Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices

Here is an old post from The Guardian. But what has happened to this fight for open access by Harvard?

Researchers and universities put in all the hard work, spend money and time and conduct research. Journal publishers make a business out of it, at the cost of the researchers. To get my own article written for Sage, I need to pay $25 ! what a tragedy of publishing!

So, this The Guardian article felt good – except that it is an old one (2012). And with the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz, (the Infogami – reddit genius) a year later for the very reason, things have not changed a bit; situation does not look any more hopeful than Aron’s cellar.

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University wants scientists to make their research open access and resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls

University wants scientists to make their research open access and resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls
A graduation ceremony at Harvard University
A graduation ceremony at Harvard University. Photograph: Brooks Kraft/Corbis

Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.

A memo from Harvard Library to the university’s 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.

The extraordinary move thrusts one of the world’s wealthiest and most prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is funded by the taxpayer.

The outcome of Harvard’s decision to take on the publishers will be watched closely by major universities around the world and is likely to prompt others to follow suit.

The memo from Harvard’s faculty advisory council said major publishers had created an “untenable situation” at the university by making scholarly interaction “fiscally unsustainable” and “academically restrictive”, while drawing profits of …

Harvard to take on journal publishers

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