MIT joined four other universities in launching a new “Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity” on Monday September 15, 2009. The goal of the compact, according to its author, is to allow “the two journal publishing systems to compete on a more level playing field” by providing “equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals.”
To support this goal, the five universities have pledged to support fees for open access publication. Specifically, the universities commit to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by [their] faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”
MIT Provost Rafael Reif reflected on the significance of the compact: “The dissemination of research findings to the public is not merely the right of research universities: it is their obligation. Open-access publishing promises to put more research in more hands and in more places around the world. This is a good enough reason for universities to embrace the guiding principles of this compact.”
In addition to MIT, the other initial signatories are Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley. Other universities are encouraged to join at the compact web site.
More information:MIT news story
PLoS article by Compact author and Harvard professor Stuart Shieber