MIT sticks to OA principles and ends Elsevier talks

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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’.

Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries, said: ‘I am disappointed that we were not able to reach a contract with Elsevier that honours the principles of the MIT Framework, but I am proud knowing that the MIT community — as well as hundreds of colleagues across the country — stand by the importance of these principles for advancing the public good and the progress of science. In the face of these unprecedented global challenges, equitable and open access to knowledge is more critical than ever.’

Bourg added: ‘We hope to be able to resume productive negotiations if and when Elsevier is able to provide a contract that reflects our community’s needs and values and advances MIT’s mission.

’In the meantime, we will continue to use the framework to pursue new paths to achieving open access to knowledge. The groundbreaking agreement we reached with the Association for Computing Machinery in collaboration with the University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and Iowa State University is one such example of building the business models of the future.’

In response, Elsevier tweeted: 'MIT’s decision to end negotiations is a genuine disappointment as we share its goal of advancing open science for public good. We hope to continue to serve @MITLibraries community in advancing research and find a way forward to support their important work.'

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