[LIS-Forum] OA at MIT
arun at mssrf.res.in
arun at mssrf.res.in
Wed Mar 22 21:15:31 IST 2006
Two steps to support OA at MIT
At its March 15 faculty meeting, the MIT faculty discussed two OA-related
topics: complying with the NIH public access policy and using an MIT
amendment to modify standard publishing contracts and let authors retain
key rights. Details in today's report from the MIT News Office:
Concerned that taxpayer-funded research is not accessible to the general
public because of the tightly controlled, proprietary system enforced by
some journal publishers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is asking
every NIH-funded scientist who publishes results in a peer-reviewed
journal to deposit a digital copy of the article in PubMed Central (PMC),
the online digital library maintained by the NIH. Not later than 12 months
after the journal article appears, PMC will then provide free online
access to the public.
Director of Libraries Anne J. Wolpert and Vice President for Research
Alice Gast discussed with the faculty MIT's response to this issue, which
has been to support NIH researchers in complying with the policy, and also
to enable any MIT researcher to use a more author-friendly copyright
agreement when submitting articles for publication. "The overwhelming
majority of work produced by you is licensed back to you, and you can't
always use your own work in the way you want to use it," Wolpert told the
faculty. Copyright exemptions that were carefully crafted to allow the
academy to teach and do research are steadily being superseded by
intellectual property regimes that were developed for the benefit of the
entertainment industry. "What Disney wants, the academy gets, whether it
suits your interests or not," Wolpert said.
Among the reasons for universities to support open access is the high cost
associated with renting access to journals, which for MIT alone has grown
in the past decade from $2.6 million to more than $6 million a year....
An amendment that can be attached to any publication's copyright agreement
was disseminated to principal investigators in February. "We have to wait
and see how this plays out and see what feedback we get from publishers,"
Gast said. The goal is for MIT as an institution to work out agreements
with publishers rather than make individual researchers fight their own
battles. More information, as well as the amendment, which would override
the publisher's copyright agreement, is available online [here] and other
MIT web sites. "There is a distinct feeling among our counterparts at
large private and public institutions that if MIT takes a reasonable and
principled position on this issue, other institutions will be encouraged
to do likewise," Wolpert said.
The MIT contract amendment is closely related to the SPARC Author's
Addendum drafted for the same purpose. The MIT amendment gives authors
(among other things) the non-exclusive right to copy and distribute their
own article, to make derivative works from it, and to deposit the final
published version in an OA repository. MIT is the first university I know
to present its faculty with a lawyer-drafted contract amendment for the
purpose of retaining the rights needed to provide OA to their own work.
Kudos to all involved. MIT faculty could change the default for faculty
with less bargaining power.
Posted by Peter Suber at 3/21/2006 10:41:00 PM.
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