True for University of California, true for CUNY

Michael Eisen (UC Berkeley professor and Public Library of Science co-founder) makes clear, strong comments about access to faculty scholarship in “UC Research Should Be Free.”  Read it and replace every instance of “University of California” with “CUNY”: just as maddening, just as true.

Don’t have time to read the whole article?  Start with this:

That the public does not have unlimited access to the intellectual output of academic scholars and scientists is one of the greatest-ever failures of vision and leadership from the men and women who run our research universities — all the more so at a publicly funded institution like the University of California.

And then think a bit about this:

No single action would accelerate this process more than a clear endorsement from university leaders that free public access to the works people produce is not just a good— it is a priority. The university should take the lead by making such a declaration and openly altering the criteria for hiring, tenure and promotion to emphasize the value and importance of public access and ultimately require it.

Here at CUNY, we all need to act.  Read.  Discuss with your departments.  Discuss with your administrators.  Discuss with your campus’s faculty governance bodies.  Discuss at University Faculty Senate.  Vote.

Some of us are doing this already.  Here are some of the open access resolutions already passed by CUNY faculty:

Departmental policies are important and meaningful, and I very much hope more departments will pass them soon.  But, ultimately, departmental policies are not enough for university-wide change.

No, some of us is not enough.  Everyone at CUNY needs to be tackling this problem.

Yes, that means you.

Have 10 Minutes?

If you have 10 minutes today, I strongly recommend watching this video from the University of California about their proposed university-wide open access policy.  Universities with institutional repositories need policies like this to make sure their repositories can serve their intended purpose. Here at CUNY, we’re working on creating a repository — pretty soon, we’ll need to start working on a policy as well!

Also worth a look is the new guide from the Harvard Open Access Project: Good Practices for University Open Access Policies.  If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, at least scan the Talking about a Policy page — the right page for the phase we’re in here at CUNY!

Today, not tomorrow: Sign the petition in support of open access!

Please consider signing the petition at in support of open access to taxpayer-funded research:

This isn’t just another petition about just another topic.  No, this offers the chance to change the conversation.  Why?  Because the White House makes a formal response to any “We the People” petition that reaches 25,000 signatures in 30 days.  (The petition closes on June 19, so there’s still some time, but, even so, don’t delay!)

There is the very slight nuisance of having to create an account on (basically, you give them your name and email address), but if you were ever going to put up with some nuisance in order to sign a petition, this just might be the petition to do it for!

Go! Sign! Share broadly! Soon!

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