The Harvard Crimson :: Opinion :: Access For All

“Our professors do the research. They write the papers and proofread them. They even do the peer review. Then they sign the copyright over to publishers, who don’t pay them a dime—they’re paid by grants and salary, our taxes, and tuition. 

Harvard then pays again for the journals—many of them over $10,000 each—and most of us feel personally the bite each term when we buy our sourcebooks. Many of these cost upwards of $100 not because they’re on paper rather than online (printing costs pennies a page), but because of the fees charged by publishers like Elsevier (1,387 journals ranging across academia) and Wiley (348 journals), some higher than $1 per page. 

That’s three ways we pay for the same research, writing, proofreading, and peer review. Even Harvard has found the cost too high, and has cut down on its subscriptions. …

Students can make several big contributions to this movement. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents in support of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), a bipartisan bill to make taxpayer-funded published research—most scientific work in the U.S.—freely available. Students can explain to their professors why they should publish in open access journals when available, and better yet why the University should establish a freely-available repository for all Harvard researchers’ work. Best of all, seniors can set an example now by making their theses available to the world at www.hcs.harvard.edu/thesis. Each of us can show politicians, faculty members, and present and future colleagues that we value open access to academic research. It’s up to us to say it: Knowledge is for everyone. …”

Harvard College Thesis Repository [now offline]

Welcome to the Harvard College Thesis Repository, a project of Harvard College Free Culture! Here Harvard students make their senior theses accessible to the world, for the advancement of scholarship and the widening of open access to academic research. Too many academics still permit publishers to restrict access to their work, needlessly limiting—cutting in half, or worse—readership, research impact, and research productivity. For more background, check out our op-ed article in The Harvard Crimson. If you’ve written a thesis in Harvard College, you’re invited to take a step toward open access right here, by uploading your thesis for the world to read. (If you’re heading for an academic career, this can even be a purely selfish move—a first taste of the greater readership and greater impact that comes with open access.)

Theses For All | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

“The creation of a website [Harvard College Thesis Repository] to save all senior theses —created by Harvard College Free Culture, a student group— should be welcomed as a great addition to the campus and Harvard’s ever-widening and expanding academic community. Currently, the Harvard University Archives only saves certain theses depending on the honors grade that they receive, and theses that receive the cutoff grade and above are accessible through the Archives’ inconvenient closed-stack system. 

The Free Thesis Project provides researchers much easier access to all of Harvard’s senior theses, if students choose to put them on the site….”

EBSCO Open Dissertations Project – Join the Movement

“The channels by which today’s scholars discover relevant content are varied and wide. In this increasingly complex environment, institutions are seeking strategies to make their students’ theses and dissertations as widely visible and cited as possible. With EBSCO Open Dissertations, institutions and students are offered an innovative approach to meeting these goals by driving additional traffic to ETDs in institutional repositories. The program is free for authors and participating institutions with the desired end of making significant open-access content more readily discoverable to end-users within and beyond academic institutions.”

The Good News: You Can Download Hawking’s PhD For Free; The Bad News: It Took 50 Years To Make It Happen | Techdirt

“Techdirt has been writing about the (slow but steady) rise of open access for a decade. That’s as long as the Annual International Open Access Week has been running. Cambridge University came up with quite a striking way to join in the celebrations: Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis, ‘Properties of expanding universes’, has been made freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, after being made accessible via the University of Cambridge’s Open Access repository, Apollo. The 1966 doctoral thesis by the world’s most recognisable scientist is the most requested item in Apollo with the catalogue record alone attracting hundreds of views per month. In just the past few months, the University has received hundreds of requests from readers wishing to download Professor Hawking’s thesis in full. The idea has been quite a hit — literally, since the demand for Hawking’s thesis was so great on Monday, that it hit the Apollo server hard enough to take it offline for a while. The Guardian reported:”

Digital Library Software Engineer – Job Details

“Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) is a community of Information Technology professionals committed to understanding our users and devoted to making it easier for faculty, students, and staff to teach, research, learn, and work through the effective use of information technology.  We are recruiting an IT workforce that has both breadth in their ability to collaborate and innovate across disciplines – and depth in specific areas of expertise.  HUIT offers opportunities for IT professionals to learn and work in a unique technology landscape and service-focused environment.  If you are a technically proficient, nimble, user-focused and accountable IT professional who also connects with the importance of collaborating well in a team environment we are looking for you!

Provide technical support and for the systems and services used by the Office for Scholarly Communications as well as services provided to scholars to support open access policies and system infrastructure. …”

Open Access (the book) – Harvard Open Access Project

The home page for Peter Suber’s book, Open Access (MIT Press, 2012), with a growing collection of updates and supplements, and links to reviews, translations, and OA editions.

“Contribution to Open Access Repository by the Central Universities of ” by GARVITA JHAMB and ABDUS SAMIM

“Present paper attempts to provides the overview of the contributions made by the central universities of India to the open access repository namely Shodhganga. There are in total 46 central universities in India as listed in UGC website out of which only 25 are sharing their research outputs to Shodhganga or are the ones which have signed MoU with Shodhganga. Open ETD plays an important role in the academic community as it helps in preventing duplication of research work already been done. This paper is an intensive case study of the contribution of theses faculty wise and year wise from different central universities in India.”

Center for Open Science Launches Thesis Commons, an Open-source Platform for Theses and Dissertations

“The Center for Open Science (COS) is pleased to announce the release of Thesis Commons, a free, cloud-based, open-source platform for the submission, dissemination, and discovery of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations from any discipline. Authors can share their electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) with a quick and easy submission workflow.  Readers can search, discover, and download with a clean and simple interface. Institutions can sign-up for a branded version of the service for their institutional community for hosting ETDs, preprints, or other scholarship.  

Thesis Commons in part of  a rapidly growing community of open scholarly communication services built on an open-source infrastructure called the Open Science Framework (OSF).  As a shared, public good, the OSF dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for communities to introduce and operate services across the research lifecycle such as preprints, ETD repositories, and data or materials archives.  With a planned integration of a peer review service layer, communities will be able to moderate these services directly and operate discipline-specific repositories or journals with a common integrated infrastructure.”