watched Good Will Hunting too often and convinced yourself that stupid scene in the bar is reality.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408012)

Only people affiliated with a university should be trying to make use of scholarly materials to tell others how they believe the world works. Educating people is not your concern if you are outside the community of educators itself.
That point is so patently dumb I can only assume that you are being sarcastic.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408906)

It seems pretty clear the guy is being sarcastic. The comment makes perfect sense as sarcasm. As a serious comment it would, as you said, be patently dumb, as well as physically impossible if you have any contact with other humans.

Educators != professional educators (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408194)

Background: Right now, you state on your web site [christopherculver.com] that you are pursuing an M.A. from the University of Helsinki.

Only people affiliated with a university should be trying to make use of scholarly materials to tell others how they believe the world works.
Is that how you believe the world works? If so, would you continue to make that assertion, or any other assertions, once you get your M.A.?

Educating people is not your concern if you are outside the community of educators itself.
I agree with KublaiKhan that "education is everyone's concern." There's a difference between the community of educators and the community of professional educators; this difference [wikipedia.org] consists of non-professional educators. People who post on forums or wikis are often trying to educate other people, even if not professionally. I do not believe that the responsibility to back up assertions with citations to reliable sources is limited to professional educators, nor do I believe that the right to do so should be so limited.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409448)

Only people affiliated with a university should be trying to make use of scholarly materials to tell others how they believe the world works.

You are a moron.

TWW

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

TheGoodSteven (1178459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407868)

Only those who are currently affiliated with a university have a right to understand how the world works?
Correct. Unless your not affiliated with a university. Then your wrong.

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408168)

You're English usage patently demonstrates that your obviously not educated enough to comment here. If you actually went to university then its obvious that your professors were not diligent in they're teaching of English. If there going to keep teaching at this level, I will never go their.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408390)

I can see that [b]you're[/b] not affiliated with one, so does that make you wrong? OH GOD THE PARADOX IS EATING MY BRAIN!

I do wonder if this applies only to universities, however. Does it apply to schools which offer bachelor's degrees, but do not offer post-graduate programs? How about community/junior colleges which only offer associate's degrees? High schools? I would posit that the faculty at all of those institutions are also educators, and that both they and the students are in equal need of research material and scholarly publications (particularly since two of them are prerequisites for a graduate degree). Where do we draw the line? What about alumni, once graduated are they no longer allowed to see this information?

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409414)

Not even to mention that a university doesn't subscribe to a lot of the journals - particularly the specialist ones.

But I already graduated (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407926)

And if you are not affiliated with a university, what business have you making points on such things in the first place?
Which university grants the same level access to scholarly journals to alumni that it grants to students?

Re:But I already graduated (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407988)

Well, I believe LUC (where I finished my undergraduate studies) does. All parts of the library are open to students, and online journals may be accessible with an alumnus network account. But with regards to my point above, if you are a mere alumnus, you are not affiliated with a university in such a way that you should be using scholarly materials to make points to others. Just getting a degree without holding a position does not qualify one to do such things.

Re:But I already graduated (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408090)

You speak of 'should' and 'should not' but you do not provide any insight to substantiate your alleged points.

Why are you suggesting that the use of scholarly materials be restricted only to those currently enrolled as a student in a university?

Re:But I already graduated (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408138)

...if you are a mere alumnus, you are not affiliated with a university in such a way that you should be using scholarly materials to make points to others. Just getting a degree without holding a position does not qualify one to do such things.
I sincerely hope that you're just trolling and don't believe this garbage. By your logic, do you imply that an active second-year biology student is more qualified to educate his peers than somebody who holds a PhD with 20 year of experience working at the CDC [cdc.gov] ?

Re:But I already graduated (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408658)

As a Drexel University alumni, I still have the same access to all of their library materials, including the print and online journals that the current students do.

Is this not the norm at other universities?

Re:But I already graduated (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408988)

Some, I suppose, but if you're not officially an alumnus for whatever reason, what use is that going to be for you?

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408972)

And if you are not affiliated with a university, what business have you making points on such things in the first place?

This is the single stupidest statement I have ever read on ./, and I've been reading /. for about 9 years. Congratulations.

Re:Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407728)

>> It severely limits my ability to make a point on, say, evolutionary biology

No worries, jesus jumpers can't read anyway.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407784)

I share your frustration, and often wonder why work coming out of publically paid institutions (e.g., state colleges) is not freely available to the public, giving that taxpayers are paying for these researchers' salaries and expenses.

I suspect that the authors themselves feel frustrated as well, since they usually want their work to be as widely available as possible, but at the same time want to publish in leading journals.

Wasn't there some U.S. legislation on this?

