All news

Download statistics on open access articles now available

Posted October 24th, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Libraries have launched a new service offering download data for articles collected under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy.

MIT authors can log in and see how many times each of their own papers has been downloaded, and from which countries. Aggregated download numbers are available to anyone inside or outside MIT, including views of download data by department, lab, or center.

oastats screen shot country map all DLCs

The service is available at

We would appreciate feedback from MIT authors about this new service. Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions, to or to:

Ellen Finnie Duranceau / Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing / MIT Libraries

This news is being shared in celebration of International Open Access Week.

Second annual Open Access Week table a success

Posted October 23rd, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

OA table 2014Nearly 30 students, researchers, and staff stopped by the Office of Scholarly Publishing, Copyright & Licensing (OSPCL) table in Lobby 10 on Wednesday set up to celebrate the eighth international Open Access Week. About two-thirds were MIT undergraduates and grad students who hadn’t previously heard of open access.

Students who attempted a quiz question won a prize: an MIT Libraries t-shirt or the book Open Access by Peter Suber, a leader of the open access movement. (Other giveaways included MIT Libraries pencils and key chains, OA literature, and Halloween candy.) The most common response to the question, “Where can anyone, anywhere find research articles by MIT authors?” was, resoundingly, “Open Access!” (A good answer, though we were also looking for: DSpace@MIT, the digital repository that houses scholarly articles, theses, and other MIT content.)

Issues that particularly resonated with students were that increasing journal subscription prices are shutting out large numbers of readers around the world; that open access is way to democratize scientific research; and that through the Faculty Open Access Policy, MIT researchers have made more than 13,000 scholarly articles freely available online.

This is the second year the OSPCL has run an information table for Open Access Week.

DJing at a glance: Nov. 4, 11am, Lewis Music Library

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by Christie Moore

dj_tnDJing at a Glance: The History of Beatmatching with Mmmmaven’s General Motor.

About the presenter:
General Motor (Gareth Middlebrook) works with all aspects of DJ technology, yet has a particular fondness for vinyl and old-school mixing and DJing. He has opened for some of the most cutting-edge DJs and producers in the world, including Ben UFO and Pearson Sound, in addition to keeping the beat in Boston for years.

Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Reception follows.

Readers worldwide benefit from MIT open access articles

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT faculty established their open access policy as an expression of their commitment “to disseminating the fruits of [their] research and scholarship as widely as possible,” and in the five years since the policy was established, readers have indeed been accessing MIT faculty articles from all around the world.

oa map oct 1 2010 through sept 2014 from oastats without bottom lines

Recent comments from readers across the globe reflect the value of this open access:

Graduate student, Uganda: “I am grateful for making your online information resources freely accessible. I am a graduate student of labour studies and have greatly benefited from your noble generosity.”

Private researcher, Australia: “[I am] a disabled engineer researching gravity and inertia… My research is hampered by one thing alone, paywalls.”

Undergraduate student, Brazil:
“I am most thankful to MIT for freely sharing so many articles, for this attitude not only helps scientific knowledge to be disseminated across the globe,” but it also “inspire[s] those students who, like myself, do not have a chance of paying for many of these publications. MIT is not only sharing knowledge, it is helping those in need on the pursuing of their dreams.”

Doctor and master’s degree student, Italy: “Your material is precious, thank you very much.”

Access is important in the US as well. An independent researcher and open source developer in the US comments that he and a colleague researching in the same area “can each make more progress on our own, and collaborate together, more effectively thanks to the availability of a critical article.”

More reader comments are posted on the scholarly publishing website.

This news is being shared in celebration of International Open Access Week.

Downloads of MIT open access articles exceed 2.4 million

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

Downloads of articles in the MIT Open Access Articles Collection, made available under the faculty’s open access policy, now total over 2,460,000.

Monthly downloads from the collection of 13,700 articles routinely top 90,000, following a new peak of over 101,000 downloads in March of this year.

oa downloads by month through sept 2014

These downloads reflect the faculty’s wish, as expressed in their open access policy, to “disseminat[e] the fruits of [their] research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

This news is being shared in celebration of International Open Access Week.

Privacy concerns with Adobe Digital Editions 4.0

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by Stephanie Hartman

nullIf you use ebooks, the MIT Libraries would like you to be aware of privacy concerns recently raised about the use of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) 4.0.

