...The MIT initiative “is a very exciting development,” said Heather Morrison, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of library, archival and information studies and chair of the Canadian Open Access Working Group. “It represents faculty taking control of their work and ensuring their research is read and used by as wide an audience as possible.” ...
Morrison says while [the subscription] model is highly profitable for publishers, it conflicts with core academic values, including the commitment to the widest possible dissemination of knowledge.
“The high cost of journal subscriptions has meant that libraries have had to cut back on the number of subscriptions and limit purchases elsewhere in their collections,” said Morrison. “In response, librarians and faculty began to explore other means of scholarly publishing.” ...
“Public tolerance for the traditional private sector model of publishing is waning,” she said. “The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and all the granting agencies in the UK are declaring top-down open access mandates. MIT’s policy is the first faculty-driven, university-wide initiative of its kind in the U.S. By seizing the initiative MIT faculty are making their own rules about the dissemination of their work, not having them imposed.”
The policy also means articles by MIT faculty are likely to have a higher citation factor than the works of faculty at other institutions that are locked down by private publishers.
For academic staff in Canada the decision by MIT faculty serves as a possible model for disseminating their own work. It will also have a positive economic impact. When a professor or librarian provides a student a direct link to an MIT article, the need for a course pack or photocopying fee disappears, reducing educational costs.
Peter Suber at 4/13/2009 09:38:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.