Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Scholarship & the Read/Write Web

During my undergraduate and graduate years, the libraries I used struggled with the ever increasing cost of scholarly peer-reviewed journals. Today, faculty in Harvard's arts & sciences department are going to vote on whether they want to publish their research on an open-access server maintained by the library.
This is a great move. I know, I am completely biased. I love reading other people's research - a lot of librarians and educators - already use their blogs as a means of sharing their work and also working with others. I
However, I do wonder about what types of issues with come up once this starts and people begin access it. There are issues of plagiarism, how it will effect existing journals, how it will effect those specific fields and I am just not sure if the detriment will out weigh the benefits.
clipped from

At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web

Publish or perish has long been the burden of every aspiring university professor. But the question the Harvard faculty will decide on Tuesday is whether to publish — on the Web, at least — free.

Although the outcome of Tuesday’s vote would apply only to Harvard’s arts and sciences faculty, the impact, given the university’s prestige, could be significant for the open-access movement, which seeks to make scientific and scholarly research available to as many people as possible at no cost.

Under the proposal Harvard would deposit finished papers in an open-access repository run by the library that would instantly make them available on the Internet. Authors would still retain their copyright and could publish anywhere they pleased — including at a high-priced journal, if the journal would have them.

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