MIT is stepping to the front by making their scholarly articles available to the public. They will be available through an open source platform DSpace, a scholarly repository for over one-thousand organizations (if you have a favorite University, i.e., Notre Dame or USC, check to see if it’s listed here). MIT’s corner is called DSpace @MIT.
DSpace@MIT’s Open Access Articles collection contains over 1800 scholarly articles that MIT Faculty have made openly available on the web. Additionally, MIT Thesis Collection contains selected digital theses and dissertations from all MIT departments dating as far back as the mid-1800s. Since 2004, all new Masters and Ph.D theses have been added to the collection after degrees have been awarded. Browse the collection here.
MIT analysis of usage statistics for last fiscal year indicates that content was downloaded by end-users over 15.2 million times or, on average, at a rate of over 41,000 files per day (credit: MIT).
See an article in Campus Technology News Update about its launch.
Why do they do this? Maybe it has something to do with what Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science ad chair of the Ad-Hoc Faculty Committee on Open Access Publishing, said:
“Scholarly publishing has so far been based purely on contracts between publishers and individual faculty authors.In that system, faculty members and their institutions are powerless. This resolution changes that by creating a role in the publishing process for the faculty as a whole, not just as isolated individuals.”