Publisher Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What publishers has Harvard negotiated agreements with to clarify the policy and simplify procedures?

Several publishers have either confirmed that their policies are consistent with the Open-Access Policy or have negotiated an agreement to clarify and simplify procedures for publishing articles that fall under the policy. (The first such was an agreement with the American Physical Society.) A full list of publishers who are "easiest to publish with" is available here.

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Q: What do these agreements between Harvard and publishers look like? What are the terms?

A model agreement can be found here.

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Q: Our standard publication agreement is inconsistent with the Harvard policies. Does this mean that we can no longer publish papers by Harvard authors?

No. Harvard's prior non-exclusive license takes precedence but allows the author to transfer non-exclusive publication and other rights. Harvard authors may use an addendum specifically designed to make publication agreements consistent with the applicable policy.

A sample copy of the addendum is available, which includes the basic addendum and some optional paragraphs that authors may add but that are not required for consistency with the policy. However, regardless of whether an addendum is used, unless the author directs that a waiver be granted of Harvard's rights for a particular work completed after the policy went into effect, Harvard's license stands.''

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Q: Does the Harvard Open Access Policy interfere with our ability to serve as an intellectual steward for articles we publish, for instance, pursuing illegal copying or plagiarism?

No. The Open Access Policy does not prevent you from acquiring exclusive rights under copyright (subject to the prior license to Harvard), and you may still enforce those rights in any way you see fit. Further, you may even pursue infringements of moral rights on behalf of authors (for instance, cases of plagiarism). The nonexclusive license to Harvard does not vitiate your abilities to support authors in this way.

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If the paper is in DASH, and if you'd like to discuss the situation, please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication. We'd be happy to talk.

To send a takedown notice, please contact Harvard's DMCA agent. This is the course to take whether the paper is in DASH or on a different Harvard site, such as the web site of a faculty member, student, department, or lab. Harvard will handle the notice in a manner consistent with the DMCA.

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Q: What versions of a faculty member's article are covered by the license to Harvard?

If the Open Access Policy applies to an article, the license covers any version of the article to which the author holds copyright (or held copyright before it was transferred) or which the author otherwise has the right to allow Harvard to use in this way.

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Q: What version of the article will the author submit to the University repository? When will it be provided?

The author will deposit the final version of the article that is covered by the license to Harvard (as just described). Typically, this would be the version of the article accepted by the journal, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process—what is often referred to as the "author's final version." The deposit is to be made no later than the date of publication. It is the deposited version that the repository will make available.

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Q: Will the author ever deposit the publisher's final version?

The Open Access Policy does not require deposit of the publisher's final version, that is, the version of the article distributed by the publisher to readers of the journal, incorporating any copy editing, layout, and typesetting done by the publisher. Moreover, in typical cases, the author will not have the rights necessary to submit that version to the repository for distribution. However, where the author has obtained from the publisher or otherwise has the necessary rights, and wishes to deposit that version, the author may do so.

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