SPARC is the Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition. Twice a year, SPARC names an "Innovator" - an individual or group - which has been "..working to challenge the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public." The latest SPARC innovator is the Harvard Arts and Sciences Faculty. There has been widespread coverage of the Faculty's decision to make research outputs openly available (a similar policy has also been adopted by Harvard's Law Faculty).
The Harvard researchers want to assert more control over the dissemination of their work and ensure wider access to their research than is the case for papers locked behind solely subscription-based access.
Some extracts from the agreed motion:
"..The Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University is committed to disseminating the
fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment,
the Faculty adopts the following policy: Each Faculty member grants to the President and
Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to
exercise the copyright in those articles...
"To assist the University in distributing the articles, each Faculty member will provide an
electronic copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative
of the Provost’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Provost’s
Office. The Provost’s Office may make the article available to the public in an open-access
The full agreement is online at http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~secfas/February_2008_Agenda.pdf
The research is deposited in Harvard's open access repository. The equivalent system for Leeds, Sheffield and York is White Rose Research Online.