Open Access Policy

An open access policy for scholarly articles was adopted by vote of the Harvard Divinity School faculty on November 15, 2010, in keeping with its commitment to the dissemination of the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. (See full text of the policy.)

Open access policies have been adopted by the following Harvard faculties:

  • 2008: Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Law School;
  • 2009: Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Graduate School of Education;
  • 2010: Harvard Business School and Harvard Divinity School (HDS);
  • 2011: Harvard Graduate School of Design;
  • 2012: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;
  • 2014: Harvard Medical School

HDS Scholarship Accessible Worldwide via Open Access Policy Article Deposit in DASH

The HDS Open Access Policy enables free online access to scholarly articles authored by HDS faculty that have been deposited in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), Harvard University's central, online, open access repository.

To find scholarly articles by HDS faculty deposited in DASH, search by author (e.g., Graham, William A.) or community (Harvard Divinity School).

As of April 2015,  works deposited in the DASH repository by Harvard University affiliates had been downloaded more than 5,000,000 times. The DASH repository received more than 2,800,000 visitors from all over the globe by April  2015. To view statistics and global reach of material in DASH for all of Harvard or by community, such as HDS, use DASHStats.

Faculty can easily track the impact of their own scholarship deposited in DASH—downloads, visitors, article previews, and global reach—by creating an account in DASH (log in with Harvard ID and password) and viewing statistics in MyDASH. 

Participating in the Open Access Policy

Faculty participating in the HDS Open Access Policy should incorporate the following into their workflow with respect to scholarly articles:

Opting out of the Open Access Policy

Faculty may choose to opt out of the HDS Open Access Policy by requesting waivers. Waivers will be granted automatically, upon request, on an article-by-article basis.

To request a waiver, faculty should use the online Waiver Generator and log in with Harvard ID and password.

Scope of the Open Access Policy

  • Applies only to scholarly articles.
  • Applies to articles authored or co-authored by HDS faculty and completed after November 15, 2010 (except for articles for which the faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before that date).
  • Grants Harvard a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to distribute scholarly articles for any noncommercial purpose. Faculty authors retain ownership and complete control in their writings, subject only to Harvard's prior, nonexclusive license. Faculty can exercise their copyrights in any way they see fit, including transferring them to a publisher if they so desire. (However, if faculty authors do so, Harvard still retains its license and the right to distribute the article from the DASH repository.) See the Frequently Asked Questions of the Open Access Policy Guidelines from the Office for Scholarly Communications (OSC).
  • Model Open Access Policy includes annotations with explanations that may be helpful. The language of the Model Open Access Policy is similar to the language of the HDS Open Access Policy.
  • See the full text of the HDS Open Access Policy for more detail and exact language.


The Office for Scholarly Communication administers the DASH repository and provides information and support to Harvard faculty as they make decisions about publishing their scholarly works.

The Andover-Harvard Theological Library facilitates implementation of the HDS Open Access Policy and maintains a liaison to the OSC.

Questions may be directed to Renata Kalnins, HDS open access liaison and research librarian, 617.384.7488.