Scholarly Communication

New video released: a conversation with philosophers Richard Holton and Peter Suber on open access

Posted November 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

In a new video, two philosophers, Professor Richard Holton, Chair of the MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group, and Peter Suber, author of the MIT Press book Open Access, discuss the significance of open access to research, and the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The video captures a live discussion held at MIT during global open access week in October, sponsored by the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press, and moderated by Director of Libraries Ann Wolpert.

The philosophers reflected on whether their discipline has motivated their support of open access to research and scholarship. Professor Holton indicated that his role as a moral philosopher has highlighted the rare position academics enjoy with respect to their writing:

“we’re not like journalists, we’re not like novelists, or composers, who have to sell their stuff…we are in this incredibly privileged position, where we can give [our articles] away, and that only adds to the benefit to us.

Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, and a Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said his “primary motivation” in supporting open access is not linked specifically to philosophy, but rather to his desire to seize the opportunity the web holds for scholarly publishing.

Holton explored the possibilities open access offers for this kind of change in the scholarly publishing system, identifying the “strong monopoly position” of some publishers as a key motivator for the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The Policy, Holton said, addresses the “mess” the scholarly publishing market is in by offering a “freely available database” of MIT-authored articles that is “indexed through Google Scholar and other search engines.” After making an article available in this database under the Policy, the author can still “go on and publish…with a scholarly journal,” which provides the “very important task as a kind of quality control.” He notes that MIT has made “about a third” of articles openly available since the faculty Policy was put in place.

Both speakers addressed the role of publishers moving forward. In Suber’s view, we need to “persuade publishers [that] adapting to the world of open access publishing is better than resisting,” a task that is becoming easier given the increasing momentum of open access. Holton emphasized that working antagonistically is not necessary, that

“there is a way forward for both us and the publishers.”

Suber and Holton agreed that the recent approach to open access recommended in the UK could be counterproductive. “I love the ambition” of making all of the UK’s research open access, Suber said, but the UK should “tweak the policy” so that it emphasizes depositing manuscripts in repositories, in addition to the current focus on publication in open access journals. Holton had reservations as well. The UK plan is “not a good way to go,” he says, and will lead to “double dipping” by some publishers and to “entrench[ing] the monopolies of these journals.”

Both philosophers continue to devote their time and energy to supporting open access to research, working towards lasting cultural change that will make open access — and thus wider and more equitable access — the norm. They look to the day when, as Suber said, it will be “unheard of to write an article and not deposit it in a repository.”

More information:

Scholarly publishing website
Podcasts & videos on scholarly publishing and copyright

OA research in the news: SHASS faculty win awards

Posted November 21st, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Two MIT School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences faculty members have won awards for their work. Economist Anna Mikusheva received the 2012 Elaine Bennett Research Prize from the American Economic Association. The prize honors outstanding women researchers at the beginning of their careers. Mikusheva, who has PhDs in both economics and mathematics, studies econometrics theory.

Anthropologist Stefan Helmreich has won the 2012 Rachel Carson Prize for his book Alien Ocean. The prize recognizes works of social or political relevance in science and technology. Helmreich’s book, which has won several awards, explores marine biologists’ study of microbes.

Explore Professor Mikusheva’s research and Professor Helmreich’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.

OA research in the news: Ocean feeding strategies

Posted November 8th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Detailed computer simulation shows how a patch of nutrients gets distributed in turbulent water. Image courtesy of Roman Stocker and John Taylor

Scientists have long believed that ocean-dwelling microorganisms need not move to gather food because turbulence distributes nutrients uniformly. Using a computer model that simulates a turbulent sea, Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Roman Stocker and colleague John R. Taylor have shown that some bacteria swim for food and others don’t, and that there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The study, published in the journal Science last week, is the first to show how the ocean environment affects feeding strategy. “We’re working at the interface between microbiology and fluid dynamics,” Stocker told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Stocker’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 viaDSpace@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.

