Archive for October, 2013

Halloween treat: Monster Book of Monsters’ transformation

Posted October 31st, 2013 by Heather Denny

There have been spooky happenings in the Maihaugen Gallery this Halloween. A medieval chant book, originally from the fifteenth or sixteenth century, has inexplicably transformed into a Harry Potter-inspired Monster Book of Monsters! Come see the enormous leather-and-wood-bound book complete with scary demon face, vicious teeth, and dismembered body parts. Rumor has it that the book will disappear soon after midnight on Halloween, so see it today!

While you’re in the gallery, check out the exhibit Noteworthy ConnectionsMusic in the MIT Libraries on display until December 12, 2013.


Please note: No library users were harmed in the creation of the Monster Book, and all fun was had under the care and supervision of the Libraries’ expert Preservation team.

OA research in the news: Nanoparticles attack aggressive tumors

Posted October 31st, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Schematic drawing of a new nanoparticle developed at MIT. Graphic courtesy of the researchers.

Schematic drawing of a new nanoparticle developed at MIT. Graphic courtesy of the researchers.

MIT chemical engineers have developed a new treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer whose tumors resist chemotherapy drugs. Led by David H. Koch Professor in Engineering Paula Hammond, the team designed nanoparticles that pack a one-two punch: They deliver a cancer drug along with short strands of RNA that shut off genes used by cancer cells to escape the drug. The nanoparticles are also coated with an outer layer that protects them from degrading while en route to the cancer cells. The researchers used the particles to successfully shrink breast tumors in mice, as they report in a recent issue of the journal ACS Nano. The lead author on the paper is Jason Deng, a postdoc in Hammond’s lab.

Explore Professor Hammond’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.

Final weeks to see “Noteworthy Connections” exhibit

Posted October 29th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Noteworthy ConnectionsMusic in the MIT Libraries will be on display until December 31, 2013 in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery.


Maihaugen Gallery

The exhibit delves into the holdings of the Lewis Music Library and the Institute Archives and Special Collections, to reveal MIT’s diverse musical interests, the accomplishments of its talented students and faculty, and the rich history the Institute’s musical groups and clubs.

Some of the unique items on display include original manuscripts and rare books, autographed letters and scores, a handmade oscillator, and an original leaf from the Glaser Codex of medieval chants.

Visit the gallery:
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Building 14N-130

MIT students engage with open access at Libraries event

Posted October 29th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Katharine Dunn and Mark Clemente field questions at an information table during Open Access week

Katharine Dunn and Mark Clemente field questions at an information table during Open Access Week

Last Wednesday, more than 30 MIT students and researchers stopped by the Office of Scholarly Publishing & Licensing table in Lobby 10 set up to celebrate international Open Access Week. About two-thirds of the people who came by to chat were undergraduate students who hadn’t previously heard of open access or DSpace@MIT, the digital repository that houses scholarly articles, theses, and other MIT content. Most were curious and happy to learn that through the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy researchers are making their scholarly articles freely available online. Issues that particularly resonated with students were the fact that increasing journal subscription prices are shutting out large numbers of readers around the world and that open access is way to democratize scientific research.

The information table was a new experiment for the Libraries. Students who attempted a quiz question on open access, DSpace@MIT, or author rights won a prize: an MIT Libraries t-shirt, a PLOS t-shirt, or the book Open Access by Peter Suber, a leader of the open access movement. The shirts were popular and disappeared quickly. Other giveaways included pens, magnets, and Halloween candy. Given the interest and enthusiasm, the Libraries hope to make this an annual event.


Save your sound!

Posted October 25th, 2013 by willer

girl-with-headphonesDo you have videos of family events, audio recordings of music recitals, or other personal audiovisual treasures?

Save your recordings and share your audiovisual history with your family and community by transferring recordings from obsolete formats such as cassette tape and VHS onto digital media. You can use equipment in the Lewis Music Library, as described in a recent IS&T News article, or contact vendors such as MIT Audio Visual Services.

“Saving our Heritage for the Next Generation” is the slogan of UNESCO’s 2013 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, observed on Sunday, October 27.

Praise for MIT open access articles

Posted October 24th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

open dome logo black on white 2

More reasons celebrate International Open Access Week, October 21–25

The thank-you note arrived with language echoing the voices of many other readers of MIT Open Access Articles: “I thought I would show my appreciation for the open access that MIT affords. Many projects and papers require access to cutting-edge studies and articles. Many of these are unfortunately stuck behind paywalls. Having access to these types of information has helped me succeed.”

