Faculty members at Stanford University’s school of education have voted to make scholarly articles available to the public for free, a policy change that the university says makes Stanford’s education school the first such school in the nation to join the growing “open access” movement in academia.
“We think it’s a huge gain in terms of public access, professional access, policymaker access, and lawmaker access,” said John M. Willinsky, the education professor who proposed the idea to his colleagues at the California university. “This is a body of work that is now available to schools that hasn’t been available before.” ...
...Stanford’s new policy was preceded earlier this year by a similar change at Harvard University, where the faculties of the school of arts and sciences and the law school also voted to share their academic work with the public.
“I think it’s important for Harvard and Stanford to do this, to use our weight to take the stand and give publishers pause before saying, ‘We’re not accepting any articles from Harvard or Stanford,’ ” Mr. Willinsky said.
The “open access” movement originated at an international conference held in Bulgaria in 2002. Until recently, though, the movement has largely focused on research in fields such medicine and technology, rather than the social sciences.
Pressure to share research findings with the public is also coming from a 2006 federal law, known as the Federal Research Public Access Act, which requires 11 federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, to make the studies they finance more widely available.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This from Education Week: