Archive for April, 2012

Gallery talk on stained glass restoration and conservation Friday, May 11

Posted April 30th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Glass at MIT exhibition, Maihaugen Gallery, photo by: L. Barry Hetherington

Gallery Talk with Roberto Rosa

Roberto Rosa, Serpentino Stained Glass

When: Friday, May 11, 2pm

Where: Institute Archives (14N-118)

In conjunction with the Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility exhibition, Roberto Rosa from Serpentino Stained Glass will discuss stained glass art and artists, and his work in the restoration and conservation of historic stained glass.

Rosa has restored windows in some of America’s most prominent buildings including the Massachusetts State House and Trinity Church in Boston. Most recently, he was the chief conservator for thirteen opalescent glass windows at Salve Regina University in Newport RI, designed by John La Farge.

After Rosa’s talk there will be time for questions and viewing the exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

Five Faculty From MIT Appointed to eLife Board of Reviewing Editors

Posted April 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

eLife, a new collaborative initiative backed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, announced the board of reviewing editors today for its new open access journal, eLife. Of the 175 editors, five are faculty from MIT: Barbara Imperiali (Biology), Nancy Kanwisher (Brain & Cognitive Sciences), Michael Laub (Biology), Aviv Regev (Biology), and David Sabatini (Biology).

According to the news release, eLife’s “first aim is to publish an open-access journal for the most important discoveries that is also a platform for experimentation and showcasing innovation in research communication.” The eLife journal, focused on life and biomedical science, is intended to offer “a top-tier open-access journal covering basic biological research through to applied, translational and clinical studies.”

eLife‘s goal is to “accelerate scientific advancement by promoting modes of communication whereby new results are made available quickly, openly, and in a way that helps others to build upon them.” Toward that end, eLife plans to “make decisions quickly; deliver a fair, transparent, and supportive author experience; and create maximum potential exposure for published works.”

eLife will launch toward the end of 2012.

For more information on eLife and other open access journals:

Learn Quantitative Methods at ICPSR

Posted April 25th, 2012 by Katherine McNeill

ICPSR logo

Need to expand your skills in statistical methods and quantitative analysis? Attend the ICPSR Summer Program! Each year, ICPSR provides a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social science methodology. Registration is now open for the 2012 session.

For a listing of course offerings and application information, see the ICPSR Summer Program web site

Note that while most courses are held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the following two will be held in Amherst, MA:

For further information, contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at

Open access research in the news

Posted April 25th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

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 new series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

New climate circulation model shows Southern Ocean’s importance

As reported in the MIT News, Oceanography professor John Marshall and colleague Kevin Speer offer an updated ocean circulation model that emphasizes the Southern Ocean’s influence on the earth’s climate and climate change. Previous research has focused on the North Atlantic, but Marshall and Speer’s recent paper, a review of past observations and research, pinpoints the water circling Antarctica as a key player in the global circulation system.

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

New Faculty Open Access Working Group Formed — Will Examine Elsevier Policies

Posted April 24th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Professor Richard Holton announces the formation of a new Faculty Open Access Working Group in the latest issue of the MIT Faculty Newsletter. Holton talks about the origin and purpose of the group, which will operate under the auspices of the Faculty Committee on the Library System to advance the goals of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, and which will also address “larger issues about open access.”

One such issue is Elsevier’s response to the MIT Faculty Policy. As Holton reports, Elsevier’s author contract now indicates authors ‘must obtain an express waiver’ from the MIT policy, but that’s not all:

“last year they put in place a new Posting Policy, i.e., a policy governing how their authors can publish their pieces on the Web. The new Posting Policy states that in general authors are allowed to post their articles on their Websites, but then adds a caveat saying that this does not extend to repositories with ‘systematic posting mandates.’…The wording is very unclear; no one is quite sure what a “systematic posting mandate” is. …But it is clear that Elsevier is trying to do what it can to undermine [faculty open access] policies, and to confuse faculty about what they are and are not allowed to do.”

Holton points out that outrage at Elsevier’s policies has sparked a boycott, with many MIT participants. “There is a growing sense that some response is needed,” Holton says, “and the new Working Group is planning to consider what, if any, response should be made.”

Overall, Holton “hope[s] the Working Group will offer an efficient means of arriving at principled positions to take to Elsevier and other publishers.”

Members of the Open Access Working Group:

Scott Aaronson (EECS)
Hal Abelson (EECS)
Janet Conrad (ex officio, as Chair of the FCLS) (Physics)
Sasha Costanza-Chock (Writing and Humanistic Studies)
Kai von Fintel (Linguistics)
Eric von Hippel (Sloan)
Richard Holton (Chair) (Philosophy)
John Lienhard (Mechanical Engineering)
Anne Whiston Spirn (Urban Studies & Planning)
George Stephanopoulos (Chemical Engineering)

Spring has sprung in the courtyard!

