Harvard finds major journal subscriptions cannot be sustained, encourages #openaccess

On April 17, 2012, Harvard University released a memorandum titled, “Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing.”

The memo describes the work of the Faculty Advisory Council in gathering data on database and journal expenditures, and presents the Council’s final conclusion:

…Major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable. Doing so would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised.

The memo ends with nine possible options for moving forward, and a call to action:

Since the Library now must change its subscriptions and since faculty and graduate students are chief users, please consider the following options open to faculty and students and the Library, state other options you think viable, and communicate your views.

1. Make sure that all of your own papers are accessible by submitting them to DASH in accordance with the faculty-initiated open-access policies.

2. Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access.

3. If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning.

. . .

You can read the memo in its entirety here: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k77982&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup143448.

Bravo, Harvard, for adding your voice to the champions of open access!

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