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Priority Update 2: Open Access

One in a series of updates on progress on the FY15 Library Priorities.

Office for Scholarly Communication Staff

February 10, 2015—The Office for Scholarly Communication spearheads efforts to unlock and share scholarly work at Harvard. In the current fiscal year, this has included developing new open-access (OA) policies, implementing existing OA policies, expanding the size and visibility of Harvard’s OA repository (DASH, or Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), starting the preservation of DASH in the Digital Repository Service (DRS), launching the Copyright Advisory Program, and developing a tool for submitting electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)—all while continuing to educate the academic community about OA, its benefits, and the details of the Harvard OA policies.

  • DASH is growing faster than ever. In calendar 2014, DASH had more than 7,100 deposits, nearly twice the two previous years combined and 33% of all deposits since DASH launched in 2008. In the same year, it had more than 2 million downloads, more than the previous two years combined and 44% of all downloads since DASH launched. The deposit and download rates have never been higher.
  • The team is currently negotiating with several publishers to facilitate deposits into DASH. DASH records are now discoverable through Primo, HOLLIS+, and Outernet (a new service broadcasting OA content by satellite)—in addition to the previous sources such as Google Scholar and DASH itself. DASH is the first scholarly repository to participate in Outernet and one of the first to join a pilot project of the Digital Public Library of America.
  • DASH preservation in the DRS is in process. DASH dissertations have already started flowing into DRS, and DASH articles should start flowing this semester.
  • New policies show the expanded reach and increased support for OA at the University. The close of FY14 saw the adoption of an OA policy at Harvard Medical School, and now all Harvard Schools have OA policies in place for scholarly articles by faculty. In September, the Harvard Library adopted a policy lifting restrictions on digital reproductions of works in the public domain. In October, the Berkman Center became the first unit at the University to adopt an OA policy covering non-faculty researchers, and was soon followed by the Shorenstein Center. Other Harvard research centers are now considering similar policies. Also in October, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) adopted incentives to deposit research publications in DASH as part of ordinary preparation for promotion and tenure. Other departments are now exploring the same option as well.
  • The Copyright Advisory Program “graduated” its first cohort of Copyright First Responders, and launched a training program for the next cohort. The First Responders program has received national media coverage and is fielding inquiries on best practices from other academic institutions. The program also supervised a survey of state laws on the copyright status of government-generated documents, now under review by OGC. After kicking off Fair Use Week locally last year, the First Responders Program worked with ARL to make it a national celebration this year, and will host a series of events for the second Fair Use Week this month. Later this term, the Copyright Advisory Program will start educating staff on the Harvard Library’s new policy to lift restrictions on digital reproductions of works in the public domain.
  • The OSC developed a tool for submitting electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Five Schools have adopted it to date, and four more plan to follow suit. SEAS uses the tool to submit undergraduate theses into DASH. In addition to enhancing access and preservation for these theses, the tool fosters the use of Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCIDs) among Harvard researchers.
  • The team continues to leverage open platforms to increase awareness and education about OA at Harvard and beyond, including a new email announcement list, a YouTube channel, on- and off-campus talks, and external media coverage. The OSC team led the planning of the October 2014 Ivy+ conference for provosts and librarians and co-sponsored the Authors Alliance conference the same month. The team is currently gathering data on OA journals to provide to “Pay It Forward,” a UC/Mellon journal pricing study.