Global downloads of papers under MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

Posted October 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Three years ago this week, in celebration of Global Open Access Week, the Open Access Articles Collection was launched to house papers made available under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. In those three years, downloads have been initiated from all parts of the globe.

Only about 1/3 of the use is from the United States, with the rest widely distributed around the world. Some of the heaviest activity comes, unsurprisingly, from well-populated and research-intensive areas such as China (11%), India (6%), the UK (5%), France (3%), and Japan (3%). Canada and Mexico make up another 3.5% of use. But downloads have originated from nearly every country, including, looking just at those with names starting with “T”: Taiwan (2%), Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Tuvalu.

Three years in, this evidence suggests that the faculty’s goal in creating the policy — to “disseminat[e] the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible” — is being met.

This news is being reported in celebration of the third anniversary of the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers under the Policy, and Global Open Access Week, which runs from October 22 through 26.


For more information:

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy: 7,500 papers available to the world

Posted October 25th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

By the end of September, 2012, the Open Access Articles Collection, containing papers made available under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, included over 7,000 papers:

OA collection: total items through September 2012


The total reached 7,500 by mid October, and the collection now includes approximately 1/3 of the papers published by faculty since the Policy was adopted. These papers are read and appreciated around the world, as evidenced by the many grateful comments received from readers.

This news is being reported in celebration of the third anniversary of the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers under the Policy, and Global Open Access Week, which runs from October 22 through 26.


For more information:

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

OA research in the news: Wireless@MIT

Posted October 25th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has launched the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing (Wireless@MIT), whose goal is to bring researchers from MIT and industry together to develop next-generation wireless technologies. The center, co-led by electrical engineering and computer science professors Hari Balakrishnan and Dina Katabi, will work on problems like extending the battery life of mobile devices and figuring out how to do more with the limited radio spectrum licensed to wireless carriers.

Explore Professor Balakrishnan’s research and Professor Katabi’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.

New Podcast: George Stiny on “The Secret Formula is this: Copy!”

Posted October 24th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The latest in the series of podcasts on scholarly publication and copyright is an interview with George Stiny, Professor of Design and Computation in the Department of Architecture at MIT, and a member of the faculty committee that put forward the Open Access Policy for a faculty vote in March of 2009. He addresses the problem of copyright in relation to the design process from his perspective as an artist, designer, mathematician, philosopher, and programmer.

In the podcast, Professor Stiny speaks about the importance of appropriation in design. His comments hint at the limitations of the perspective copyright law offers on copying, for disciplines that necessarily and inevitably build on the work of others.

Art, Professor Stiny says, “is about using what you see around you in a new and fresh way, and if that means copying, that means copying.” He tells the story of his daughter, a young artist, who copied a van Gogh painting, even down to the artist’s signature. When he asked why she hadn’t signed her own name, his daughter said, with a smile, “Next time I will.” That is perfectly appropriate, Professor Stiny says, because “her copy added things to it that were fresh and new and let her see it in a new way…that is the source of art.”

His advice to students, the makers of tomorrow’s culture, is “don’t be afraid of copying.” Indeed, he says, copying is “the secret formula” in art and design, and is “as original and creative as anything else we do.”

Download the audio file. (8:43 minutes)
Listening to other podcasts in the series

This news is being reported in celebration of the third anniversary of the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, and global Open Access Week, which runs from October 22 through 26.

More information:
Professor Stiny on the Copy in Copyright
Other podcasts in the series

To subscribe to the MIT Libraries’ Podcasts on Scholarly Publishing, paste this link into iTunes or another podcast reader: http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/6772/

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy celebrates year three with 630,000 downloads

Posted October 23rd, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Faculty Open Access Policy was established in March 2009, and the first papers were made openly available under the Policy in October 2009 through the Open Access Articles Collection. This week, as we mark the third anniversary of the collection, papers were being downloaded at a rate of 40,000 times per month. This is double the rate at the same time last year.

