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MIT adopts a university-wide Open Access mandate

This afternoon, the MIT faculty unanimously adopted a university-wide OA mandate. Here’s the resolution the faculty approved (thanks to Hal Abelson, MIT professor of computer science and engineering, who chaired the committee to formulate it):

MIT Faculty Open-Access Policy

Passed by Unanimous of the Faculty, March 18, 2009

The Faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopts the following policy: Each Faculty member grants to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology nonexclusive permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to MIT a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Provost or Provost’s designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written notification by the author, who informs MIT of the reason.

To assist the Institute in distributing the scholarly articles, as of the date of publication, each Faculty member will make available an electronic copy of his or her final version of the article at no charge to a designated representative of the Provost’s Office in appropriate formats (such as PDF) specified by the Provost’s Office.

The Provost’s Office will make the scholarly article available to the public in an open- access repository. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Committee on the Library System will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty.

The policy is to take effect immediately; it will be reviewed after five years by the Faculty Policy Committee, with a report presented to the Faculty.

The Faculty calls upon the Faculty Committee on the Library System to develop and monitor a plan for a service or mechanism that would render compliance with the policy as convenient for the faculty as possible.


Read additional commentary on this post here, originally published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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1 Comment

  1. Indian T.v Serials says:

    I’m not sure what this means on the ground. What about when a journal requires a professor from MIT to sign over copyright? Wouldn’t the journal’s policy supercede MIT’s open access policy? Are all faculty required to submit their pre-publication papers to MIT’s repository before sending them out to journals (when the faculty members still have the copyright)? How would they enforce a policy like that? Would journals be less likely to publish those papers if they are already, in a sense, published in MIT’s repository? I thought I knew a lot about open access and copyright, but I guess I don’t…this policy isn’t the least bit clear to me. Is the policy there to send a message to journals that they won’t get to publish anything by MIT faculty unless they allow a copy to be stored in the repository? I hope it works, if so.

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