This is probably the most interesting story to come out of university libraries in some time. I applaud Harvard for suggesting it, because it will take a place like Harvard to pull it off. Faculty at Harvard have, for all practical purposes, made it. They don’t need to keep publishing at the most prestigious journals in order to advance and maybe get hired by a place like Harvard because here they are.
And, if they decided that publishing with smaller, less-expensive journals or publishing with some kind of open-source thingy is more prestigious than not, other scholars will follow suit.
This has been an enormous problem not only for libraries, but also in the university press world. If the cost of journals rises so quickly and eats up more and more of a more and more limited budget, it means university presses sell fewer books, because libraries don’t have the budget for them.
It’s nice to see someone pointing out to scholars what they can do to help university institutions like libraries and presses survive.