Draft Recommendations of the MIT Ad Hoc Faculty Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research

peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-03-18


"The open sharing of research outputs promises to quicken the accumulation of knowledge and insight and enhance opportunities for collaboration. It also aligns with MIT’s mission. At MIT, we are “committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.” We currently manifest that mission via the open sharing of educational materials through OCW and MITx, and by openly sharing faculty research via the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. In addition, as MIT makes bold moves to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the prevalence of computing and the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, our efforts in these areas will depend on the open availability of large, diverse, and inclusive sets of data in all formats.

The Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has been charged with developing recommendations to further support and enhance the open sharing of MIT research and educational materials and to contribute to the global transition to open science. Recommended as part of the 2016 report from the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of Libraries, the task force is intended to address the large proportions of MIT’s research and teaching outputs that are not yet available for open dissemination. This includes the vast majority of faculty journal articles published before the adoption of the Faculty Open Access Policy in 2009, and over 50% of faculty articles published since then.

These bold, vital aims must, however, be considered in the context of complex changes in distribution and publication processes, as they evolve to harness the potential of the digital age to enhance and facilitate the sharing of science and scholarship so that research output can have maximum impact. We offer these recommendations amid signs of growing pains in this transition: at a time when proprietary and open systems and services for sharing data, code, and all forms of publication are proliferating; when the economic models for these new approaches are still being developed, debated, and tested; and when practices and policies around openness vary in different parts of the globe. In this time of transition, many publishers are struggling to implement successful open access business models and to meet new requirements from public and private research funders for more open access to scholarly articles and data. Researchers stretch to simultaneously act upon their wish to share their work broadly while meeting expectations for the kind of publication and credentialing that will advance their careers; some—such as a system-wide group at the University of California — are leading bold initiatives to assert their principles regarding the scholarly communication system and insist that publishers manifest them. ...

[W]e should double down on responsible ways to manifest MIT’s foundational belief in the value of open sharing. This is the aim of our recommendations...."



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Date tagged:

03/18/2019, 17:22

Date published:

03/18/2019, 10:21