But the author of the note may not be who you’d expect: it was a graduate student at an American university. Reader comments sent to the MIT Libraries make clear that while many beneficiaries of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy come from developing nations, where institutions and individuals can afford fewer resources, a growing number come from the United States, where even well-funded colleges and universities are increasingly forced to limit access to journals in order to make ends meet. Scholarly journals can cost more than $10,000 a year and subscription prices continue to rise, leading to cancellations and reduced access.

US students, even those associated with a university, therefore have much to gain from open access. As one astrophysics student recently wrote: “While doing preliminary research, I stumbled upon one of your articles. The articles not only provided me insight, but also directed my further searches, leading me on different paths than I had considered, and considerably expediting the process.”

Another student commented that “Thanks to MIT Open Access, I was able to read a high-quality document on a subject in which there has been very little research. I discovered that I’m not alone in my research interests, however esoteric some of [them] may seem. I found a very insightful article that took me to a new level of inspiration.”

For those not associated with a university, the need for access is particularly pressing. In the last six months alone, MIT heard from artists, engineers, independent researchers, and authors who all made similar comments: They felt excluded from scholarly research because of article costs, and the articles they found and read in DSpace@MIT gave them the opportunity to, as they wrote, “catch up on new ideas,” “open my mind beyond the talking points of the day,” or “find further research.”

Readers also gain personally, including one individual who used a DSpace@MIT article as a resource for medical information. He wrote that he began to think about bone elasticity as being implicated in a fracture he had recently sustained: “The article assisted me in understanding the role of collagen in bone growth and renewal and, in turn, led me to further research into dietary modifications that I can implement.”

The need for access expressed by these US-based readers has not been lost on the Obama administration or the US Congress. In mid-February, members of Congress introduced a bill that would require a dozen US government agencies—including the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, and NASA—to make articles that result from research they fund publicly available on the Internet. A week later, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a directive to an even larger group of federal agencies requiring that they devise plans to develop open access policies. Those plans were due in August and are now under review. Both the bill and the directive build on the successful public access policy adopted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008.

Meanwhile, right here at MIT, the voices of grateful readers—whether in the US or beyond—reflect and consummate the faculty’s commitment to “disseminating the fruits of [their] research as widely as possible.” As one reader wrote: “It is wonderful to have the chance to go straight to the source and learn something about how knowledge is produced at the best places.”

(a version of article originally appeared in the MIT News)

Downloads of MIT faculty open access articles top 1.3 million

Posted October 23rd, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

Articles in the Open Access Articles Collection in DSpace@MIT have been downloaded more than 1,380,000 times since the collection was created in October 2009 to house articles under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy.
oa downloads by month through sept. 2013

Monthly downloads have reached a new peak of over 73,000 in September 2013, an increase of 72% over last year’s total from the same month.

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

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

Global reach: The Open Access Articles Collection at 4

Posted October 22nd, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

This month, the Open Access Articles Collection, created to house articles made available under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, turns four. In those four years, downloads have grown past the 1.3 million mark, and have been documented from every corner of the globe.

In the last few months, Greenland joined the chorus of downloads from around the world (with 4 downloads), as did the Holy See (Vatican City State), Montserrat, and Somalia (1 download each).

Worldwide downloads from Open Access Articles Collection, 2009- September 2013

Worldwide downloads from Open Access Articles Collection, October 2009- September 2013

Downloads are heaviest from the United States (33%), China (9%), India (6%), the United Kingdom (5%), and Germany (4%). Not surprisingly, Canada (3%) and Australia (2%) are also heavy users of the collection, along with Japan, South Korea, and France. Use is very widespread, with substantial downloads from countries as diverse geographically as Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Finland, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya (which accounts for 1% of the downloads). Hong Kong and Vietnam account for 0.7% and 0.6% of the downloads, respectively, with Bhutan comprising .002%, at 20 downloads.

Readers around the world have spoken with their actions, supporting the premise of the faculty’s open access policy, which is designed to share MIT research and scholarship as widely as possible.

This news is reported in celebration of International Open Access Week.

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

Barker Library closing early on Friday, Oct. 25

Posted October 21st, 2013 by Jeremiah Graves

Barker Engineering LibraryBarker Library will close at 4:00pm on Friday, October 25 for the Postdoctoral Association and Librarian Meet-N-Greet event.