Re:Not a bad idea (4, Insightful)

nasor (690345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408162)

"Expensive" doesn't even begin to cover it. A subscription to the Journal of the American Chemical Society - which you pretty much must have if you want to do serious chemistry research - was $3165 last time I checked. And that was for online access only! These prices aren't "expensive," they're insane. Especially when you consider that the journals don't pay anything for the papers that they publish.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408204)

Kinda makes you wonder where it all goes...

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408590)

I think that the whole system needs a major revamp, but other than getting rid of traditionally-edited journals I'm not sure how. $3k/yr sounds like a lot of money - but that is for an institutional subscription, and maybe they have 1000 of those (are there any stats on this?). That is only $3M/yr to operate a very lengthy journal (ever see an issue of JACS?). Maybe the figures are larger, but even without profit it probably isn't a lot of money for what is being published. More exotic journals are even worse.

The issue is that the amount of labor going into each article is high compared to the number of people who will ever read them.

Either the amount of labor needs to go down, or the payment model needs to change. I don't have easy access to journals and I'd love to be able to browse them. However, the fact is that somebody needs to pay for this stuff - or decide that PDFs on websites is good enough.

Re:Not a bad idea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408818)

google for "OAI-PMH repositories". I know they're out there because I write software that aggregates from them. www.arxiv.org has a metric buttload of them, and if you're into medical/bio check out www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov (over a million alone). My database currently has links to 2.5 million freely available scholarly articles, many of which are peer reviewed, the data is out there and google is your friend.

eduction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407652)

"...but at least I can pretend to have a Harvard eduction."

As opposed to a Harvard induction?

pfft... (1, Offtopic)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407664)

iTunes U has a bit of a lead [apple.com] , me thinks.

Re:pfft... (1)

gotzero (1177159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407714)

There are a lot of sources and schools doing this already, and I hope more and more continue to join! I have used some the available MIT lectures to learn about topics I was interested in, and I greatly appreciated these materials being available.

More and more, the tools needed to learn about something are out there and cheap or free, so it kind of the eliminates the "I cannot get access to an education" argument. I think it is fantastic!

Re:pfft... (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408476)

"I cannot get access to an education"
Don't worry. The lazy will always find new excuses. :)

Re:pfft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407966)

Better yet...(lecture notes, previous exams, labs, etc., etc.! :-))
All publicly available, free, online, around the world...

http://ocw.mit.edu/ [mit.edu]

Harvard is soooooooooo far behind the times...

Leading journals (-1, Redundant)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407688)

Researchers like to publish in leading journals, many of which insist on exclusivity of publication.

Will this prevent Harvard researchers from publishing in these journals? Seems to me it must.

No-longer-leading journals (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407980)

Will [non-exclusivity] prevent Harvard researchers from publishing in [leading] journals?
If a journal's policies are not compatible with carrying Harvard research, it will likely become no longer a leading journal.

Re:No-longer-leading journals (1)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408128)

If a journal's policies are not compatible with carrying Harvard research, it will likely become no longer a leading journal.
Possibly, but has someone told the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) this? Here's some excerpts from their policies...

.. authors grant ACM the rights to their work, which include the exclusive rights to sell subscriptions and access licenses to it.

ACM requires authors to assign their copyrights to ACM as a condition of publishing the work.
ACM versus Harvard - clash of the titans.

Eduction? (5, Interesting)

timelorde (7880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407698)


... but at least I can pretend to have a Harvard eduction.

I was all set to make a snide comment about the esteemed Mr. Taco's spelling and/or typing abilities, perhaps combined with a Billy Gates Harvard dropout reference, but then I Googled "eduction":

Eduction [thefreedictionary.com]

*Sigh* I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader.

Re:Eduction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407840)

who really needs to know how to spell anyways? Google, eclipse and bash all will give you the correct spelling if you get anywhere close. With eclipse, I just hit ctrl+space and it gives me a list of locally available objects. I think this post might be the longest thing I've typed w/o auto-complete in a week.

Re:Eduction? (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408036)

It's still an error, even if you happen to spell another word bye accident.

Re:Eduction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22409314)

It's still an error, even if you happen to spell another word bye accident.

Whirred to your mother.

Re:Eduction? (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408276)

I was all set to make a snide comment about the esteemed Mr. Taco's spelling and/or typing abilities, perhaps combined with a Billy Gates Harvard dropout reference, but then I Googled "eduction":

Then you should be making snide comments about Mr/Mrs Vooch. Yes Taco posted the story, but the submitter wrote the title, introduction, and beginning comments.

Enjoy,

As opposed to . . . (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407802)

but at least I can pretend to have a Harvard eduction.


As opposed to being inducted, subjected, injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected for the school-for-learning-to-talk-through-your-teeth?

Re:As opposed to . . . (2, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408544)

As opposed to being inducted, subjected, injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected for the school-for-learning-to-talk-through-your-teeth?
Toss in a ballgag and it sounds like my last date.

