Monday, March 23, 2009

Open Access at MIT

The following are extracts from MIT’s press release regarding its new Open Access policy:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 20 - In a move aimed at broadening access to MIT's research and scholarship, faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have voted to make their scholarly articles available to the public for free and open access on the Web.

The new policy, which was approved unanimously at an MIT faculty meeting on Wednesday, March 18 and took immediate effect, emphasizes MIT's commitment to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. . . .

Under the new policy, faculty authors give MIT nonexclusive permission to disseminate their journal articles for open access through DSpace, an open-source software platform developed by the MIT Libraries and Hewlett Packard and launched in 2002. The policy gives MIT and its faculty the right to use and share the articles for any purpose other than to make a profit. Authors may opt out on a paper-by-paper basis.

MIT's policy is the first faculty-driven, university-wide initiative of its kind in the United States. While Harvard and Stanford universities have implemented open access mandates at some of their schools, MIT is the first to fully implement the policy university-wide as a result of a faculty vote. MIT's resolution is built on similar language adopted by the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences in 2008. . . .

In the current scholarly publishing system, individual authors are required to transfer all or most of their rights to the publisher. Typically publishers will strictly limit access to the work through licensing and charge increasingly high subscription rates back to universities to access the articles. University libraries have faced subscription rates rising at a rate far outpacing inflation. The MIT Libraries, for example, spend more than three times as much on journal subscriptions today than they did in 1986. . . .

A faculty committee will work with the MIT Libraries to oversee implementation and determine a workflow for adding articles to DSpace. Under the new open access model, potentially thousands of papers published by MIT faculty each year will be added to DSpace and made freely available on the web and accessible through search engines such as Google.

1 comment:

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