Your Story Matters

DASH provides free, open access to thousands of scholarly works by Harvard-affiliated scholars and researchers. Works are accessed and knowledge is put to work by scholars, students, researchers, doctors, nurses, writers, journalists, government officials, social workers, and parents around the world. Use our new form to share how this access benefits you. You can provide your name or remain anonymous; it’s up to you. 

Here are some of the stories users have already shared:

I am the director of a private foundation, and access to research such as this is really helpful as we develop and adjust our own strategy. Open Access means I can also share the paper with relevant grantees who are working with (or without) us on civil society issues in Africa.”
Director, Private Foundation 

My university’s library cannot afford extensive (and expensive) access to many journals now archived online, and since I really needed to look over this article again pronto, finding it available gratis courtesy of Harvard was a very pleasant, welcome surprise. Thanks!”
University Professor 

As a professional nurse doing research on global health issues or initiatives, I found these articles relevant to my needs. Access to this site has help[ed] me tremendously.”

I needed a refresher on measures of validity. An internet search yielded a link to an article that was particularly relevant to my needs. Because the article was easily available through DASH, I saved much time and effort!”
Research Manager

I am looking for new approaches and information to teaching economics. Lacking open access I wouldn’t have access to articles like this.”
Community College Instructor

Having access to top-level scholarship is critical to my work.”
Science Journalist

This worked very well. For an independent researcher this is really important, to have … access to the latest publications. The information about the dynamical behaviour data was essential in my own study [of] dynamics between different sky conditions.”
Independent Researcher

Access to this site has helped me tremendously in my dissertation research. Thank you!”
Doctoral Student

This story assisted me in writing an essay for a weekly assignment on ‘Racial and Biological Crime Theory Controversy.’”
Undergraduate Student

I work as a clinical researcher in Toronto, Canada. Mainly working with genetic disorders–we do have access through our institution to various publications, but sometimes it is just too many hurdles to jump over in order to obtain a publication. Open Access, on the other hand, provides easy access to crucial publications not only to myself but also individuals who I may collaborate with and not have the same ease in obtaining various articles.
–Clinical Researcher, Canada 

 “Access to the latest healthcare research is an invaluable tool … to provide education and guidance regarding healthcare options to patients, families and caregivers.”
Social Worker

I was answering a question for my children about nature versus nurture [and needed] to access quality information on the subject.”

There is [a] reference data base in our library online but the amount full text is very poor … which brought me here.”
Graduate Student, P. R. China

Very helpful for my research on ideology. Our library doesn’t get this journal.”
College Professor 

As a freelance writer with limited access to university scholarship - and limited funds - it is a great benefit to be able to read and cite significant literary, academic work such as this.  Thank you very much for Harvard’s Open Access.”
Freelance Writer 

I am working on a grant proposal to NSF to develop an informatics tool that will help evaluators and researchers determine the impacts of STEM education interventions. In preparing for this work, I wanted to see if there was existing work on the concept of ‘education informatics.’ This article will inform my grant proposal. Thank you.”
Grant Writer 

Access to this article really helped me do my research from home, as I am a full-time working, non-traditional student. When I don’t have time for the library, accessing these articles makes it possible for me to still do great research, but at a time when I’m available. Thank you.”
Non-traditional Student

As an American working on a degree at a French school for the second time, I am again faced with very limited access to the scholarly resources I need to complete my research. Coming from a large, public university in the states to a very small, provincial school has left me without the digital resources I am used to and that I feel are needed for truly complex and useful research. Open access has greatly helped me when French libraries cannot.”
American Student in France

I am a freshman biomedical engineering student at West Virginia University. For my Confronting Pseudoscience course, I have a final paper due on the pseudoscientific topic of my choice. I have chosen the anti-vaccination movement, and it is extremely helpful to have scholarly articles like these open for my use without having to log onto my library’s network. Thank you!”
Undergraduate Student

I am using distance education to complete my degree and cannot get to a library easily. By being able to research and access decent articles online, it certainly makes my life a lot easier.”
Distance Education Student 