Posted April 19th, 2012 by Heather Denny

A favorite study spot is open for the season. Tables, chairs, and shade umbrellas have returned to the Lipchitz Courtyard in Building 14 (adjacent to Hayden Library). Enjoy the flowers in bloom, pull up a chair and read a book, or take in the artwork from MIT’s Public Art Collection. The courtyard contains three sculptures by 20th century Cubist artist Jacques Lipchitz.

photos by: Grace Liang, L. Barry Hetherington

Violin music concert Friday, May 4

Posted April 17th, 2012 by Christie Moore

The 10th annual Prokopoff violin music concert will be held at 3 pm on Friday, May 4, 2012 in the Lewis Music Library. MIT students will perform selections by Bach, Chopin, Dvorak, and Sarasate.  This annual event honors the collection of over 2,000 violin music scores collected by Stephen Prokopoff and donated to the library in 2001 by Lois Craig, former Associate Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. Come enjoy some wonderful music in an attractive setting!

Date: Friday, May 4, 2012
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 3–4 pm

The concert is free and open to the public.

Patriots’ Day Library Hours: Monday, April 16

Posted April 12th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, April 16, 2012, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume regular hours on Tuesday, April 17.

Have questions? Ask Us!

MIT Mathematicians Push Back Against Elsevier’s Practices — And Get Results

Posted April 9th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The Elsevier boycott started by mathematician Timothy Gowers has grown to over 8,900 names, with 81 signatories from MIT, 12 of whom list affiliations with the MIT Mathematics department. Adjunct MIT Professor of Mathematics Henry Cohn, one of the boycott signatories, is co-author of a new article “Mathematicians Take A Stand” that explains the reasoning behind the boycott.

The article, which has been accepted for publication in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, argues that Elsevier “has aggressively pushed bundling arrangements that result in libraries paying for journals they do not want and that obscure actual costs,” has “fought transparency of pricing,” and has “imposed restrictions on dissemination by authors.” For example, Cohn and co-author Douglas Arnold of University of Minnesota point out that “if your institution mandates posting the accepted author manuscript in its repository, then Elsevier stipulates that you may not–although they permit such posting when there is no mandate!”

The authors report that push-back on Elsevier’s practices has had a real impact. Following the boycott, Elsevier publicly withdrew its support for the Research Works Act (RWA), which would have prohibited the government from establishing open access mandates for research it funds. Elsevier’s withdrawal of support came just hours before its sponsors declared the bill dead. “This victory,” Arnold and Cohn note, “confirmed the boycott’s success in delivering a message where we were never able to get through before.”

In addition to reversing position on the Research Works Act, Elsevier issued a “Letter to the Mathematics Community,” announcing a “target price” for core mathematics titles, and promising to address concerns about “large discounted agreements,” as well as opening access to the archives of 14 core mathematics journals from 1995 up to four years prior to the present day. Arnold and Cohn call for “expansion to the full set of mathematical journals and the period before 1995,” as well as a “binding commitment” to the changes Elsevier has made. They also want Elsevier to “allow authors to post accepted manuscripts to any [noncommercial subject] repository, as well as to university repositories, regardless of whether there is a posting mandate,” and to include this in their publishing agreement with authors.

More broadly, the authors reflect that “it is too early to predict” what mix of publishing models will “emerge as the most successful” but that “any publisher that wants to be part of this mix must convince the community that they oversee peer review with integrity, that they aid dissemination rather than hinder it, and that they work to make high-quality mathematical literature widely available at a reasonable price.”

For more information:

Pick up the Spring issue of BiblioTech

Posted April 6th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Inside this issue:

  • Read about MIT Libraries support for Open Access on campus, and beyond
  • Find out why the Libraries are working with famous MIT professor Noam Chomsky
  • Learn how students are unraveling the mystery behind a medieval music manuscript
  • Meet the Libraries new Associate Director for Technology
  • Learn about therapy dogs visiting the Libraries
  • Discover new exhibits and upcoming workshops

All this and more in the latest issue of the BiblioTech newsletter. Pick up a copy at any library location or download a PDF. Subscribe by contacting

IAPril 2012: Preserving Your Personal Digital Photographs

Posted April 2nd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

When: Thu, April 26, 2:00-3:00 pm

Where: 14N-132

Digital photos are fragile and require special care to keep them accessible. But preserving any kind of digital information is a new concept that most people have little experience with. Technologies change over time and become obsolete, making it difficult to access older digital photos. Learn about the nature of the problem and hear about some simple, practical tips and tools to help you keep your digital photos safe. This event is part of the American Library Association’s Preservation Week.

For more information, please contact: Ann Marie Willer.

IAPril 2012: Taking Care: Family Textiles

Posted April 2nd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

When: Tue, April 24, 2:00-3:00 pm

Where: 14N-132

Do you want to save an old family quilt, a wedding dress, or T-shirts and flags from your fraternity or student club?  A conservator will present this webinar on how to care for the various types of textiles found in family collections including clothing, flags, furniture coverings, and framed textiles. The session will cover how to safely store and display textiles and how to determine when the services of a professional conservator are needed.  This event is part of the American Library Association’s Preservation Week.

For more information, please contact Ann Marie Willer.