On Wednesday, I did a post on the business model of "free."
Coincidentally, on Thursday, Harvard announced it will begin posting some research on the Internet--for free.
On Tuesday, Harvard's arts and sciences faculty met to discuss the possibility. According to The New York Times, the faculty "voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that would commit Harvard to open access access--the movement to speed the exchange of knowledge by freely distributing research on the Web."
This decision applies only to the arts and sciences faculty.
An Office of Scholarly Communication will be created along with a website. It is expected that these will be ready by April 1. The authors of scholarly articles will retain their copyright and are free to publish their research elsewhere.
On Tuesday, the director of the university library was quoted by The New York Times, saying, "In place of a closed, privileged and costly system, it will help opne up the world of learning to everyone who wants to learn . . . It will be a first step toward freeing scholarship from the stranglehold of commercial publishers by making it freely available on our own university repository."
A first crack in the dike?