OpenScholarOpenScholar is a versatile website creation and content management platform provided by Harvard Web Publishing (HWP) as part of a full range of web publishing services.

How do I create a site using OpenScholar?

There are two ways to create a website using OpenScholar:

  1. Go to and select "Get Your Website" on the homepage. This is the self-service option and it is free.
  2. Contact HWP to choose the "Basic" option. This includes project management, content strategy and other services. The cost depends on your affiliation. You can find more information in the Pricing section of the site.

Who can access my OpenScholar site?

There are four types of website access for OpenScholar:

  1. Anyone can see the site - it is open to the public and will be crawled by search engines.
  2. Anyone with the link can see the site, it will not be listed in Google.
  3. Only the Harvard Community can see the site - users must log in with PIN.
  4. Only users who are explicitly granted access can see the site, they can log in with a username and password or PIN.

What kinds of permissions can I grant to users?

The OpenScholar platform provides three user roles:

  1. Site administrator - can add users, change site settings, and has control over all content, taxonomy and widgets. There can be multiple administrators.
  2. Content editor - can add or edit any posts.
  3. Basic member - can add and edit own content only.

Site administrators can customize the permissions of the other two roles. There is also a site owner who has the same permissions as a site administrator but can also request that the site be deleted.

What are OpenScholar's key features?

OpenScholar is a Drupal platform that allows you to create public facing content using a WYSIWYG html editor. You can also:

  • Create taxonomy vocabularies to relate content to terms and keywords
  • Create slideshows and image galleries
  • Add events and display as a list or in a calendar
  • Add FAQs and display as an expand-collapse list
  • Add people profiles which display in a list and as detail pages
  • Create widgets that allow you to organize content to meet user needs
Read more about What are OpenScholar's key features?

What kind of help is available to me?

HWP offers two levels of help:

  1. Starter includes access to general training and documentation. There is no cost for this service.
  2. Premium includes Starter access as well as priority support through Service Now as well as access to site reports provided by SiteImprove.
  3. Contact the HUIT Service Desk at (FAS and CA) or your school IT help if you need more assistance.

Premium support costs vary depending on your Harvard affiliation and the kind of site you have. More information is available in Read more about What kind of help is available to me?

Who manages OpenScholar and where is it hosted?

HWP, part of HUIT's Administrative Technology Services, manages all OpenScholar websites which are hosted on the Acquia cloud. The cost varies from free to $22,000 per year, depending on the service level you require and your Harvard affiliation. You can find more information in the Pricing section of the HWP website.

Is OpenScholar free for me?

Creating a website using self-service is free. HWP also provides project management and other services for a fee. You can review those options on the HWP website.