Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access

July 7, 2017
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

To the members of the MIT Community:

I am pleased to announce the formation of a new Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research, appointed by MIT’s provost in consultation with me, the chair of the faculty, and the director of the Libraries. Composed of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff, the group will coordinate a renewed Institute-wide discussion of ways in which current policies and practices might be updated or revised to further MIT’s mission of disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.

In 2009 the MIT faculty adopted a powerful open access policy. This April we announced a new “opt-in” open access license for all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff. While MIT has been widely considered a leader in open access, the recent Future of Libraries Task Force concluded that the Institute should “assemble a Task Force on Open Access to assess the program and make recommendations to further the Institute’s mission.”

The task force is chaired by Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Chris Bourg, director of the Libraries. Its members include:

  • Peter Bebergal, technology licensing officer, Technology Licensing Office
  • Robert Bond, associate division head, Intelligence, Surveillance, andReconnaissance and Tactical Systems Division, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Herng Yi Cheng '18, Department of Mathematics
  • Isaac Chuang, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and senior associate dean of digital learning
  • Christopher Cummins, Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy, Department of Chemistry
  • Deborah Fitzgerald, Leverett Howell Cutten '07 and William King Cutten '39 Professor of the History of Technology, Program in Science, Technology, and Society
  • Mark Jarzombek, professor of the history and theory of architecture
  • Nick Lindsay, journals director, MIT Press
  • Jack Reid, graduate student, Technology and Policy and Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Karen Shirer, director of research development, Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Bernhardt Trout, Raymond F. Baddour Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Eric von Hippel, T. Wilson (1953) Professor in Management
  • Jay Wilcoxson, counsel, Office of the General Counsel

Sharing MIT knowledge with the world will be critical to solving the toughest global challenges; I look forward to seeing how this Institute-wide conversation on open access can advance our common goal.

If you have any questions about the task force, please email

Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research