OA articles downloaded through September 2012

The collection has seen over 630,000 downloads since its creation. The download rate is climbing steadily: 380,000 of these downloads occurred in the past year.

Open Access article downloads by year

This news is being reported in celebration of the third anniversary of the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, and global Open Access Week, which runs from October 22 through 26.

For more information:

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

Worldwide Impact of Open Access to MIT Faculty Research

Posted October 22nd, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Three years after MIT faculty chose to make their scholarly articles openly accessible through the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, individuals around the world have benefited from free access to MIT’s research. Comments submitted to the Open Access Articles Collection in DSpace@MIT reveal that faculty articles have helped a wide range of people—students trying to complete professional and undergraduate degrees; professors at universities with limited access to scholarly journals; independent researchers; those in need of medical information; and those working to stay current and advance their careers.

“I am an independent researcher from a third world country not affiliated to any university or a company,” a commenter from Nepal said. “I neither have access to paid journals nor I can afford them. MIT’s Open Access is something I love and rely upon…Thank you again for thinking about the unfortunates and keeping the information free and open.”

Before the open access movement, and even now, much of the content published in academic journals was inaccessible to general readers due to high subscription costs. The MIT faculty’s groundbreaking decision to share their articles with the public has made a significant impact within academia and well beyond. Since the Policy went into effect in March 2009, over 7,000 papers, roughly 33% of MIT faculty articles published in that period, have been made openly available. The papers have been downloaded over 630,000 times, and readers have come from nearly every country in the world (see figure). Their stories have clearly answered the question of whether there were potential readers of MIT-authored papers who would benefit by open access.

One particularly poignant story came from a reader who wrote that his wife was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer.

“As her husband and caregiver, I try to do everything I can to make her journey easier, and everything I can to create a full recovery for her. Part of that is arming myself with EVERY bit of knowledge I can gather about her cancer,” he said. “Access to the Open Access articles allowed a ‘non-medical, non-academic’, like myself access to this invaluable and leading edge data. I cannot THANK YOU enough.”

Downloads from MIT Open Access Articles Collection through September 2012

Another reader wrote that he is “a displaced Electrical Engineer from Eastman Kodak” and that “the MIT Open Access Articles allow me to obtain technical articles to help me prepare for interviews since I am not associated with any institution at this time. I am extremely grateful to the MIT faculty for allowing individuals like me to get access to such valuable resources.”

Inspiring stories have come from all around the globe—In Norway, a retired sub-sea engineer who creates ocean models uses data from MIT articles to update and improve upon his models. In Portugal, a medical dentistry student finds the articles “very useful” to finishing his degree and believes open access is “the right way to follow.” In Denmark, a university researcher thanks MIT faculty for “a significant contribution to making scholarship more efficient, comprehensive, and accurate.” In France, a professor found an article that assisted him with research on a new topic: biorobotics. And in India, an editor in the embedded design community writes that his audience will benefit from reading an article from the collection.

These stories demonstrate how MIT faculty are making a tangible difference by sharing their research with the world, directly supporting MIT’s mission to share knowledge for the “betterment of humankind.”

Explore the Open Access Articles Collection online to find the most accessed articles, and latest submissions. Search articles by author, subject, issue date and more.

This news is being reported in celebration of the third anniversary of the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, and Global Open Access Week, which runs from October 22 through 26.


For more information:

Deposit an Article (faculty-authored, final peer-reviewed manuscripts)
MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

OA research in the news: “Megafunding” drug development

Posted October 12th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

It’s expensive and risky for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop drug treatments, and there are often few rewards for investors. In a Nature Biotechnology paper published online last month, professor Andrew Lo and two colleagues from Sloan propose a new financial structure—a “megafund” of up to $30 billion that spreads risk among a large number of investors and supports work to transform basic research into drugs for clinical trial. Lo, director of MIT’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering, was named to Time magazine’s 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. “We’re hoping this is going to be the beginning of a much longer and deeper conversation between financial experts and biomedical researchers,” he told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Lo’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 ab

Open Access Week Event: A Conversation With Peter Suber and Richard Holton

Posted October 11th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Please join us for a lively discussion about open access and its importance for scholarship and research at MIT and beyond, with panelists Peter Suber, author of the recently released MIT Press book Open Access, and Richard Holton, MIT professor of
Philosophy and Chair of the MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group.