ADE is an ebook reader that enforces the copyright protection embedded in some ebooks; many of the ebooks licensed by the MIT Libraries require the use of ADE to download and read them. Recently it was discovered that ADE 4.0 collects information about the books and pages read using the software, and transmits this information to Adobe servers as unencrypted text files. As far as we know this information is not collected or transmitted with ADE 3.0 or earlier. Adobe plans to release an update the week of October 20, 2014 to repair the unencrypted transmission, but has stated that the collection of this information is covered by its Privacy Policy.

If you use ebooks, we strongly recommend that you delete ADE 4.0 and download Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 in order to protect your privacy.

Please see the press release from the American Library Association for more information about the situation.


Welcome to MIT Family Weekend 2014

Posted October 21st, 2014 by mit-admin

familyweekend_logo_25thThe MIT Libraries welcomes families to campus for Family Weekend, October 24– 25!

Students, while your parents are here send them on a tour of the Libraries!

Tours offered:
Friday, October 24, at 10am & 2 pm

Did you know there is more than one library at MIT, each dedicated to a particular set of subjects? Take an exciting and informative hour-long walking tour to learn where they are located. Hear highlights of each library’s collections and services.

Can’t make one of the tours? Stop by any library location and say hello. Visit the original library reading room under the Dome in Barker Library, take in views of the river from Hayden Library, or visit our current exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130). Wired: A World Transformed by the Telegraph, is a fascinating look inside the Libraries’ special collections.

Also, follow MIT Libraries on Twitter and Facebook for the chance to win a Tim t-shirt!

New web page summarizes major US research funder open access requirements

Posted October 17th, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

As part of an effort to provide information about new open access requirements that are emerging from the White House Directive on “Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research,” the MIT Libraries will be tracking each agency’s requirements on a new web page.

screen shot research funder table

The requirements of the Department of Energy, the first agency to release its Public Access Plan, are included, as are other existing policies, such as the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as the NSF’s existing policy on data management plans.

doe logo

US federal agencies with more than $100 Million annually in R&D will be issuing their open access requirements in coming months, and those policies will be summarized on this web page as details become available.

If you have questions about open access requirements:

  • For publications, contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing, MIT Libraries
  • For data, contact

  • This news is being shared in celebration of International Open Access Week.

    New report gives insight on long-term preservation of digital materials

    Posted October 17th, 2014 by Heather Denny

    NDSAThe MIT Libraries is pleased to announce the release of the 2015 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship, from the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a report focused on issues related to the long-term preservation of digital materials. It is the result of many months of individual effort and dedicated institutional support from NDSA community members, including those of the MIT Libraries’ Program on Information Science.

    The 2015 Agenda provides funders and decision‐makers with insight into emerging technological trends, gaps in digital stewardship capacity, and key areas for funding, research and development to ensure that today’s valuable digital content remains accessible and comprehensible in the future, supporting a thriving economy, a robust democracy, and a rich cultural heritage.

    This new edition of the Agenda builds on earlier work, updating the 2014 report, and highlighting new areas of focus, specifically the selection and preservation of content at-scale. It outlines the challenges and opportunities related to digital preservation activities in four broad areas:

    • Key Issues in Digital Collection Building,
    • Organizational Policies and Practices,
    • Technical Infrastructure Development,
    • and Research Priorities.

    Each section articulates priority challenges, and then offers a set of actionable recommendations to address the challenges.

    The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) is a consortium of over 160 leading government, academic, and private sector organizations committed to long term preservation of digital information. Dr. Micah Altman, Director of Research and Head/Scientist, Program on Information Science for the MIT Libraries, was recently elected to a three-year term as Chair of the NDSA Coordinating Committee and was a contributor to the Agenda.

    For the Executive Summary and the full Agenda, visit the NDSA site. Information about the MIT Libraries’ Program on Information Science, as well as associated projects, classes, and events can be found at the program website.


    An Open Access Week event: Chemistry societies and open access — new options for authors

    Posted October 17th, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau
    OA speakers

    Pictured above, L to R from top: Professor Christopher Cummins; Jennifer Griffiths, RSC; Mary Yess, ECS; Kevin Davies, ACS

    In honor of International Open Access Week, the MIT Libraries are sponsoring a panel discussion on October 24 which will give authors an opportunity to hear directly from three chemistry societies about their new open access publishing options, and future plans.

    Please join us for this panel:

    Date: October 24, 2014
    Time: 12:00-1:00
    Location: Room 2-105
    Refreshments: a light lunch will be available at 11:45.

