Scholarly Communication Series to Feature Harvard's Stuart Shieber on Open-Access Initiatives

NEW YORK, September 11, 2008 Stuart Shieber, the architect of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences Open Access Resolution, will speak on open-access initiatives at Harvard and beyond. The talk will take place on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 1 pm in the Jed D. Satow Conference Room of Lerner Hall on Columbia's Morningside Campus.


The Open Access Resolution, approved by Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) on February 12, 2008, is the first university-level open-access mandate to be passed in the United States. It requires that FAS members grant Harvard a license to “make available scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles,” unless a faculty member actively opts out of the requirement. With this new policy Harvard’s FAS joins a growing number of faculties, schools, universities, and research funders worldwide that are instituting open-access mandates.

Open-access materials are accessible to anyone online at no charge and may have fewer restrictions on reuse. Advocates of open access argue that removing price and permission barriers to scholarship and research increases impact and advances the public good, while critics maintain that open access is not economically sustainable and imperils the valuable services provided by publishers of scholarly journals.

Professor Shieber is James O. Welch, Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. The founding director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society as well as the Director of Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication, Shieber is the author or editor of six books and numerous articles on communication, linguistics, and computer science.

This event is the first in the speaker series on today's pivotal issues in scholarly communication organized by the Scholarly Communication Program of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services. For information on the series, "Research Without Borders: The Changing World of Scholarly Communication," please email Kathryn Pope at, or visit

The Scholarly Communication Program is a service of the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, established in April 2008 to encourage discussion about and innovative solutions to scholarly communication issues. The Program aims to support faculty members, librarians, staff, and students as they consider their options for creating, distributing, evaluating, reusing, and preserving new knowledge in a rapidly changing communications environment.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.