The panelists, both professors of Philosophy, will respond to questions from the audience and from moderator Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries.

Richard Holton is Department Head and Professor of Philosophy at MIT. He wrote in the Faculty Newsletter about the importance of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy and is chairing the new MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group, a subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Library System. His current work is primarily in moral psychology, ethics, and the philosophy of law.

Peter Suber, considered the key chronicler and de facto leader of the worldwide Open Access movement, is a Faculty Fellow at Harvard, Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College. One reviewer called Suber’s book “very important” and said it was a “must read for all scholars and researchers who publish their own work or consult the peer-reviewed published work of others ––in other words, virtually all academics….”

The session will be held Wednesday, October 24, from 4-5 pm, in Room E25-111.

A reception sponsored by the MIT Libraries and MIT Press will follow.

This event is timed to coincide with Global Open Access Week, an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the need to remove barriers to accessing research.

Theses and article publication: New web page explains publisher policies

Posted October 5th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Libraries Office of Scholarly Publishing & Licensing is offering a new web page that summarizes key publisher policies regarding article publication and theses.

The policies described cover two different scenarios: graduate students’ rights to reuse their previously published articles in their theses; and the acceptance of a submitted article when the content first appeared in a graduate student author’s previously released thesis.

This information is useful for graduate student authors who are publishing articles based on thesis content before or after the thesis is submitted. This is because journal publishers normally acquire the copyright to scholarly articles through a publication agreement with the author, and publisher policies then determine what authors can do with their work, including whether the author has the right to incorporate the article into a thesis. For cases where the thesis is released first, journal policies vary with respect to what constitutes unacceptable “prior publication” of the article content.

For more information, or to request that additional publishers be added to the page, contact copyright-lib@mit.edu

Also see other information on thesis preparation:
Reuse of figures, images, and other content in theses
General information about thesis preparation

Developing future library leaders: The MIT Libraries’ Fellows Program

Posted September 27th, 2012 by Heather Denny

What will the future of academic librarianship look like? The MIT Libraries have a few ideas. With the launch of a new fellows program, the Libraries are taking an active role in shaping the future of the profession. The MIT Libraries’ Fellows Program was created to provide exceptional, early-career library professionals with the opportunity to contribute to program areas of distinction and strategic priority in a dynamic academic research library. Out of a pool of over 175 accomplished applicants, two fellows were chosen for two-year fellowship positions. Helen Bailey was appointed to the position of Library Fellow for Digital Curation and Preservation, and Mark Clemente was appointed to the position of Library Fellow for Scholarly Publishing and Licensing.

“The fellows will work with and learn from their MIT Libraries’ colleagues who are recognized leaders in these fields,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries. “Developing programs which contribute to the wider academic and research library community, as well as the real-world opportunities here at MIT, will position these highly talented fellows to advance in both the profession and their careers.”

Helen Bailey, the digital curation and preservation fellow, will report to Nancy McGovern, Head of Curation and Preservation Services, a highly respected leader in the field of digital curation and preservation with a well-established national and international reputation. Under McGovern’s direction, Bailey will work on a range of activities related to the long-term management of digital content, including participating in the Libraries digital content management initiative, contributing to an ongoing scan of community standards and practice for digital curation and preservation, the development of outreach materials to raise awareness about good practice, and conducting an experiment to recommend a solution for a specific curation or preservation need.

