Excerpt from “Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices” by Ian Sample
Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind 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 bill the library around $3.5m a year.
The memo from Harvard’s faculty advisory council said major publishers had created an “untenable situation” at the university by making scholarly interaction “fiscally unsustainable” and “academically restrictive”, while drawing profits of 35% or more. Prices for online access to articles from two major publishers have increased 145% over the past six years, with some journals costing as much as $40,000, the memo said.
More than 10,000 academics have already joined a boycott of Elsevier, the huge Dutch publisher, in protest at its journal pricing and access policies. Many university libraries pay more than half of their journal budgets to the publishers Elsevier, Springer and Wiley.
As one of America’s premier institutions, it could potentially have long ranging consequences for the publishing business if Harvard decides to take a stand against absurd subscription prices. If Harvard and some other top tier institutions make a stand, it is likely that the University of California system will follow suit. Not sure when and how this will happen, but the current model for publishing is not sustainable with shrinking academic budgets.
Edit: commentary by Michael Eisen, co-founder of the PLoS journals and Open Access advocate.
Learn how to be a better mentor, teacher, and student! Next week will be the first Entering Mentoring seminar for the Spring quarter. This seminar is open to graduate students, postdocs, and even professors that want to enhance their abilities as a mentor. This Spring we will hold 6 weekly 1-hour seminars covering topics common to all mentoring relationships.
Here are just a few benefits of participating in the Mentoring Seminar:
- Enhance your mentoring abilities through awareness and learn tools for effective mentoring
- Gain perspective on all mentoring relationships, including your own student/PI relationship
- Put on your CV that you took a HHMI Entering Mentoring Seminar
- Free coffee and bagels on Tuesday mornings!
Time: Tuesday mornings from 9:00am to 10:00am
Dates: Tuesday May 1st through Tuesday June 5th (6 weeks long)
Place: 148 Briggs Hall
Our tentative weekly schedule will focus on the following topics:
- Establishing a good mentoring relationship, and elements of a good research project
- Learning to communicate effectively and adaptively
- Setting goals and expectations, and developing trust
- Identifying and resolving challenges in mentoring
- Evaluating your progress as a mentor
- Developing a mentoring philosophy and drawing parallels in mentoring
To sign up, subscribe to the EnteringMentoring listserve at:
or email Brandon Zipp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kristi Bezold (email@example.com) for more information.
Feel free to email with any questions that you might have. We look forward to seeing you next week!
Brandon and Kristi
BMCDB Exit Seminar Crystal Berger: “p53, a Target of Estrogen Receptor (ER) Alpha, Modulates DNA Damage-induced Growth Suppression in ER-positive Breast Cancer Cells”
Crystal Berger (BMCDB) from Xinbin Chen’s lab will be giving her exit seminar this Thursday, April 26th from 2:30-3:30 in LSA 1022.
”p53, a Target of Estrogen Receptor (ER) Alpha, Modulates DNA Damage-induced Growth Suppression in ER-positive Breast Cancer Cells”