For Faculty and Researchers

You’re a faculty member. Maybe you just got started teaching; maybe you started decades ago. You’re deeply dedicated to your research and your field, and to the greater pursuit of truth and knowledge. You have a lot of things on your plate to worry about.

So what’s this open access business, and why should you care?

Open access is described in depth here, but for our purposes, you just need to know that open access means redesigning the scholarly publishing system to put the emphasis back onto its original purpose: maximizing research impact by increasing access to those who need your research.

While this redesign requires the cooperation of several different groups, you, the faculty and researchers, have the greatest power to make a difference. You are also the ones who will be most impacted by the future of this issue, so please: get informed and, if you agree with the ideas, get involved.

What are we requesting of you?

Publishing Open Access – please consider publishing your article in an open access journal–there are many of them in all different fields.

Copyright management – If you are publishing in non-OA journals, please at least hold on to the copyright of the article so that you can self-archive it on your website or in your institutional repository (Harvard does not have one yet, but you can help us make it happen!)

Lobbying for Change – Let your university know that you are interested in an institutional repository if there isn’t one already. Let your colleagues know about the issue and direct them here. Remind tenure committees that counting the number of times a researcher has published in a big-name journal is not the best way of evaluating his or her work.

Transfer of Prestige – If you see an open-access journal in your field that you really like, consider joining its editorial board. Or, if there are no prominent open access journals or repositories in your field and you feel strongly about the issue, consider starting one!

But what about…?

As scholars, you have two primary goals: increasing society’s understanding of the world we live in, and advancing your own career. I’ll try to reassure you that open access not only doesn’t interfere with either, but can even help!

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