Free access to canonical texts in any science is of utmost importance for both theoreticians and practitioners in the ‘Knowledge Economy.’ I have been involved in the incredibly haphazard attempt to develop a professional bureaucracy or, better still, a meritocracy, for the Brazilian State for the last quarter of a century and one astounding ‘regularity’ in this ‘asymetric war’ against widespread patronage and systemic corruption is the somewhat muffled debate as to the very nature of the state, as an organization. Being able to access literature of this caliber at a moment´s notice has been not only helpful, but indeed paramount for my daily routine of spreading the belief among my peers and eventual subordinates that change in the status quo is not only possible, but fundamental for the development of a nation as big and as unequal as Brazil. In opening up the library of ‘ivory tower’ to the common man, Harvard is indeed being true to her motto!”
Government Official, Brazil 

Thank you for providing this critical article on construct validity. I am a post doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in the Division of Adolescent Health, Healthy Development and Prevention Research Center. During a Critical Reading class assignment I needed to have a better understanding of the conceptualization and use of this type of validity measure and so searched Google and came across your landmark article which provided clarity. Thank you for graciousness in sharing this knowledge. I will indeed do likewise and share with my colleagues. Thank you once again.”
Postdoctoral Researcher 

I am an associate professor of biology at Missouri State University and avid distance runner. Although my area of expertise (herpetology) has nothing to do with human evolution, my interest in running has drawn me into the primary literature on endurance running adaptations. I have volunteered to give a presentation on the role of endurance running in human evolution in a public lecture series sponsored by our college next semester. Daniel Lieberman’s research is central to the topic of the presentation so accessing this article is very helpful.”
University Professor 

This year I am a senior in high school and am currently enrolled in an IB Psychology course. For my Internal Assessment (IA) experiment and research paper I needed sources relating to implicit memory and the effects of psychological priming. I have found what I need on this website! I am so glad they have made their own research available to others, I will make sure to cite it in the References section of my own paper. Thank you.”
High School Student 

Access to academic literary criticism is an important part of my intellectual life. I am not affiliated with any university and so I have a dearth of educational resources. I have had four years of college education, no degree, and even at my state college it could be a challenge to find a place to ask questions and test my ideas about literature. Pursuing ideas and educating myself is easier and more effective if I can access academic papers through programs like DASH. Thank you.”

I am constantly searching and sourcing articles.  Right now there is a snow storm, and I’m at home, some distance from the University of Guelph.  There’s a paper I very much want to read (on learning in reaction diffusion systems!).  Thanks to Open Access, I’m about to read it!”
Canadian Researcher

I’m a second year B Education student at Unisa (South Africa). This article helped me complete and assignment on the way modern scientific research in the 19th century influenced Western perceptions of racial difference. Open Access is a great help to students who have little funds to support their studies. Thank you!”
South African Student

I am a researcher in Public Health in eShowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, working at eShowe Hospital - a rural government hospital at the heart of the HIV epidemic in South Africa. I am working on a research project into adherence to ARVs. Adherence rates are dangerously low at the hospital. Out of 9,000 patients, there is a possible 60% attrition rate, viral loads amongst the same proportion of patients are over 1000 copies/ml and staff are demoralised and directionlesss. We are trying to find a way forward. The research is aimed at getting behind the reasons people are defaulting on treatment and then building a strong net of support around them that is based on real life situations to help them adhere. Your access to information is key for setting the parameters for our research here. With free access we are able to use it - all those articles that are accessible only through payment are beyond the purse of a small rural hospital such as ours. We are indeed very grateful and WISH that more agencies would allow us such access.”
Public Health Researcher, South Africa

As a human rights officer working for a small human rights NGO, I don’t have access to articles distributed by large publishing websites. High level scholarship should not be only for those with $15 or more to spend per article, or for universities and large institutions. It should be available to the front-line users who are trying to apply the information to bring change to the world – whether in human rights, science, or any other endeavor. Let’s put the power of the Internet to use to bring scholarship back to its roots – making the world richer, one mind at a time.”
Human Rights Officer

