Yesterday, I came across a very inspiring article (via Andrew Cullison on G+), on how Princeton has adopted a new open access policy for the scientific production of its faculty.
At a September 19 meeting, Princeton’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy adopted a new open access policy that gives the university the “nonexclusive right to make available copies of scholarly articles written by its faculty, unless a professor specifically requests a waiver for particular articles.”
Readers may recall that a few weeks ago we had a post discussing commercial academic publishing (prompted by an article by G. Monbiot). At that point, it hadn't occurred to me that yes, universities are ideally placed to exert the kind of pressure for open access that we seem to be badly in need of, especially prestigious universities such as Princeton. Authors will have a much stronger position to negotiate the terms of their copyright transfer if backed by open access policies in their institutions.
What a brilliant idea! How fantastic it would be if it became more widely implemented.