The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

Celebrate Public Domain Day 2020 | MIT Libraries News

“You may know January 1 as New Year’s Day, but it is also the day that new works shed their copyright constraints and become available for free reuse. Works from 1924 become public domain in 2020, including Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young, and the first film adaptation of Peter Pan. The public domain allows works to be broadly read, performed, remixed, and adapted as part of our shared cultural heritage.

To contribute to the celebration of the public domain, the MIT Libraries is digitizing 10 books from 1924 from the Libraries’ collections. This year we selected works that show a glimpse of what it was like to be a woman in academia in the early 1900s. Read about early women scholars at MIT in class reunion books from the 1890s, and see what women were publishing in 1924.

The 10 new works will join the MIT Libraries Public Domain Collection later this month, where they will be freely available to read in their entirety. Look out for news posts throughout January highlighting these interesting works. You can also join us in celebrating the public domain at two upcoming events:

Join us for lunch and learn more about the public domain at the Is it in the Public Domain? IAP session on January 7.
Learn how to enhance Wikipedia using public domain materials at our Wikipedia Public Domain Day Edit-a-thon on January 15….”

Knowledge Futures Group

“The Knowledge Futures Group is a non-profit technology organization where promising new projects nurtured at knowledge institutions get built to scale and compete with proprietary alternatives.

Founded at MIT, directed by educators, publishers, and technologists, and supported by a consortium of funders and partners, the KFG brings the intelligence and experience of knowledge institutions together with the product development speed and capacity of technology companies.

We build better futures….”

MIT OA Task Force Releases Recommendations, Publisher Framework | Library Journal

“As part of its ongoing work to support open access (OA) both on campus and in the wider world of academia, in October the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released two documents that will amplify open sharing of MIT resources and clarify communications with scholarly publishers.

On October 17, the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research, chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg, released its OA Task Force Final Report, a set of recommendations that will support and increase open sharing of MIT publications, data, software, and educational materials.

In addition, MIT Libraries staff partnered with the task force and the Committee on the Library System to develop a framework, based on those core principles, to help guide negotiations with scholarly publishers, support the needs of scholars, and advance science. The MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts was released on October 23….”

ARL Supports MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) supports the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts as an important pathway to making scholarly content more openly available. The framework sets forth six core principles for library contracts with publishers, such as author retention of copyrights, automatic deposit of manuscripts into institutional repositories, and blanket text- and data-mining (machine-reading) rights with no additional license required.

The MIT Framework also calls for sustainable and fair, cost-based pricing for publisher services. This will depend, at a minimum, on institutions refusing to sign non-disclosure agreements and, even better, providing their licensing expenditures and terms in an easily comparable format. ARL is committed to advancing such transparency as a key principle to achieving open, equitable, and enduring access to information….”

MIT Press and Harvard Data Science Initiative launch the Harvard Data Science Review | MIT News

“The MIT Press and the Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) have announced the launch of the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR). The open-access journal, published by MIT Press and hosted online via the multimedia platform PubPub, an initiative of the MIT Knowledge Futures group, will feature leading global thinkers in the burgeoning field of data science, making research, educational resources, and commentary accessible to academics, professionals, and the interested public. With demand for data scientists booming, HDSR will provide a centralized, authoritative, and peer-reviewed publishing community to service the growing profession….”

Harvard and MIT team up to launch peer-reviewed data science journal | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“The Harvard Data Science Initiative and MIT Press have launched the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR), an open-access peer-reviewed journal that serves as a centralized and authoritative outlet for the burgeoning field of data science.

The journal will feature expert overviews of complex ideas and topics from leading thinkers with direct applications for teaching, research, business, government, and more, according to a July 15, 2019 MIT Press article….”

MIT framework for negotiating with scholarly publishers gains wide support

“Who should own and control the dissemination of research? Not academic publishers, according to a new framework developed by library leaders at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The framework, published this week, asserts that control of scholarship and the way in which it is distributed should reside with scholars and their institutions. The document contains six core principles that will be used by MIT as a starting point for future contract negotiations with academic publishers.

The principles aim to ensure that research is available openly and appropriately archived. They also call for fair and transparent pricing of publisher services and say that no author should be forced to give up a copyright in order to publish their work. Instead, authors should be provided with “generous reuse rights,” the framework says….”

Strong Ideas from MIT Libraries and the MIT Press – MIT Press Podcast

“In this episode, Gita Manaktala, Editorial Director at the MIT Press, and Ellen Finnie, Co-Interim Associate Director for Collections at MIT Libraries, discuss the Ideas series: a hybrid print and open access book series for general readers, that provides fresh, strongly argued, and provocative views of the effects of digital technology on culture, business, government, education, and our lives….”