    Each of these societies has recently expanded their open access programs, and has announced new ways for authors to make their journal articles openly accessible.

    The panel will be moderated by Steve Gass, Interim Director of Libraries, and will include:

    • Professor of Chemistry Christopher Cummins, who will offer his perspective as an MIT author and Associate Editor for the journal Chemical Science (published by the Royal Society of Chemistry).
    • American Chemical Society: Kevin Davies, VP of business development.
    • Electrochemical Society: Mary Yess, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Content Officer & Publisher.
    • Royal Society of Chemistry: Jennifer Griffiths, Editorial Development Manager for North America.

    Short remarks from each speaker will be followed by a discussion.

    Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing, MIT Libraries

    New library borrowing privileges at top universities

    Posted October 15th, 2014 by Heather Denny

    Pictured in clockwise order: Cornell University, Yale University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College

    If your research takes you beyond MIT, you can now use the university libraries at Ivy League institutions around the country, through MIT Libraries’ partnership with Borrow Direct–a cooperative association of academic and research libraries.

    Beginning October 1, MIT students, faculty, and staff can visit and borrow materials from the libraries at: Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

    When visiting one of these libraries, simply show your campus ID card, and once verified, you will be issued a library card. The lending library’s policies and loan periods apply to guest borrowers. Borrowed items may be returned at either the lending library or your home library.

    For access to Harvard libraries, MIT users should continue to apply for borrowing privileges online, to guarantee access to the greatest number of libraries.

    When you’re not visiting in person, you can request materials from Borrow Direct libraries online. Search over 50 million volumes in the school’s combined library catalogs, and request circulating materials directly from the library where they are held. Most materials arrive in a few business days.

    OA research in the news: Autism as a disorder of prediction

    Posted October 15th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
    Pawan Sinha

    Pawan Sinha

    In a paper published this month, MIT researchers suggest that many of the varied symptoms that characterize autism may be explained by a difficulty with making predictions. The ability to predict is fundamental to tasks as diverse as adjusting to sensory stimuli and inferring other’s mental states based on the context. When prediction is compromised, a person lives in a “seemingly ‘magical’ world wherein events occur unexpectedly and without cause,” write the authors, who include professors Pawan Sinha and Richard Held from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Impaired predictive skills can make the world feel overwhelming and may lead to some of the behaviors linked to autism, such as repetitive behavior or difficulty gauging social situations.

    In devising their hypothesis, the researchers reviewed more than 100 studies and accounts of autism over more than three decades, with the goal of finding a common and coherent basis for the disorder. A new theory of autism could help researchers design to more effective therapies to treat it.

    “At the moment, the treatments that have been developed are driven by the end symptoms. We’re suggesting that the deeper issue is a predictive difficulty, which may, therefore, be a better target for interventions,” says Sinha.

    Explore Professor Sinha’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

    Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

    The Springer Book Archive (SBA) is here!

    Posted October 14th, 2014 by Chris Sherratt


    You may know that for several years, MIT Libraries has had online books (2005+) from the prolific publisher Springer. Now we are pleased to announce the addition of approximately 47,320 more e-books across all fields of engineering, math, physics, life sciences, social sciences and more…through Springerlink!

    Most of the titles in SBA were published between 1980 and 2005, but it does include some older books, such as Very’s Prize Essay on the Distribution of the Moon’s Heat and its Variation with the Phase (1891) and Economics Aspects of Immigration (1954). And, as before, you can still download chapters or whole books; great for a community on the go.

    Another great service available to MIT is Springer’s MyCopy: a chance to buy a sturdy paperbound copy of a book for $24.99 regardless of the current price: Bargains!

    Contact Michael Noga for further information, and enjoy your new access to older Springer books!

    MIT students share their thoughts on redesigned library spaces

    Posted October 14th, 2014 by Heather Denny

    Student-feedback-collageWebHow can we make a better MIT library?

    This question generated lively discussion among students in a feedback session held by the Libraries last week. Standing desks, iPads for checkout, headphones for loan, makerspaces, comfy chairs, and a cafe, were a few of the many ideas buzzing around the room.

    The students met with architects from the firm Shepley Bulfinch to provide feedback on upcoming library renovations in Hayden, Barker, and Rotch. They viewed slides of other libraries and learning spaces at different universities to stimulate discussion, and organized their ideas on flip charts with titles like: study/learn, work+research, create, collaborate, and interact.

