Harvard Business Review to universities: your subscription doesn't include classroom use

The HBR articles are OK, but their main value is as reading material for students. How many business people really care about a case study of the cell phone industry 10 years ago? This sort of thing has an increasingly short shelf life. And the case study approach to business school is becomong outdated because it teaches student to do business analysis on scraps of information.

It would be much more useful to have some of the classic business analysis scenarios presented as large data sets with the code for the analysis.

I teach at York University’s Schulich School of Business and I can confirm that the business library has also been contacted by Harvard Business Review. Instructions were sent out to all professors advising that they could not /provide links/ for students to the material in the HBR collection anymore. The instructions we were given seem a bit different from the summary in that students could be assigned articles, but it had to be done in a particular way. The library has posted official guidelines for faculty on how to proceed that are publicly accessible. Given the situation with Access Copyright suing York University and the other universities that opted out from their licensing cartel, there is a lot of fear at the university, and the business school in particular, especially because business cases are treated differently under Canadian copyright law than other types of written material.

I am not an expert, but I do play one on BBS.

Isn’t Harvard Business sort of the poor stupid step-child of Harvard University? It doesn’t carry the reputation of Harvard not-business.

So, less concerned about our collective seriousness than if it were Harvard Physics speaking out.

I’m Bobby Glushko, the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Librarian for the University of Toronto Libraries (super long title activate!), and yes, this is real, and yes, it is a problem. While it’s not a settled question of law whether contract provisions trump statutory rights such as fair dealing, as a matter of practice we often don’t have the time or the money to engage in litigation on these issues.

That said, practices like this certainly make it more difficult to justify paying the prices that publishers like HBR request, and it certainly makes faculty much less likely to assign HBR cases and articles to their students. It may, in essence, be a problematic practice that corrects itself…

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.