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Administration and Programs

Office for Scholarly Communication

Office for Scholarly Communication



The Harvard University Library Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) leads campus-wide initiatives to open, share, and preserve scholarship. In fulfillment of its mission, OSC runs several supporting programs:

  • DASH, the University's central, open-access repository;
  • Library Lab (launched in FY 2011), which offers opportunities for individuals to make original contributions to the way libraries work;
  • The HOPE fund, which provides a reimbursement mechanism for processing fees incurred by faculty for articles published in open-access journals; and
  • COPE, a multi-university compact to underwrite publication charges for open-access journals.

Challenges and Responses

  • Implementing Approved Open-Access Policies
    Throughout the year, OSC worked with four Harvard faculties to implement their open-access policies: Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard Divinity School (passed in November 2010).
  • New OA Policy
    The Harvard Business School was the sole Harvard faculty to institute a new open-access policy in FY 2010.
  • OSC as a University-Wide Resource
    Because the program was perceived widely as a dedicated FAS resource, OSC established an Open Access Liaisons group, which includes representatives from across the University. The group has proven highly successful as a forum for new programs and ideas for outreach to faculty in a wide range of disciplines.
  • Collaboration with Harvard Medical School
    Distinct open-access efforts at Harvard Medical School (HMS), including the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), reflect special open-access requirements of the National Institutes of Health. In an effort to integrate more fully with efforts in these two key faculties, OSC has made special efforts to coordinate dSpace development and to establish clearer ties between the DASH and HMScholar repositories.
    Having increased the level of coordination with HMS and HSPH, OSC is in a stronger position to explore a more formal collaboration with MIT.
  • Thesis and Dissertation Deposits into DASH
    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences continues to explore accepting electronic submission for theses and dissertations. DASH will host online access copies of these papers while the University Archives will continue to hold the official, of-record paper copies.

Collection and Service Highlights

  • The DASH—or Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard—repository opened in September of 2009. By the end of FY 2010, DASH contained 2,846 faculty articles, with approximately 350 article downloads per day.
  • With OSC leadership, Harvard established and signed the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE). COPE is "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds." During FY 2010, other signatories included: Cornell, Dartmouth, MIT, UC Berkeley, University of Ottawa, Columbia, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
  • With support from the Provost, OSC established the Harvard Open Access Publishing Equity fund (HOPE). The HOPE fund is Harvard's implementation of COPE. HOPE funded one article during FY 2010.
  • OSC has been actively working to solicit support for the Federal Research Public Access Act. In April, Harvard developed an open letter in support of FRPA that was subsequently signed by 27 university presidents, provosts, and research vice presidents.
  • In June 2010, Harvard was named a BioMed Central "Open Access Institute of the Year."


  • OSC has continued to work with IQSS and Catalyst in order to create simple procedures for faculty to share their research openly and across systems at Harvard.
  • OSC was a contributor and organizer of the Google Book Search settlement update/invitational meeting in May 2010. The office has an ongoing vested interest in making collections at Harvard available to a broader community.


During FY 2010, the Office for Scholarly Communication securely established itself in the library and open-access communities across the University, the nation, and the larger open-access world. Despite significant staffing changes during the year, the department made significant contributions inside and outside of Harvard, including COPE, HOPE, DASH, and the OA liaisons group. FY 2010 was spent establishing several programs and FY 2011 will in part be used to further promote these new initiatives.