Re:As opposed to . . . (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408740)

As opposed to being inducted, subjected, injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected for the school-for-learning-to-talk-through-your-teeth?
So you came to talk about the draft? :-)

Re:As opposed to . . . (1)

GeekZilla (398185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409020)

Isn't that a line from Zardoz?

Reading d.n.e understanding (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408016)

Reading this material no more makes one a Harvard grad than reading Einstein's works makes one an expert at Physics; the good news is that I read through the material and it didn't not make me any more dumber.

They're making PR of federal regulation (1)

loose_change (196779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408058)

Harvard isn't doing this out of the good of their own hearts. It's a federal mandate. One example is the NIH policy that now requires all articles produced from work funded by NIH to be available on-line to the public, free, within one year of publication. There's an article on it , the second one down on the top stories. Key line: "In accordance with federal law, the NIH now requires the submission of published articles resulting from NIH-funded research to PubMed Central." (emphasis mine) Journal copyright models are going to have to change, because to comply with the law, people will only be able to publish where they can then make the article public. [nih.gov]

Bullshit!! (2, Informative)

Sethosayher (812094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408064)

Not fair! I paid 40k a year to get an education and exclude people in the process!

Re:Bullshit!! (1, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408946)

You don't get an education at Harvard you get status. If you want education then go to school in a community college. Then finish your degree at a state college, You will get a good education there. Going to Harvard will provide you with less of an education. But you will end up doing more work (because the professors don't want to teach or don't know how) If you challange or ask a question for clarification they will itimidate you. Fail you on the details and grade very lightly on the overall idea. If you make it though you may know as much (More or less, being that they tend to only admit top students, that means they will do most of the work themselvs anyways) as anyone else with the same degree but you will have the Status of having a Harvard education. Just to say they have one.

Electronic Format (1)

ZuluZero (1159015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408116)

Now how about an *open format* mandate to go with that?

Re:Electronic Format (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408220)

You're unlikely to see scholarly publications online in anything but PDF or HTML any time soon.

Perhaps OP meant, "induction" ? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408338)

Perhaps matriculating at Harvard doesn't garantee the best education, but just getting in is quite an honor.

Re:Perhaps OP meant, "induction" ? (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409120)

Perhaps matriculating at Harvard doesn't garantee the best education, but just getting in is quite an honor.


Please tell me that's a joke.

The bar might not be that high.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408362)

Have you watched the Simpsons lately?

Thank God! (1)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408388)

I'm taking the semester off and I'm thinking I should have taken basket-weaving (a class I would no doubt fail) just to maintain my access to journals. Just the other night, I was looking for information on fairly new algorithms for dealing with image processing and almost every reference I could find was a journal I'd have to pay to get access to.

It seems to me that it's in everyone's best interest to make this information freely available. Think about it, as a programmer, having access to this information may allow me to write better software. If I'm selling that software, I'm a part of the economy and this information may have made the difference between mediocre software people wouldn't pay for and amazing software that's very popular. It's the same with many fields. Many companies can't afford these academic journals for their employees, or maybe only a small subset. It's a boost to the economy for everyone (except the journals) if this stuff is made freely available.

In addition to the economic boost, there's the quality of life boost. These articles can lead to products that improve QOL. Another important incentive.

I can't think of a single reason that journals should be making money (and a nice chunk of change at that) for work which is largely not theirs. They do editing, can help with peer-review and so forth, and obviously printing, but the actual meat, the articles, are the works of others. Subscriptions cost and arm and a leg and if I'm not mistaken, I believe most of these journals don't pay the authors. I think, in fact, many charge the authors!

Harvard isn't really in the education business (1)

mbaGeek (1219224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408498)

they could get by very well without students - their HUGE endowment allows them to do a lot of things that "normal" schools couldn't get away with

maybe in 50 or 60 years without students they might have a problem (when they no longer have rich alumni leaving them money)...

until then, eduction is a perfectly cromulent spelling because as Jebediah Springfield once said, "A noble spirit enbiggens the smallest man."

Great move (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408504)

I think this is a great move. No matter how respected a publication is, the publisher can't afford to lose the Harvard faculty articles. After all, they're from Harvard faculty. These people _WILL_ find a place to publish their articles, and those articles will be read no matter where they're published. So, the publishers, regardless of what their policy is now, will have to bend over and approve the waivers for Harvard faculty, and if they give waivers to Harvard faculty, I am pretty sure that the researchers from other schools will demand the same treatment as well.

I wish the NSF would follow suit (1)

greppling (601175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409164)

The NSF would really be in a position to push open access with such a policy. It they required all (partially) NSF-funded research articles to be available online, electronically, in their final published version, that would have a huge immediate effect on all scientific journals.
Anyone have an idea whether this has been discussed or might be realistic?
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