Access to the Barker 24/7 study space is expected to resume at 9:00pm and the library will be open for regular business hours on Saturday.

All other MIT Libraries locations will remain open for regular business hours and the 24/7 study spaces in Dewey and Hayden will be available after closing.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

MIT Faculty share 10,000 articles freely — with an appreciative world

Posted October 21st, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

In the four years since the MIT Faculty adopted their Open Access Policy, the collection housing their open access articles has shown steady growth, and recently topped 10,000 papers.

oa articles items per month through september 2013

These papers are not simply stored and counted, however. They are read by grateful readers from all around the world. The stories are as varied as they are moving and compelling: the fifth grader acquiring a new insight about planet composition; the high school debater preparing for a competition; the faculty member in the Baltic trying to get quality information to students; the business person working on clean energy; the reader in India frustrated by paywalls. While each story is unique, in other ways each person tells the same tale — each is a productive reader of MIT research who would otherwise have done without, to the detriment of us all.

oa quotes fifth grade and clean energy business

oa quotes high school debater and india paywalls

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

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

Composer Martin Marks – Wednesday, October 23

Posted October 18th, 2013 by Christie Moore

Composer forum series: Martin Marks


Martin Marks

Notes from a Sub-Composer: The Craft of Preparing and Playing Scores for Silent Films.
Martin Marks, MIT Senior Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 5-6 pm
Reception follows
Free and open to the public

Sponsored by MIT Music and Theater Arts.

Postdoctoral Association and Librarian Meet-N-Greet, Friday, 10/25 6-8

Posted October 15th, 2013 by Barbara Williams

nullLibrary Social for Postdocs under the dome, in Barker Engineering Library Reading Room
Friday, October 25th from 6 – 8pm

The Postdoctoral Association and the MIT Libraries invite postdocs to a discussion about Open Access at MIT led by Ellen Duranceau, the Librarian for Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, followed by a social with library staff in the newly renovated Barker Dome.

Ellen’s presentation will be in 10-250 from 6 – 6:30 pm, followed by a reception/social under the Barker Dome (10-500). Food and drinks will be provided.

The Barker Reading Room was restored to its original state in 2013, and is one of the institute’s most inspiring settings.

Register for the event.

Trial Access to Collection 5 of the Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science

Posted October 15th, 2013 by Barbara Williams

The MIT Libraries have trial access to the Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science Collection #5 until October 31, 2013.

Synthesis “lectures” are 50-100 page e-books that critically summarize an important research topic. Topics covered in Collection #5 include: AI and machine learning, digital circuits and systems, and human language technologies. View titles included in collection #5.

Send comments and questions to Amy Stout, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Librarian.


OA research in the news: Changes to auditing may help reduce pollution

Posted October 15th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Michael Greenstone

Michael Greenstone

Economists at MIT have co-authored a study that underscores a troubling aspect of the auditing industry, in which auditors, because they’re paid by the companies they scrutinize, have an incentive to not deliver bad reviews. The study looked at about 500 industrial plants in a western Indian state and found that when auditors were randomly assigned to plants and paid from central funds, their results were very different. For example, auditors in the study found that nearly 60% of the plants were violating India’s particulates emissions laws; previous audits had cited only 7%. The state is now using this information to help enforce pollution laws.

“There is a fundamental conflict of interest in the way auditing markets are set up around the world,” said Professor Michael Greenstone, an author on the paper with his colleague Esther Duflo. “The ultimate hope with the experiment was definitely to see pollution at the firm level drop,” said Duflo.

Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

Explore Professor Greenstone’s research and Professor Duflo’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.

Columbus Day library hours: Monday, October 14

Posted October 9th, 2013 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, October 14 the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):American Flag

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume regular term hours on Tuesday, October 15.

Have questions? Ask Us!

10,000th paper deposited under MIT Faculty Open Access Policy

Posted October 7th, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

This month, the 10,000th paper was added to the Open Access Articles Collection, which houses papers collected under the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. This important milestone comes as the collection marks its fourth birthday. The collection was created in October 2009, in the wake of the faculty’s adoption of their policy, which makes their scholarly articles openly available on the web.

Sara Seager

Sara Seager

The 10,000th paper was authored by Sara Seager, who just received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work on planets outside our solar system. Her paper “Infrared transmission spectroscopy of the exoplanets HD 209458b and XO-1b using the wide field camera-3 on the hubble space telescope” can be accessed in DSpace@MIT, along with others she has written. Professor Seager comments that “it’s great that MIT is fostering open access of the MIT community’s work.”

