MIT Terminates Elsevier Contract Over Open Access Dispute

“In an unprecedented move last year, the University of California system terminated journal negotiations with Elsevier over open access issues and higher costs. Last month MIT did the same, saying the publisher’s proposal did not align with the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. The UC system includes more than 280,000 students and over 227,000 faculty staff. MIT has roughly 24,000 students, faculty and staff in its system.

Developed in 2019, MIT’s Framework creates a mechanism to ensure research is freely and immediately available, while recognizing that the value in published papers lies with the authors and institutions that support them. Since it’s debut, more than 100 institutions have endorsed the MIT Framework in recognition of its potential to advance open scholarship….”

Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research | WIRED

“FIVE YEARS AGO, when Jeffrey MacKie-Mason first joined the University of California team that negotiates with academic publishers, he asked a colleague what would happen if he failed to strike a deal. What if, instead, he simply canceled their subscription? “I was told I would be fired the next day,” the UC Berkeley librarian says. Last year, he tested out the theory. The university system had been trying to negotiate a deal to make all of its research open-access—outside of a paywall—with Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher. But they were too far apart on what that would cost. So MacKie-Mason’s team walked away.

To his surprise, the army of UC researchers who depended on that subscription were willing to go along with it. They’d lose the ability to read new articles in thousands of Elsevier journals, sure, but there were ways to get by without a subscription. They could email researchers directly for copies. The university would pay for individual articles. And yes, unofficially, some would just probably download from Sci-Hub, the illicit repository where virtually every scientific article can be found. To MacKie-Mason, it was clarifying: The conventional wisdom that had weakened his negotiating hand was thoroughly dispelled.

Since then, progress towards open access has crept along. More deals of the kind UC wants have been struck, especially in Europe. But in the United States, progress has been especially halting. Then, last week, MIT officials announced that they too had stepped away from the table with Elsevier, saying they couldn’t agree to a deal. And now, University of California officials have announced their intention to make a deal with Springer Nature, the world’s second-largest publisher, to begin publishing the university system’s research as open-access by default. The deal starts in 2021 for a large number of the company’s journals—and puts UC on the path, at least, to do so for all its journals within two years, including its most prestigious ones, like Nature….”

MIT sticks to OA principles and ends Elsevier talks | Research Information

“MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – has ended negotiations with the publisher Elsevier for a new journals contract.

According to MIT, Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. The framework ‘is grounded in the conviction that openly sharing research and educational materials is key to the Institute’s mission of advancing knowledge and bringing that knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges’.

Further, the institute says the framework ‘affirms the overarching principle that control of scholarship and its dissemination should reside with scholars and their institutions, and aims to ensure that scholarly research outputs are openly and equitably available to the broadest possible audience, while also providing valued services to the MIT community’. …”

MIT ends negotiations with Elsevier over research access dispute

“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has ended negotiations over a new contract with the major journal publisher Elsevier, making it the latest high-profile academic institution to walk away from Elsevier amid an escalating fight that could shape the way that academic research gets read and paid for….”

MIT and Elsevier | Scholarly Publishing – MIT Libraries

“MIT has long been a leader in sharing its research and scholarship openly with the world. In the face of unprecedented global challenges, equitable and open access to knowledge is more critical than ever.

For several months, the MIT Libraries had been in discussions with Elsevier, one of the largest publishers of scholarly journals in the world, about a new journals contract. Guided by the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, MIT Libraries sought a contract that would reflect the Institute’s values and needs and preserve our ability to share MIT research openly with the world.

Despite our best efforts, including agreeing to a six-month extension of our current contract to provide Elsevier time to develop an offer for us based on principles we shared with them in August 2019, Elsevier was unable to present a proposal that aligned with the framework. After months of good faith negotiations, it became clear that Elsevier was not able to meet our needs, so we ended negotiations at the conclusion of our six-month extension.

See the FAQ below for more information….”

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations | MIT News

“Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. 

Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research and the Committee on the Library System in October 2019, the MIT Framework is grounded in the conviction that openly sharing research and educational materials is key to the Institute’s mission of advancing knowledge and bringing that knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges. It affirms the overarching principle that control of scholarship and its dissemination should reside with scholars and their institutions, and aims to ensure that scholarly research outputs are openly and equitably available to the broadest possible audience, while also providing valued services to the MIT community. …”

Can low-cost, open-source ventilator designs help save lives? – MIT Technology Review

“MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.

The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates….”

MIT-based team works on rapid deployment of open-source, low-cost ventilator | MIT News

“One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students and faculty working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts, although in the years since prices have gone up and the device would now cost $400 to $500 in materials. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace….”

Articles for Understanding Pandemics and Epidemiology | The MIT Press

“At the MIT Press, our thoughts are with those whose lives have been profoundly affected by COVID-19. We have gone through our archives to select relevant articles from our collection that speak to issues related to pandemics, epidemiology, and other relevant topics. We are thankful to our publishing partners in helping us make this vital information available and are hopeful that they contribute to a greater understanding of our current situation.

The following articles are freely available through April 30, 2020: …”

Open access downloads: January 2020 | MIT Libraries News

“The Open Access Collection of DSpace@MIT includes scholarly articles by MIT-affiliated authors made available through open access policies at MIT or publisher agreements.

Each month we highlight the month’s download numbers and a few of the most-downloaded articles in the collection, and we feature stats and comments from a particular country.

See your own download statistics or those of a particular MIT department, lab, or center….”