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MIT Libraries & the Royal Society of Chemistry extend open access agreement

The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a two-year contract extending their groundbreaking 2018 read & publish agreement that maintains full access to the RSC’s journals and incorporates open access to MIT’s scholarly articles. The new contract aligns with MIT’s open scholarship goals in the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, released in October 2019.

Under the new agreement, MIT corresponding authors can make articles published in RSC journals in 2020 and 2021 openly available at the time of publication at no cost to them.  A total of 73 articles per year will be made openly available, a number expected to be sufficient to include all or nearly all MIT corresponding-authored articles. See this page for more details on the OA workflow for authors.

The Libraries have been using the MIT Framework (which emerged from the MIT Open Access Task Force recommendations) as a foundation for negotiations with publishers since the fall, and it has been met with strong support: dozens of libraries and consortia in North America have endorsed it. The RSC agreement aligns with key elements of the the framework by:

  • incorporating a plan for open access to all MIT-authored articles, through two paths: by immediate publication at the RSC site for MIT corresponding authored articles, and, for other MIT co-authored articles, by building, in 2020, an automatic service that will deposit final manuscripts into MIT’s open access repository, DSpace@MIT. 
  • making all articles published open access on the RSC site available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, which permits open sharing and reuse. 
  • enhancing text and data mining/computational access through improved contract language.

Also significant is that this blended approach to achieving full open access for MIT authored articles is recognized by RSC in the agreement as a transitional step intended move RSC’s entire publishing program fully to open access, worldwide.