And in fact, since the inception of the Policy in March 2009, 37% of the MIT faculty’s articles have been made openly accessible in the Open Access Articles Collection. We reported on a previous milestone, the one millionth download from the Collection, in May.

This news is reported in celebration of International Open Access Week, which begins later in October.

More information:

Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing & Licensing

MIT Faculty Open Access Policy FAQ

Deposit a paper under the Faculty Open Access Policy


Panel discussion on “New Frontiers in Open Access Publishing” Tuesday, October 22

Posted October 3rd, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group and the MIT Libraries are cosponsoring a panel discussion of “New Frontiers in Open Access Publishing.”

The session will be held on Tuesday October 22, from 3-4:30 in E25-111.

Speakers will include:

Jacqueline Thai

Jacqueline Thai

Jacqueline Thai, of the new open access journal PeerJ
Thai is Head of Publishing Operations at PeerJ, an open access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in the Biological and Medical Sciences. It offers a unique business model: low-cost lifetime memberships that allow authors (if their papers are accepted) to publish once, twice, or unlimited times per year, depending on the membership level.

Tibor Tscheke

Tibor Tscheke

Tibor Tscheke, of the soon-to-be-launched publishing platform
Tscheke is CFO and CTO of, an open access publishing platform to support researchers in networking, accessing, organizing, and publishing their work. Founded by individuals with decades of experience in traditional scholarly publishing, ScienceOpen’s aim is to “combine the goal of open science with social networking and crowd sourcing tools to create knowledge out of a sea of information.”

Marguerite Avery, of MIT Press and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Avery is Senior Acquisitions Editor at The MIT Press. As a Fellow at the Berkman Center, Avery is focused on seeking out solutions for scholarly publishing to accommodate the changing needs of scholars, including publishing models for open access.

Marguerite Avery

Marguerite Avery

This panel is being presented in celebration of International Open Access Week, and is intended to provide a forum for discussion of new open access models of scholarly publishing and how they can serve authors and readers. We anticipate a lively and informative conversation.

Refreshments will be served.

If you have questions about this event, contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing & Licensing, MIT Libraries

Ann Wolpert, director of libraries, has died at 70

Posted October 2nd, 2013 by Heather Denny

Nate Nickerson, MIT News Office:

Ann Wolpert, MIT’s director of libraries since 1996, has died after a brief illness. She was 70 years old.

Wolpert was a pioneer in digital stewardship, bringing to the MIT community a deep understanding of scholarship, of research, and of the library’s broader mission to preserve and disseminate knowledge. Under her leadership, the MIT Libraries developed DSpace, a milestone in digital libraries that catalyzed the institutional repository movement.

Wolpert began work at MIT just as the Internet was emerging, and her tenure was marked by her passionate response to the opportunity and upheaval that resulted for research libraries. In scientific, research, and university communities around the world, a debate, still unresolved, came to the fore: how the decades-old system of peer-reviewed scholarly journals ought to operate in the digital world.

Wolpert became a leading voice in that discussion; she argued for unrestricted online access to journal articles. In a February 2013 essay in the New England Journal of Medicine, she not only made the case for such access: She also called it an inevitability. “There is no doubt,” she wrote, “that the public interests vested in funding agencies, universities, libraries, and authors, together with the power and reach of the Internet, have created a compelling and necessary momentum for open access. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be inexpensive, but it is only a matter of time.”

Though Wolpert made her case forcefully, she was not dismissive of concerns about how open access might work in practice, and she upheld the value of peer review. “The fact,” she wrote, “that faculty members and researchers donate to publishers the ownership of their research articles — as well as their time and effort as reviewers — does not mean that there are no expenses associated with the production of high-quality publications. For all its known flaws, no one wants to destroy peer-reviewed publication.”

Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT and founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation, remembers Wolpert as “one of the great intellectual leaders at MIT.” She fused, he says, a mix of business experience from her earlier career with serious academic curiosity and integrity. “Ann was funny, warm, caring, and remarkably fair,” Abelson says.

“She believed in open access, but it went deeper than that,” he adds. “Her central insight was that in the age of the Internet, a great research library could serve not only as a window into scholarly output for given members of university and research communities, but also as a window for the world at large into the scholarly enterprise. That was a great and thrilling idea, and she pursued it deftly and with great respect for the full spectrum of faculty views.”

