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OA on a roll – four institutions move forwards

The Open Access world has seen a few red letter days over the past few weeks.

Yesterday, Lund University announced that they have established an OA publication fund and set up a relationship with PLoS. Below is an excerpt from their Press Release:

In accordance with its commitment to ensure public availability of its research output, the Lund University (LU) has reached an agreement with the Public Library of Science (PLoS) for the central funding of publication fees of LU scientists without burdening the budget of the individual researcher.

Like many Open Access journals, PLoS journals charge a fee for publication. For papers accepted in PLoS journals after March 1st 2009, LU will pay the publication fee directly to PLoS from central funds for all articles where the corresponding author is affiliated with a LU department.

“Lund University is committed to the movement towards open access to scientific information and PLoS is a top quality Open Access publisher” says Lars Björnshauge, Director of Libraries, Lund University.

Last week, MIT unanimously adopted a university wide OA mandate which is best summed up by quoting MIT Faculty Chair Bish Sanyal, who said that the vote was “a signal to the world that we speak in a unified voice; that what we value is the free flow of ideas.” Peter Suber’s blog reported this story.

In addition, Harvard’s Kennedy School also embraced OA last week and adopted a Mandate, that’s in addition to the historic vote by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’s (FAS) in February, 2008. In the words of Kennedy School Dean, David T. Ellwood “In the developing world especially, where access to expensive journals is rare, there is a pressing need for access to the latest policy advice and scholarship coming from HKS faculty”. You can read more in the Library Journal.

Finally earlier this month, Oregon State University Library Faculty Adopted a  Strong OA Policy, the first library faculty in the USA to do so.

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