THANK YOU for allowing access to this article. I’m an undergrad researching hoarding disorder and of course, most journal articles pertaining to my research are available for purchase only. My college is a small one with limited access to scientific journals. I will attend a larger university in a year but until then, the quality of my work suffers in direct relation to how many scholarly articles are available to me as an individual and to my small school. Open access to information is crucial to my personal education and to the field I hope to enter. Science is powered by data sharing!”
Undergraduate Student 

I appreciate enormously your Open Access to academic papers … My university in Madrid is subscribed to few journals, which are mostly related to my discipline. It is therefore very difficult to make interdisciplinary research. With the crisis, most universities in Spain are unsubscribing from most journals, so it is getting more and more complicated to access scholarly material. It is a great opportunity for students or people who may not be affiliated [with] a big university but who are researching in non-academic but still important knowledge production environments the chance to access and therefore contribute to their fields. Thank you and congratulations for the initiative.”
Researcher, Spain

I came across this site through Google. Before this, I have also been searching for other open access sites like CCEL, DOAJ. Some of the articles which I found [have] helped me a lot to deepen my understanding of certain issues that interest me and I think it is a good opportunity for people to gain information, especially people like me, who have access to the computer but can’t afford to buy books.”
Freelance Translater and News Writer, Malaysia

My son is writing a researched position paper on international adoption for his writing 121 class (a college credit class taught at his high school). Scholarly resources are required, and because we are in a small rural community, access to credible sources on the internet is necessary. Thank you.”

Starting a research project at the frontier between ecological and social sciences. The DASH project access to this article permits me to read research from another discipline that is not covered by the journal database package subscribed to in the laboratory where I am posted.”
Social Sciences Researcher 

I am an independent researcher working on low-cost open-source lab equipment. I run biotechnology workshops and supply affordable equipment in Northern California. Lacking institutional affiliation, I sometimes find it difficult to access literature while developing new products or teaching existing classes.  Thanks to Harvard’s enlightened open-access policy for this article, I am working on reproducing the results of this article in my own lab. Thanks, Harvard!”
–Inventor & Educator

I am a professor in Uruguay, and I don’t have access to the Review of Economics and Statistics. I read a very interesting article that cites this work, and thought I might review both for a local newspaper, illustrating what works and what doesn’t to improve education. I care about education, and sometimes here decisions are made without much information. I thought this might help.”
Professor, Uruguay

Although I am lucky enough to be able to use an excellent library, where I could read the print version of this article, on-line access means that I can have my own copy easily and quickly. Moreover, had it not been on-line, I doubt that I would have found it.”
Professor, United Kingdom

I’m an independent scholar and applied scientist in climate adaptation. In private practice, sometimes aligned with a research organisation but often alone, I have to rely on open source peer reviewed materials as the wide range of geographical, sectoral and technical challenges require current, broad and deep research material.”
Researcher, Australia

I work at Universidad de Chile, Chile. Even being the biggest and one of Chilean universities with more resources, usually we have limited access to articles due to limited budgets for libraries and virtual subscriptions. (As illustrations, my colleagues of smaller universities from Chilean provinces usually ask me to download or get articles because in their cases they do not have any systematic subscription to journals). Another facet of this problem: I am in an Engineering School, thus usually have access for technical articles in my field. Buy usually paid subscriptions work for restricted areas, thus I have little access to paid journals and articles from other fields, particularly social sciences of interest to us (e.g. STS).

Open access policies have open us literally a world of opportunities and access to knowledge. And many professors among us are at your disposal to impulse these initiatives world-wide. Please, just let us know how we could help in this great initiative.”
Professor, Chile

Distrust and blame between rural and urban communities, as well as misinformation, has played a large role in our state politics especially in the last few years.  As our state government makes decisions about defunding public transportation, which affects mostly our urban centers, the need for real information to facilitate discussion is paramount. As a working-class voter without extra cash to research topics, open access to materials is extraordinarily helpful.”
Citizen and Advocate for Urban Centers

I’m a novelist and short fiction writer working on a collection of short stories tentatively titled “Homecomings” about soldiers, combat medical surgeons, and others coming home (or not coming home) from the two recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fiction Writer