MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXX No. 3
January / February 2018
Support the Olympic Truce:
Diplomacy with North Korea Not War;
Haiti: Responding to Various Needs
#MeToo at MIT: Harassment
and Systemic Gender Subordination
Solidarity at its Best:
But Need to Stay the Course
Introducing MIT’s New Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Training and Consensual Relationships Policy
MIT Day of Action: April 17, 2018
Call For Participation
Trump’s Insults Pour Salt in Wounds
of Haitians Healing After Succession
of Disasters
Inclusive Community Faculty Dinners
Comment on “How Deeply Are
Our Students Learning?”
Update on the Task Force
on Open Access to MIT Research
Deep Learning or Deep Ratings?
No More MIT Voo Doo
Teaching this spring? You should know . . .
MIT Faculty By Gender (AY 2018)
Printable Version

Update on the Task Force on
Open Access to MIT Research

Chris Bourg, Hal Abelson

In July 2017, Provost Martin Schmidt, in consultation with the Vice President for Research, the Chair of the Faculty, and the Director of the Libraries, appointed an ad hoc task force on open access to MIT’s research. Convening the task force was one of the 10 recommendations presented in the 2016 preliminary report of the Future of Libraries Task Force. In addition, The 2013 Report to the President on MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz raised the question as to whether MIT should strengthen its activities in support of providing open access to the research and educational contributions of the MIT community. As a result of subsequent discussions held with the faculty and relevant committees, this task force has been charged to take up this question.

The open access task force is co-chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg and is composed of a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates. The task force has established the following working groups to develop recommendations in specific areas:

Research Data
Christopher Cummins, Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry
Eric von Hippel, T Wilson (1953) Professor in Management (chair)
Tom Pollard, Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Matthew Vander Heiden, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Educational Materials and Computer Code
Herng Yi Cheng '18, Department of Mathematics
Isaac Chuang, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Senior
Associate Dean of Digital Learning
Mark Jarzombek, Professor, Department of Architecture
Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science (chair)
Karen Shirer, Director of Research Development, Office of the Provost

Scholarly Publications
Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries
Deborah Fitzgerald, Leverett Howell and William King Cutten Professor of the History of
Technology (chair)
Nick Lindsay, Journals Director, MIT Press
Jack Reid G '18, Technology and Policy and Aeronautics and Astronautics
Jay Wilcoxson, Counsel, Office of the General Counsel

Contracts and Licensing
Peter Bebergal, Technology Licensing Officer, Technology Licensing Office
Robert Bond, Chief Technology Officer, Lincoln Laboratory (chair)
Bernhardt Trout, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

incremental cost over budget
MIT Open Access Articles
Downloads 2009-2016

(click on image to enlarge)









incremental cost over budget
Downloads continue to come from
nearly every country in the world

(click on image to enlarge)







In addition to considering whether and how MIT might expand the 2009 Faculty Open Access Policy to cover additional MIT authors and/or additional scholarly output beyond faculty journal articles, the task force is coordinating a renewed Institute-wide discussion of a broad range of ways in which policies and practices might be updated or revised to further the Institute’s mission of disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. Sample topics to be considered by the task force include:

  1. How should MIT respond to publishers that require MIT authors to opt out of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy in order to publish?
  2. Should MIT develop policies and/or recommended best practices for tenure and promotion committees that would encourage and reward open scholarship?
  3. Should MIT consider an open access policy for data, or if not a policy, a statement of commitment to open access to research data?
  4. Are there actions we could take in support of data citation/credentialing, and alternative metrics for articles, that would assist in promoting open access?
  5. Should MIT develop policies to encourage the open sharing of computer code?
  6. What policy revisions might MIT consider in the area of open access to educational materials?
  7. Are there ways that MIT might leverage our research contracts and licenses to promote and encourage the open dissemination of research where appropriate?

In considering these topics and developing a set of recommendations, the task force will continue to consult with domain experts and will facilitate a set of conversations across the Institute. Open forums to solicit input from MIT community members will be scheduled later this spring. More information about the task force can be found on our Website.

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