Why? The jaded side of me considers:
- Threat of less prestige and less money vs. So much data out there, nobody finds my work. Dovetails with recent grant proposal RFP on "Data Rich Society"
- Harvard will loose financially and will loose prestige if everybody else continues to publish in scholarly journals. So, they need to start a campaign converting others.
Steven Hyman stepped into the picture as the new provost in 2001. Coming from the National Institutes of Health, Hyman was in the thick of the mandate to make research done with public funds available to the taxpayers. He arrived at Harvard with the view that there needed to be ways to make primary data more widely available.
â€œPeople think Harvard can do this kind of thing because Harvard is so rich,â€ says Shieber. â€œThe irony is that the reason people here got involved was the financial unsustainability â€“ even at Harvard â€“ of the current scholarly publishing regime, which has led to a steady erosion of access as we and other institutions must cancel subscriptions. The goal of this and future policies we will develop is not to save money. The goal is to broaden access.â€
â€œHarvard is no more unified or less opinionated than any other academic center,â€ says Kohane. â€œI donâ€™t believe the hurdles are any more significant at other universities. Others should think: If they did it at Harvard, we can do it too.â€