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MIT passes university-wide Open Access resolution

March 19th, 2009 by Kaitlin Thaney

Yesterday, by unanimous vote, MIT faculty adopted an Open Access resolution (text here) that will make scholarly articles available at no charge, freely to the public through DSpace – MIT’s repository service.

The way this policy works is that faculty authors grant the university non-exclusive permission to make their scholarly works available in a repository, with the right for MIT and its faculty to publicly disseminate for all uses except commercial. The resolution is believed to be the first faculty-driven, university-wide policy, and joins other similar initiatives recently adopted at Harvard, Stanford and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

This follows on our Addendum Generator, created by Science Commons as part of the Scholar’s Copyright project, which hosts the MIT Addendum, among others. The MIT Addendum helps scholars to negotiate with publishers for rights to comply with this new policy, as well as the NIH mandate. Authors can use our Addendum Engine to easily generate a one page document to attach to their submissions to the publishers, stating which rights they’d like to retain.

We applaud the university for passing this resolution, which is a great step forward for Open Access, and also encourage members of the MIT faculty to consider using one of our addenda to ensure their work can be publicly accessed and shared post-publication.

Also, for more information on how to comply with these policies, read our white paper, “Open Doors and Open Minds:  What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution.”

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