    “I’m so impressed with the inner workings of the Libraries,” said Claire Webb (Grad, HST). “I’m amazed to be able to get any books that I want. The librarians are super helpful. These services dwarf the aesthetics of the library. The services work beautifully, but are so utilitarian, I wish these two things would align,” she said.

    The students’ suggestions will inform the planning process as the Libraries embark on major space renovations in the years ahead.  Another student feedback session will be held Tuesday, October 14.

    To learn more about the planning process, and add your ideas to the discussion go to the website: Planning the future of library spaces at MIT.

    NIH Public Access Compliance Hands-on Working Session

    Posted October 10th, 2014 by Mark Szarko

    Test TubeMissing a PMCID? Can’t figure out why a paper isn’t in compliance? Lost in NIH manuscript system? Join us for a problem solving session.

    When: Tue October 14, 12:00 – 1:00 pm,
    Where: 14N-132

    This session is designed to provide an opportunity for hands on problem solving in the systems that need to be navigated in the process of submitting and authorizing manuscripts and reporting progress on NIH Funded Grants (eRA Commons; NIHMS, and MyNCBI). Please bring your NIH compliance problems and logins to this session to work through together. Registration encouraged.

    For more information, please contact Courtney Crummett (

    Columbus Day hours: Monday, October 13

    Posted October 8th, 2014 by Grace Mlady

    american-flag-373362_640On Monday, October 13 the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

    All other library locations will be closed; the Libraries resume regular term hours on Tuesday, October 14.

    Have questions? Ask Us.

    authors@mit reading by Ellen Harris

    Posted October 8th, 2014 by Patsy Baudoin

    *Handel_ok jacket.inddCome hear Ellen Harris read from and discuss her latest book, George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends, published just this month by W. W. Norton & Company.

    Ellen T. Harris, professor emerita at MIT, formerly the Class of 1949 Professor of Music, was MIT’s first associate provost for the arts. She is an internationally recognized scholar in Baroque opera, specializing in the music of Handel and Purcell. She is also a performing soprano.

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

    5:30 pm

    Lewis Music Library (Bldg. 14E, 160 Memorial Drive)

    Refreshments will be served.

    Free & open to the public – Questions? Contact: (617) 253-5249

    authors@mit is a co-sponsored by the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press Bookstore


    OA research in the news: Study shows “substantial learning” in MOOC

    Posted October 1st, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
    by Ilonka Hebels, licensed under under CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

    by Ilonka Hebels, licensed under under CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, appear to be thriving. Want to hear about the “violent universe” from faculty at the Australian National University? Or take an introductory class on the music business from the renowned Berklee College of Music? These and hundreds of other courses have been offered on platforms like edX, Coursera, or Udacity in the two-and-a-half years since edX ran one of the first MOOCs out of MIT. Enticed by personal or professional edification, as well as the by the cost (free), thousands of people worldwide have signed up for online classes.

    But are MOOC students learning anything?

    This question has been little explored in the online teaching arena. Now, researchers including MIT physics professor David Pritchard, have published a study showing “substantial learning” in an edX MOOC. Using pretest and posttest questions, as well as analyzing homework and test results throughout the course, the researchers found that online students improved as well as or better than those in previously studied traditional classes.

    Explore Professor Pritchard’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

    Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

    Get productive: Learn more about productivity tools

    Posted September 30th, 2014 by mit-admin

    nullOctober’s a great time to step back, take a look at your research methods and work practices, and think about how you can be more efficient before the term gets even crazier.

    Like to learn on your own?

    Check out research guides on over 100 topics, from Accounting to Zotero. These guides will tell you the best resources for your subject, whatever it is.

    MIT Libraries support many productivity tools that can save you time and effort. Learn about productivity tools, including:

    Prefer to learn in a classroom?

    Register for one of our October workshops on a variety of topics, including productivity tools.

    Students: How can we make a better MIT library?

    Posted September 29th, 2014 by Heather Denny

    Share your ideas with us! Hayden-collage-web

    We’re planning renovations to library spaces, and we’d like to get ideas from some of the best thinkers we know–MIT students. In exchange for your thoughts, we’ll provide pizza and $25 gift cards.

    Register today for one of these sessions:

    Monday, October 6, 6–7:30pm, 14N-132

    Tuesday, October 14, 7–8:30pm, 14N-132

    To learn more about our planning process, see the website: Planning the future of library spaces at MIT.

    Or read about it in the MIT Faculty Newsletter: Redesigning Hayden Library and the Future of Library Spaces at MIT.