MIT President L. Rafael Reif, in his previous role as provost, worked closely with Wolpert. “I knew her to be very dedicated to MIT, and she thought carefully about how our library system could best serve the Institute and beyond,” he says. “She was an excellent steward of our scholarship — and a very dear colleague. I will miss her very much.”

As director of libraries, Wolpert managed the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press. The MIT Libraries — with five major subject collections, the Institute Archives and Special Collections, and a staff of 170 — support the research and teaching needs of the Institute community. The MIT Press publishes around 30 journals and 220 books each year in a wide range of subjects.

Wolpert also served on MIT’s Committee on Intellectual Property, the Council on Educational Technology, the OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Committee, the Deans’ Group, and Academic Council. She also served as chair of the board of directors of MIT Technology Review.

In 2000, Wolpert helped lead the MIT Libraries’ collaboration with Hewlett-Packard to build DSpace, an open-source digital archive for faculty output that has been adopted by more than 1,000 institutions worldwide.

In 2009, Wolpert was instrumental in the conception and passage of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, whereby faculty authors give MIT nonexclusive permission to disseminate their journal articles for open access through DSpace@MIT. It was the first institution-wide policy of its kind in the United States. Open sharing of MIT scholarship has given readers around the world access to the results of MIT’s research.

Wolpert continued to be a player in other “startups” that have the potential to transform the way research institutions and their libraries collaborate to solve problems big enough to call for a collective response. She referred to these as “solutions at scale.” Among them is the Digital Preservation Network (DPN), to whose inaugural board she was recently appointed. DPN was created to ensure that the scholarly record is preserved for future generations by using a shared, national preservation ecosystem composed of several federated, replicating nodes containing redundant copies of all deposits to protect against catastrophic loss.

Wolpert was a leader in her field. “Ann has been a trailblazer in defining the new roles of libraries in an era of data-intensive scholarship,” says Cliff Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information. “Her work in the development of institutional repositories as a means of curating and making public the research contributions of universities has fundamentally reshaped strategies for managing scholarship at a national and international level. She will be greatly missed.”

Prior to joining MIT, Wolpert was executive director of library and information services at the Harvard Business School. Her experience previous to Harvard included management of the information center of Arthur D. Little, Inc., an international management and consulting firm, where she also worked on various consulting assignments. More recent consulting assignments took her to the University of New Mexico, Cornell University and Adelphi University in New York, the campuses of INCAE in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, MASDAR in Abu Dhabi, the League of European Research Libraries in Amsterdam, the National Library of China, and the Malaysia University of Science and Technology.

In 2005 Wolpert served as president of the Association of Research Libraries and was most recently a member of its Influencing Public Policies Steering Committee. She served on the boards of directors of the Boston Library Consortium, the National Academies’ Board of Research Data and Information (BRDI), DuraSpace, and DPN. She also served as a publications advisor to the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Wolpert received a BA from Boston University and an MLS from Simmons College, where she was an honorary trustee and a member of the board of advisors of the PhD Program in Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Wolpert is survived by her husband, Samuel A. Otis Jr., and a large extended family.

The MIT News article will be updated to include information about memorial services for Wolpert as that information becomes available.

OA research in the news: Faculty win “genius grants”

Posted October 2nd, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Dina Katabi

Dina Katabi

Two MIT professors are among two dozen nationwide recipients of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowships, known as the “genius grants.” Dina Katabi, a computer scientist, works on wireless data transmission. The MacArthur Foundation cites her leadership in “accelerating our capacity to communicate high volumes of information securely without restricting mobility.” Astrophysicist Sara Seager explores planets outside our solar system; nearly a thousand have been identified since the mid-90s. The Foundation cites her as a “visionary scientist contributing importantly in every aspect of her field.” The fellowship includes a five-year $625,000 prize.

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

Sara Seager

Sara Seager

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.

Composer Justin Casinghino – Wednesday, October 9

Posted October 1st, 2013 by Christie Moore

Composer forum series: Justin Casinghino

Justin Casinghino

Justin Casinghino

Stories in Wind: Justin Casinghino will talk about his compositions for wind quintet, including One Hen, which was recently featured on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2013 Tanglewood Family Concert.

Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: 5-6 pm
Reception follows
Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by MIT Music and Theater Arts.