Harvard Faculty Adopts Open Access Policy For Articles

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard has adopted a policy under which each FAS member grants Harvard "permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles." Harvard would exercise this grant of permission by depositing the articles in an open access repository, and would license use of articles in the repository to other entities, including commercial ones, for use in, for example, coursepacks. Articles in the repository could be sold, by Harvard or its licensees, provided that they were not sold "for a profit." Harvard would also apparently have the right to prepare or license the preparation of derivative works.

Under the policy we understand that Harvard FAS members who receive publishing contracts for articles they have written are now required to submit to the publisher an addendum for signature. The first provision in the addendum (which we received from a commercial journals publisher, who had in turn received it from a Harvard author whose article they wished to publish) says:

All of the terms and conditions of the Publication Agreement, including but not limited to all grants, agreements, representations and warranties, are subject to and qualified by a non-exclusive license previously granted by Author to Harvard University. Under that license, Harvard may make the Article available and may exercise all rights under copyright relating to the Article, and may authorize others to do the same, provided that the Article is not sold for a profit.

Books are excluded from the policy, as are articles written before the adoption of the policy, or for which the faculty member entered into a publishing agreement before the policy was adopted. Faculty members may also request that the policy be waived for particular articles.