MIT Libraries' Fellows: Helen Bailey and Mark Clemente

Mark Clemente, the scholarly publishing and licensing fellow, will report to Ellen Duranceau, Program Manager in the Office of Scholarly Publishing and Licensing (OSPL). Duranceau has led the Libraries efforts in support of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy and provides copyright and scholarly publishing assistance to the MIT community. She also consults broadly with universities on scholarly communication policies and practice. Working with Duranceau, Clemente will contribute to the work of the OSPL in the areas of copyright advocacy, intellectual property, open access, and rights retention. Clemente will participate in enhancing and expanding a repository collection of open access papers under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy and will develop and carry out projects to advance the implementation of the Policy.

Bailey and Clemente both bring strong skills and backgrounds in library science to their new roles. Bailey has a B.S. from Florida State University, an M.S. in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Library and Archives Conservation. Since 2010 she has been a preservation specialist with the Dartmouth College Library. Clemente has a B.A. from American University and a M.S. in Library Information Science from Simmons College. He most recently served as a digital collections assistant at Boston College’s O’Neill and Burns Libraries.

Both fellows will have the opportunity to expand their skills and experience in ways that position them to excel and lead in the research library profession. The Fellows Program was made possible with support from The Director’s Fund for Library Excellence.

 

 

OA research in the news: Global warming and tropical rainfall

Posted September 27th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Scientists believe that global warming will lead to more intense rainfall around the world, but models have been at odds about the rate at which it will affect extreme precipitation in tropical regions. A new study by atmospheric science professor Paul O’Gorman uses observations and computer simulations to estimate that with each one-degree Celsius climb in temperature there will be 10 percent heavier rainfall extremes in the tropics. This “suggests a relatively high sensitivity of tropical precipitation extremes to global warming,” O’Gorman told the MIT News.

Explore Professor O’Gorman’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.

Particle physics on path to open access

Posted September 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Six years of global negotiation have paid off for the consortium that has a vision: to make the scholarly literature of high energy physics openly available to anyone in the world.

The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) has negotiated 3-year contracts with 12 journals “that would make 90% of high-energy-physics papers published from 2014 onwards free to read,” according to a report in Nature.

The SCOAP3 deal involves pledges of support from more than 1,000 libraries and other funders around the world, including the MIT libraries. Libraries’ payments will be used to pay the publishers an agreed-upon fee per paper, averaging $1550. In return, all 12 journals, including about 7,000 articles from journals such as the American Physical Society’s Physical Review C and D, Elsevier’s Physics Letters B and Nuclear Physics B, and Springer’s European Physical Journal C and Journal of High Energy Physics, will make their content openly accessible to all readers. Six of the journals will switch their business models from subscription to open access. For others, only the high-energy physics articles will be open access.

Salvatore Mele, the leader of the SCOAP3 project at CERN, the high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, indicated to Nature that the goal of the project is “to open access without researchers noticing any effect on their grant funding or on the way they publish their papers.” Pledging libraries are expected to be able to repurpose funds that were being used for subscriptions to these journals to pay the SCOAP3 fees; publishers will reduce their subscription prices to reflect fees they will obtain through SCOAP3.

The details of those arrangements are expected to be worked out in late 2012 and into 2013. Only then will contracts actually be signed. Nevertheless, this week’s announcement of a list of journals with specific article processing charges takes the deal a significant step closer to the conclusion of what Peter Suber, philospher and a leader of the open access movement, has called “the most systematic attempt to convert all the journals in a given field to open access.”

More information:
Nature article
SCOAP3 website

OA research in the news: Predicting the best medical treatment

Posted September 13th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

It can be tough for doctors to predict which treatment will best improve the health of patients with social anxiety disorder, whose sufferers intensely fear social situations. A new paper coauthored by Brain and Cognitive Sciences professor John Gabrieli could help make doctors’ choice easier. In a paper published this month, researchers show that patients with more brain activity in visual processing areas benefited most from cognitive behavioral therapy. “This was a chance to ask if these brain measures, taken before treatment, would be informative in ways above and beyond what physicians can measure now,” Gabrieli told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Gabrieli’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.

