Open Access: A win for open access? MIT ends Elsevier negotiations

I am not sure how this will eventually pan out. It was also a source for an intense discussion elsewhere. I am not sure if the corona pandemic has anything to do with the stressed assets but I am sure that it is a body blow for Elsevier.

Here’s the blurb from a mouthful hyped up press release:

MIT 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. It 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. 

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations | MIT News

The goals for open access are laudatory, but they have mentioned nothing about the MIT Framework. Yes, they have a string of community colleges and the numbers behind them. What would stop this framework from charging access fees later? How do they aim to make itself sufficient?

Here’s the framework from this link:

The core principles of an MIT Framework for publisher contracts are:

  • No author will be required to waive any institutional or funder open access policy to publish in any of the publisher’s journals.
  • No author will be required to relinquish copyright, but instead will be provided with options that enable publication while also providing authors with generous reuse rights.
  • Publishers will directly deposit scholarly articles in institutional repositories immediately upon publication or will provide tools/mechanisms that facilitate immediate deposit.
  • Publishers will provide computational access to subscribed content as a standard part of all contracts, with no restrictions on non-consumptive, computational analysis of the corpus of subscribed content.
  • Publishers will ensure the long-term digital preservation and accessibility of their content through participation in trusted digital archives.
  • Institutions will pay a fair and sustainable price to publishers for value-added services, based on transparent and cost-based pricing models.

I am sure that the emphasised clause would have been too much to swallow for academic gatekeepers. I hope that this initiative serves the larger purpose of keeping scientific research within public domain.