SPARC-ACRL forum addresses Harvard open access policy

Contacts: Jennifer McLennan<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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Kara Malenfant


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For immediate release

April 22, 2008

SPARC-ACRL Forum addresses Harvard open access policy

CHICAGO – The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announce that the SPARC-ACRL Forum during the 2008 American Library Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., will provide a timely look at “Campus Open Access Policies: The Harvard Experience and How to Get There.” Co-sponsored by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services—Continuing Resources (ALCTS-CRS), the forum will give an up-close look at the recent vote by Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences enabling open access to their scholarly articles in an institutional repository.

The Harvard vote grants the university the rights necessary to archive and make freely available on the Internet articles written by Arts and Sciences faculty members. It is the first time the faculty of a <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />U.S. university has voted for an open access directive and the first time a faculty has granted permission to the university to make itsarticles available through open access.

The forum will offer an exploration of the motivations behind the Harvard policy, the groundwork invested in its creation, reactions and outcomes to date and the broader implications of this historic step. Headlining the event will be Stuart M. Shieber, professor of computer science at Harvard, director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society, faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the key architect of the policy.

Shieber will be joined by Catherine Candee, executive director, Strategic Publishing and Broadcast Initiatives, from the office of the president of the University of California, who will relate similar activity in the UC system; and by Kevin L. Smith, JD, scholarly communications officer at Duke University, who will suggest legal considerations for institutions following the open access policy path.

The 17th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, in room 210 A-C of the Anaheim Convention Center. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group will additionally host an open conversation about issues that surface at the Forum from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, in room 203 B. Please consult the final program to verify room assignments.

The Forum will be available via SPARC podcast at a later date. For more information, visit the SPARC Web site at



SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC's advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at .


The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents more than 13,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. It is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.


The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is comprised of nearly 5,000 members from across the United States and 42 countries from around the globe. It is the premier resource for information specialists in collection development, preservation, and technical services and is the leader in the development of principles, standards, and best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.