OA research in the news: Dincă named to TR35 list

Posted September 5th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Assistant chemistry professor Mircea Dincă has been named one of Technology Review magazine’s 35 Innovators Under 35. Dincă was cited in the September/October issue for building intricate sponges that, though tiny, can store energy like hydrogen to more efficiently fuel a car. His group is also working on turning the sponges into materials to make batteries.

Explore Professor Dincă’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.

OA research in the news: Why is Usain Bolt so fast?

Posted August 9th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

As Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt runs today for his second gold medal of the London Olympic Games, many spectators wonder: how does he go so fast? Mechanical engineering professor Anette Hosoi offers some insight in a Q&A with MIT News and in a series of videos for NBC Learn’s “Science of the Summer Olympics.”  “[T]he amazing thing about Usain Bolt, the thing that sets him apart, is his stride length, which is almost 10 feet,” she says. (By comparison, Hosoi found that her own stride was half that long.) Hosoi, whose field is fluid mechanics, also explains what makes a “fast pool” for competitors, helping the likes of Michael Phelps set world records.

Explore Professor Hosoi’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.

OA research in the news: Physicists win presidential awards

Posted August 2nd, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Two physicists were among five MIT professors given Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers last month. The awards, named by President Obama, are the highest honor from the U.S. government to researchers “selected for their pursuit of innovative research … and their commitment to community service,” according to a White House statement. Professor Jarillo-Herrero was cited for his research on graphene and his community outreach. Professor Thaler was cited for research using experiments at the Large Hadron Collider and for developing tools to better use data from the collider.

Explore Professor Jarillo-Herrero’s research and Professor Thaler’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.

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero

Jesse Thaler

MIT Press publishes new book on open access by Peter Suber

Posted July 31st, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT press has just published a new book by Peter Suber which offers a concise introduction to open access. Suber, the key chronicler and de facto leader of the worldwide open access movement, says that the book is intended to be “short enough for busy people to read.”

In 170 pages, Suber covers all the bases: what open access is; why we should be motivated to make scholarly work openly accessible; what kinds of open access policies and approaches have emerged; how open access relates to copyright; what the economics of open access are and what impact it is having on the market for scholarly journals; and how authors can participate.

Suber, a former philosophy professor who is now Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, captures key points succinctly:

ON THE PROBLEM
“The deeper problem is that we donate time, labor, and public money to create new knowledge and then hand control over the results to businesses that believe, correctly or incorrectly, that their revenue and survival depend on limiting access to that knowledge.”

ON COPYRIGHT
“Authors who retain rights don’t violate rights belonging to publishers; they merely prevent publishers from acquiring those rights in the first place.”

ON ECONOMICS
“OA journals pay their bills the way broadcast television and radio stations do…. Those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment.”

The book will be available in an open access edition in June 2013. Updates and supplements are available through the home page for the book.

More information:

Electronic and Print versions, along with table of contents and sample chapters

Kindle version

Open access at MIT

OA research in the news: Biologist Kaiser named MIT provost

Posted July 9th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Biology Professor Chris Kaiser started his job as provost last week, succeeding MIT’s new president, Rafael Reif. Kaiser, a cell biologist who studies protein folding, served most recently as chair of the biology department, which he joined in 1991. “At MIT, innovation is the norm, and as provost I plan not only to build upon our already-strong programs, but also to continue to foster inventive new directions in education and research,” Kaiser told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Kaiser’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.

OA research in the news: Zebrafish offer clues to autism

Posted July 2nd, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Researchers led by biologist Hazel Sive are using zebrafish to help learn about the biological mechanisms behind human brain disorders like autism. In a recent paper published in the open access journal Disease Models and Mechanisms, Sive and her colleagues describe looking at a set of genes that are the same across species; deletions and duplications of the genes in humans have been associated with autism. When they silenced the genes in the fish, they found abnormal brain development. “That’s really the goal — to go from an animal that shares molecular pathways, but doesn’t get autistic behaviors, into humans who have the same pathways and do show these behaviors,” Sive told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Sive’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.

