DangerFace writes: Exasperated by the rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged thousands of faculty members to make their research articles freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind costly paywalls. A memo from Harvard Library to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which cost the library around $3.5m a year. The extraordinary move thrusts one of the world's wealthiest and most prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is funded by the taxpayer. The outcome of Harvard's decision to take on the publishers will be watched closely by major universities around the world and is likely to prompt others to follow suit with similar recommendations.
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