Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has adopted an open access resolution.
Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
Columbia University is joining a growing movement among universities and research institutions to make scholarly research available free to the public online. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is the first program at the university to adopt an open access resolution, which calls for faculty and other researchers to post their scientific papers in online repositories such as Columbia's Academic Commons.
The resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote of Lamont-Doherty's Executive Committee on Dec. 22, 2010, and will be effective on March 1. Similar resolutions have been adopted at Harvard, MIT, Duke, Stanford, and many other universities in the U.S. and several foreign countries.
Lamont-Doherty researchers typically publish scores of articles annually in many of the leading scientific journals. One of the challenges for scientific research, however, is that articles are often available only to researchers at universities and other organizations that pay substantial subscription fees. By posting articles in an open-access repository, authors are able to make their works freely and widely accessible to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. . . .
In addition to increasing the availability of research, the resolution has implications for agreements between authors and publishers regarding the copyrights of the individual articles. According to Dr. Kenneth Crews, director of Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office, the resolution underscores the connection between publication agreements and the ability to use and share one's own scholarly works. "While nothing in the resolution will upend publication conventions, the movement toward open access is raising awareness of the need to draft better agreements and for authors to be good stewards of their own copyrights," he observed. . . .
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is a key component of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and is one of the world's leading research centers seeking fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 300 research scientists and students study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, observatory scientists provide a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humankind. For more on Lamont's research, visit the web site at http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/.