Open access research in the news

Posted June 18th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

MIT researchers tackle big data

MIT will host an Intel-sponsored research center to look at ways of handling “big data,” collections of data so immense and complex they cannot be processed by tools that currently exist. The center will be led by Electrical Engineering and Computer Science professor Samuel Madden and adjunct professor Michael Stonebraker. In addition to the Intel center, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab launched a new industry-sponsored initiative called bigdata@CSAIL. As a part of the center and initiative, faculty and scientists at CSAIL will collaborate with corporate and university researchers beyond MIT to work on projects like analyzing biological data in search of more accurate diagnostic techniques or increasing the security and privacy of financial information.

Explore Professor Madden’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.

Open access research in the news

Posted June 4th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

MIT researchers bid adieu to sticky condiments

It is a problem familiar to most of us: The last ounces of ketchup just won’t shake free from the bottle, so we throw it out, wasting food and money. In May, the architects of a solution won the audience choice award at MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Scientists from the lab of mechanical engineering professor Kripa Varanasi invented a plant-based coating they call LiquiGlide, a slippery material that helps any condiment—from honey to mayonnaise—slide easily out of glass or plastic. “We’ve talked to various folks in the supply chain, from equipment makers to bottle makers to food companies, and they all love it and want it in their bottles,” Varanasi told the Boston Globe. Varanasi’s lab has also created surfaces and coatings that keep frost off planes and allow water to flow more efficiently through pipes.

Explore Professor Varanasi’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.

UCSF Follows MIT Model in New Open Access Policy

Posted May 25th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The University of California San Francisco, the largest public recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health whose faculty publishes more than 4,500 scientific papers each year, has announced a new open access policy modelled on the language in the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy.

Russ Cucina, Associate Professor at UCSF Medical Center, comments that the policy, which passed in a unanimous vote, “guarantees that scientists around the world will have access to the work done at UCSF for them to build upon.” He points to predecessors Harvard and MIT in laying the groundwork for the UCSF policy, and predicts that it will be “a model that the 9 other UC campuses will follow.”

The UCSF Policy “requires UCSF faculty to make each of their articles freely available immediately through an open-access repository” via a mechanicsm like the one established by the MIT faculty. Through their new policy, the UCSF faculty grant a license to the university, giving UCSF a “nonexclusive license to distribute any peer-reviewed articles that will also be published in scientific or medical journals.”

Cucina indicates that this new policy “may prove to be the University’s definitive response” to an endemic imbalance in the scholarly publishing market in which “the publishing companies [have] tremendous pricing power that they’ve been increasingly willing to wield.” He points to UC’s 2010 imbroglio with Nature Publishing Group, when “they proposed a 400% hike in subscription fees and UC responded by threatening a total boycott.”

The UCSF press release reports that “In the past few years, 141 universities worldwide, including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have … created very effective blanket policies similar to the one just passed at UCSF.”

Policies modeled on the Harvard and MIT language have been put in place on many U.S. campuses, including Columbia, Duke, Emory, Oberlin, Princeton, and the University of Kansas. MIT research is made available under the MIT faculty policy through the Open Access Articles Collection in DSpace@MIT.

More Information:

UCSF press release

UCSF policy and supporting documents

FAQ about the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

White House Launches Petition on Access to Federally Funded Research Results

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The White House has posted a petition calling for public access to federally funded research results. It urges President Obama to “require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.”

This petition follows MIT’s recent participation in the Obama Administration’s Request for Information (RFI) on public access to the results of federally funded research. In the response, MIT affirmed that public access is “of substantial significance” to MIT, because public access aligns with MIT’s mission to “generate, disseminate, and preserve knowledge,” and because:

“The ability of research universities to continue to contribute to the welfare of the nation and the interests of the states and local communities in which we reside is fundamentally connected to the open availability of the research results produced by MIT and by the country’s large and small research universities.”

