Archive for January, 2012

MIT Faculty Boycott Elsevier Journals

Posted January 27th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Nearly twenty members of the MIT community have already signed a newly posted pledge to boycott Elsevier journals by refusing to publish, referee, or do editorial work “unless they radically change how they operate.”

The boycott was launched as a result a posting by Fields medal-winning mathematician Timothy Gowers in which he railed against Elsevier’s pricing practices and support of the Research Works Act. He suggested that a public website be created where others could join him in “refus(ing) to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on.”

Such a website now exists, and lists (as of the time of this writing) eighteen members of the MIT community, including Professors Scott Aaronson, Hal Abelson, Allan Adams, Hari Balakrishnan, Richard Holton, David Karger, Gerald Sussman, and Seth Teller as well graduate students Andrew Correa, John Hess, and Yarden Katz.

Professor Kai von Fintel also signed the boycott, and recently made a similar public statement on his web site.

Elsevier is one of the publishers pushing to repeal the NIH Public Access Policy through a bill, the Research Works Act and other legislation that, as the boycott website puts it: “aim(s) to restrict the free exchange of information.”

Everybody else loves LibX 2.0. Do you?

Posted January 25th, 2012 by Remlee Green

Thousands of MIT students, staff, and researchers have downloaded LibX.  6,303 of you, to be exact.  And we’re betting that thousands more will download the new version – LibX 2.0!

What is LibX?

LibX is a browser extension you can download for Firefox and Google Chrome.  LibX will give you easier access to MIT resources from anywhere and help you to:

  1. get access to journals easier and faster, especially from off-campus.
  2. search the Barton catalog, Vera, MIT’s WorldCat, and Google Scholar quicker – they’re only 1 click away from any web page.
  3. find out if books on Amazon (and other popular websites) are available to borrow from MIT Libraries.

What’s new with LibX 2.0?

The beta version of LibX 2.0 has just been released, and it works with Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.  The original LibX toolbar has evolved into a simple browser button, so the search bar won’t take up so much space on the screen.  It’s still easy to reload websites through the MIT proxy, and whether you’re on- or off-campus, you’ll be able to get to articles and other content supplied by the MIT Libraries quickly.

How do I get LibX 2.0?

Download the LibX 2.0 beta for Chrome and Firefox. After you download it, LibX will ask you to “select a LibX edition.”  Type “MIT,” select the “MIT Libraries” version, and you’re set!  See more info on installing LibX.

Questions or suggestions?

LibX 2.0 is still a beta, so if you hit any snags or have suggestions, contact

To test more new library tools, visit our Betas & Widgets page.