Third Harvard school votes for open-access

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The faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the USA has voted to make all faculty members’ scholarly articles publicly available online at no charge. This follows similar votes last year from Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Law School.

'The scholarly articles authored by Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) faculty members enhance the understanding of many critical and urgent public policy issues, and by embracing open access we seek to maximise the avenues by which these ideas are shared,' said Kennedy School dean David T. Ellwood. 'In the developing world especially, where access to expensive journals is rare, there is a pressing need for access to the latest policy advice and scholarship coming from HKS faculty.'

Under the new policy, HKS will make articles authored by faculty members available in an open-access online repository. The contents of this repository will be searchable through web tools such as Google Scholar. Authors will maintain the right to distribute articles on their own websites, and educators will have the right to freely provide the articles to students, so long as the materials are not used for profit. However, faculty members can 'opt out' of the requirements of the new policy for specific articles where the policy proves to be incompatible with the obligations of a particular publisher’s contract.