This new petition will help the Obama Administration identify the priorities to act on in the next few months. If it yields 25,000 signatures in 30 days, it will be reviewed by White House staff, and considered for action.

To review or sign the petition:
Visit the We The People site

Open access research in the news

Posted May 21st, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Economist Finkelstein wins John Bates Clark Medal

The American Economic Association has named Amy Finkelstein winner of the 2012 John Bates Clark Medal, a prestigious annual award given to an economist under 40. Professor Finkelstein researches health insurance markets and has, among other work, analyzed the effects of Medicare and Medicaid on healthcare spending. In its announcement the AEA notes that Finkelstein’s research is “centered on some of the most important and policy-relevant issues facing developed economies today,” and calls her “one of the most accomplished applied micro-economists of her generation.”

Explore Professor Finkelstein’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.

Using Figures in Publications — No Permission Needed from Major Publishers

Posted May 15th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

It’s easier to use figures, illustrations, and tables from major publishers in new scholarly publications because of contracts signed by the MIT Libraries for use of journals on campus. If an MIT author wants to include a figure, illustration, or table from a journal published by Elsevier, Springer, or Wiley, it’s possible to do so without asking permission or paying any fee.

Through the MIT Libraries’ contracts, for example, Springer and Wiley give MIT authors the right “to use, with appropriate credit, figures, tables and brief excerpts … in the Authorized User’s own scientific, scholarly and educational works.”


Elsevier also allows authors similar rights. Authors can “incorporate a maximum of two (2) figures (including charts, tables, graphs and other images) from a journal article or book chapter or five (5) figures per journal volume … in academic works, research papers and scholarly publications and presentations … for non-commercial purposes.”

Elsevier, like Springer and Wiley, stipulates that the user must make appropriate credit, but also makes the point that “if a separate copyright holder is identified in such figure or the figure is a complex illustration,” for example an anatomical drawing, cartoon, map, or photograph, then permission should be sought from the publisher or copyright holder.

In general, permission should be sought if the figure, table, or illustration indicates a copyright holder other than the publisher.

If a publisher wants evidence of the permission to reuse figures, tables, or illustrations from journals published by Elsevier, Springer, or Wiley, authors can indicate permission was granted through a license signed by MIT with the publisher for access to the journals at MIT. MIT authors may point journal editors to the MIT web page describing this permission.

If you have any questions, please contact copyright-lib@mit.edu

Open access research in the news

Posted May 14th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

CSAIL’s Agarwal named head of edX

Earlier this month MIT and Harvard announced a partnership to launch edX, a nonprofit that will offer free online courses from both institutions. The open source platform built for MITx, announced last December, will serve as the foundation for edX. It was developed under the leadership of CSAIL director Anant Agarwal, who is the first president of edX. Agarwal is co-teaching (along with Gerald Sussman, Christopher Terman, and Piotr Mitros) the first class offered by MITx, Circuits and Electronics, which runs through early June. About 120,000 students registered for the course.

Explore Professor Agarwal’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.

Sierra named to Digital Library Federation Advisory Committee

Posted May 7th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Tito Sierra (photo by L.Barry Hetherington)

Tito Sierra, MIT Libraries’ Associate Director for Technology, has been appointed to the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Advisory Committee for the Council on Library and Information Services (CLIR). During his two-year term, Sierra will work with five other committee members to advise the DLF director on program activities, initiatives, and strategy.

CLIR’s Digital Library Federation is a network of libraries and related agencies pioneering innovative uses of information technologies and community expertise to extend collections and services. DLF has promoted work on:

  • Digital library structures, standards, preservation, and use
  • Archives for electronic journals
  • Aggregation services for digital collections
  • Digital library services that expand access to resources for research, teaching, and learning

See the full announcement from the DLF.