New open access policy for all MIT authors of scholarly articles

April 06, 2017

To the members of the MIT Community:

I am pleased to share news about a newly available “opt-in” open access license for providing open access to research produced by any MIT author.

In 2009 the MIT faculty adopted a powerful and effective open access policy, supporting MIT's commitment to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. The policy, one of the country’s first, allows authors to legally hold onto rights in their scholarly articles, and it has been very successful: 44 percent of MIT faculty articles published since the policy passed are now publicly shared in DSpace@MIT.

Today, I am pleased to announce that all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff, have access to the same powerful means of retaining rights, via a voluntary, opt-in open access license. It applies to scholarly articles completed by an author after signing the license and while at MIT.

The opt-in open access license came about after former MIT graduate student Cara Manning, working with the Graduate Student Council, spearheaded an effort to create an open access policy for MIT authors not covered by the faculty policy. (Learn more in today’s MIT News story.) The license has been approved by the Committee on Intellectual Property, the Faculty Policy Committee, and the Office of General Counsel. As with the faculty open access policy, the MIT Libraries is overseeing its implementation.

I urge you to sign the license and to make your scholarly work openly available.

If you have questions about the opt-in license, please visit or email

Maria T. Zuber