Open Science and Scholarship: The Role of Libraries, University Presses, and Faculty – MIT Events

“Declining trust in science, combined with the urgency of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and racial and economic inequality, have highlighted the need for more open and equitable access to credible science and scholarship. Libraries, university presses, and faculty all play a critical role in the scholarly communications ecosystem. At this panel, we will hear how the MIT Libraries, the MIT Press, and MIT faculty are engaging in the movements for open science and open scholarship.

Join us to hear from Chris Bourg, Director of the Libraries, Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press, and Roger Levy, Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Chair of the Committee on the Library System, about the current status and future vision of scholarly research and publishing activities at MIT and beyond….”

The Data Nutrition Project

“A “nutrition label” for datasets.

The Data Nutrition Project aims to create a standard label for interrogating datasets for measures that will ultimately drive the creation of better, more inclusive algorithms.

Our current prototype includes a highly-generalizable interactive data diagnostic label that allows for exploring any number of domain-specific aspects in datasets. Similar to a nutrition label on food, our Dataset Nutrition Label aims to highlight the key ingredients in a dataset such as meta-data and populations, as well as unique or anomalous features regarding distributions, missing data, and comparisons to other ‘ground truth’ datasets. We are currently testing our label on several datasets, with an eye towards open sourcing this effort and gathering community feedback.

The design utilizes a ‘modular’ framework that can be leveraged to add or remove areas of investigation based on the domain of the dataset. For example, Dataset Nutrition Labels for data about people may include modules about the representation of race and gender, while Nutrition Labels for data about trees may not require that module.

To learn more, check out our live prototype built on the Dollars for Docs dataset from ProPublica. A first draft of our paper can be found here….”

MIT Press to develop a sustainable framework for open access monographs | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“The MIT Press has received a three-year $850,000 grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to perform a broad-based monograph publishing cost analysis and to develop and openly disseminate a durable financial framework and business plan for open-access (OA) monographs. The press, a leader in OA publishing for almost 25 years, will also undertake a pilot program to implement the resulting framework for scholarly front- and backlist titles.

Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press and principal investigator for the grant, sees it as an opportunity to explore alternatives to the traditional market-based business model for professional and scholarly monographs. “Until the mid-1990s, most U.S. university presses could count on sales of 1,300–1,700 units, but today monograph sales are typically in the range of 300–500 units,” says Brand. “Many presses make up this difference with internal subsidies or subventions from institutional or philanthropic sources, but this is not sustainable and often unpredictable. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, this generous award from Arcadia will allow us to develop and test a flexible OA sustainability model that can then be adapted to the needs of our peers.”

There is growing consensus within the university press community that publishing academic monographs through a durable OA model may be the best way to advance scholarship and fulfill their mission. The U.S.-based Association of University Presses comprises 148 member presses that collectively publish approximately 15,000 monographs per year. Crafting and promoting a viable OA model for this community — and leading the way, as the MIT Press intends to do — would represent a major breakthrough….”

Open Online Education Project

“The Open Online Education Project (OOEP) aims to improve online education by:

Developing open-source online educational tools.
Advocating for the publishing of free online education materials
Creating collaborations between institutions to address problems in online education.
Collecting and distributing resources for online education

We are a group of students, faculty, and technologists, growing out of Harvard and MIT, working on online education at the university level. We believe online education naturally lends itself to collaboration and needs further development. OOEP consists of a coalition of projects and partners….”

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. …”

MIT Libraries Vision: A New Urgency | About us

“The need for open, equitable digital access to information has never been more critical or more compelling. In the midst of unprecedented disruptions to our work due to COVID-19, the MIT Libraries share a new document that articulates and amplifies our existing vision, with a sharpened focus, a new urgency, and a clear set of principles to guide our decision-making….

The 2016 report on the Future of Libraries declared “we are on the cusp of a fundamental transformation of research libraries,” from discrete places where information is accessed individually, to networks of open global platforms where “knowledge and data…can be exploited and analyzed by humans, machines, and algorithms.” The report was a catalyst for the MIT Libraries’ vision for “a world where enduring, abundant, equitable, and meaningful access to information serves to empower and inspire humanity.” Now, as research, education, and our community have moved to a remote environment in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, our vision has an increased relevance and a heightened urgency.

This crisis demands an accelerated transformation of our library into a platform for the creation, discovery, use, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge that is fully open and equitably accessible….”

We will prioritize an open scholarship agenda that accelerates the progress of science, promotes equity and inclusion across disciplines, and reduces the marginalization of scholars and scholarship from disadvantaged communities….”

KFG Announces Four New Programs · KFG Notes

“KFG will use its resources intentionally and in partnership with others (you!) to ask: how do we enable just and inclusive life cycles of knowledge? How do we build trustworthy information environments to support a better-informed society? How do we meaningfully measure impact? How do we ensure universal access to knowledge? With the help of partners, we will explore the cultural and technological answers to these questions through four new programs:

Knowledge Ecosystems: We examine how knowledge ecosystems exist today, develop playbooks to improve them, and facilitate new knowledge life cycles accelerated through multi-institution collaboration.

Community Publishing: We build infrastructure to enable community-driven publishing toward more thorough, trustworthy, and inclusive models for publishing platforms and tools.

Universal Data: We research and develop tools for discovery, provenance, and interoperability of data, to ensure transparent and universal access to public knowledge.

Measuring Knowledge: We craft and deliver new analytics that aligns with the growth, learning, and empowerment afforded by modern knowledge ecosystems to redefine impact and success….”

KFG Announces Four New Programs · KFG Notes

“KFG will use its resources intentionally and in partnership with others (you!) to ask: how do we enable just and inclusive life cycles of knowledge? How do we build trustworthy information environments to support a better-informed society? How do we meaningfully measure impact? How do we ensure universal access to knowledge? With the help of partners, we will explore the cultural and technological answers to these questions through four new programs:

Knowledge Ecosystems: We examine how knowledge ecosystems exist today, develop playbooks to improve them, and facilitate new knowledge life cycles accelerated through multi-institution collaboration.

Community Publishing: We build infrastructure to enable community-driven publishing toward more thorough, trustworthy, and inclusive models for publishing platforms and tools.

Universal Data: We research and develop tools for discovery, provenance, and interoperability of data, to ensure transparent and universal access to public knowledge.

Measuring Knowledge: We craft and deliver new analytics that aligns with the growth, learning, and empowerment afforded by modern knowledge ecosystems to redefine impact and success….”

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….”