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Schools Endorse New Framework for Publisher Contracts

Nearly 100 colleges and universities across the country have endorsed a new principle-based framework developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to guide negotiations with scholarly publishers.

The framework was announced days after the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research released its final recommendations adopting an all-campus open access policy to increase the sharing of its publications, educational materials, data, and software.

The Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access, which was convened by Provost Martin Schmidt in July 2017 gathered input from experts across campus and beyond over the past 2 years.

The framework emphasizes that scholars and their institutions should have control over scholarship and its dissemination. The author will no longer be required to relinquish copyright and publishers will directly deposit scholarly articles in institutional repositories immediately upon publication.

“The value of scholarly content primarily comes from researchers, authors, and peer reviewers — the people who are creating knowledge and reviewing and improving it,” said Roger Levy, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences and chair of the Committee on the MIT Library System.

“We think authors should have considerable rights to their own intellectual outputs.”

The framework also requires institutions to pay a fair and sustainable price to publishers for value-added services. The publishers will be required to ensure the long-term digital preservation and accessibility of their content through participation in trusted digital archives.

Prominent schools that have endorsed the framework are Dartmouth College, Duke University, Arizona State University, Rice University, University of Washington, Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, UCLA Library, Virginia Tech among others.

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