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Harvard Law Faculty Vote Unanimously for Open Access to Scholarship

Open access to scholarship and information on the Web is one of the core principles of the Berkman Center, and by extension the Internet and Democracy Project. We are extremely pleased that the Harvard Law School faculty recently voted unanimously to to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles available online for free–making it the first law school to commit to a mandatory open access policy. This will help to bring down the barriers to open scholarship that are unfortunately created by journals, scholarly databases and publishers that charge fairly high fees for access to work that should be made available for free online at places like faculty Web sites, Google Scholar, and other online repositories. This effort was led by Berkman’s own John Palfrey who was recently appointed Vice Dean of Library and Information Resources (congratulations John)! Finally, the vote follows a similar effort and unanimous vote for open access by Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences–a first by any academic institution in the US. We hope this helps build the open access movement as the idea spreads to other schools and faculties around the country.

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