MIT Open Access Task Force | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“The MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research, chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg, will lead an Institute-wide discussion of ways in which current MIT open access policies and practices might be updated or revised to further the Institute’s mission of disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

Open access policies at MIT | Scholarly Publishing – MIT Libraries

“In March 2009, MIT faculty passed one of the country’s first open access policies; the policy covers their scholarly articles by default.

As of April 2017, all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff, can “opt-in” to an open access license. See below for information on how to deposit a paper, get download statistics on your papers, or opt out of the policy. Authors covered by the MIT faculty open access policy do not need to sign this license.

MIT faculty OA policy
Text of the 2009 faculty open access policy, as well as definitions of terms that appear in the policy.
MIT authors’ opt-in OA license
Information and FAQs on MIT’s opt-in open access license. Sign the license.
FAQ on MIT’s faculty OA policy
Opt-out of MIT’s OA policies
Automated form to waive the faculty OA policy or authors’ opt-in license for a specific paper. Email oapolicyoptout@mit.edu for more information.
Reader comments on OA articles
This beta site shows what readers around the globe are saying about MIT’s OA policy.
Open access publishing support
Find support for open access publishing, including the OA fund. …”

Sanjay Sarma to step down as vice president for open learning | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“After nearly a decade running MIT’s digital learning platforms and education initiatives, Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma will step down from that post at the end of June, President L. Rafael Reif announced today in an email to the MIT community.

 

Sarma, who is the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been responsible for MIT Open Learning, which includes the Office of Digital Learning, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), the Center for Advanced Virtuality, and the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). Since 2012, he has led MIT Open Learning, first as director, then as dean, and finally as MIT vice president for open learning….”

MIT OpenCourseWare launches NextGen platform

After serving millions of learners around the world for the last 20 years, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) has launched its next-generation platform to allow for flexible growth, experimentation, and evolution in open learning. MIT’s “NextGen OCW” offers a new and improved experience for learners, more support for educators, additional opportunities for open education collaboration, and a greater capacity to share even more robust MIT content in the years to come.

Scholarly Publisher Contracts and New Benefits for MIT Authors – MIT Faculty Newsletter

“MIT has been using the Framework for Publisher Contracts to guide negotiations with scholarly publishers for more than two years. This principles-based framework aims to support the needs of scholars, reflect Institute values, and advance scholarship. In a short period of time, MIT has used the framework to reach several agreements with publishers that demonstrate the viability of our approach. We encourage MIT scholars to take advantage of the open access publishing benefits of these agreements….

Elsevier is the one major publisher that remains unwilling to produce a proposal for MIT that aligns with the Framework….”

Open Education, Cultural Collection, and Curation: Focus on HBCUs Tickets, Tue, Mar 8, 2022 at 12:15 PM | Eventbrite

“Although more learners and educators continue to adopt and create open education resources (OERs), there has been a dearth of culturally-relevant content created by and curated for underserved and underrepresented populations. In this Open Learning Talk, we’ll hear from members of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and learn about their journey to opening up and creating a more inclusive canon of OER for HBCUs and the world.

This event is free and open to the public. You are encouraged to submit your question or comment to the speakers through the registration page….”

With purchase of edX, online higher ed company 2U bets big on power of a brand – The Washington Post

“The pandemic that shuttered campuses worldwide last year also created a rare opportunity for online higher education. And a company based in Maryland just placed an $800 million bet that it can seize the moment.

 

For that sum, 2U Inc. bought an online course platform called edX that was created nine years ago as a nonprofit and joint venture of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The platform has a brand with prestigious origins and more than 40 million registered users around the world….

The company’s track record is not without controversy. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that an online master’s program in social work at the University of Southern California — for which 2U recruits students — had left many graduates with high student loan debt compared to their earnings. The degree had been priced at $115,000….

Some in academia believe Harvard and MIT should have held on to edX as a high-profile nonprofit venture in the growing online world. “Their decision to fold is a major, and potentially fateful, act of betrayal,” Jefferson Pooley, a professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College, wrote in July in the Chronicle of Higher Education….

Net proceeds from the sale have gone to a new nonprofit organization under MIT and Harvard that will explore education innovation….

Anant Agarwal, an MIT professor who was chief executive of edX, has joined 2U as chief open education officer. He said edX’s university partners support the merger. “Not a single partner has opted out because of the deal,” he said….”

 

In Practice: An Interview with Amy Nurnberger (MIT Libraries) · In Practice: Interviews with Practitioners of Open

“In this interview Amy Nurnberger, who is the Program Head, Data Management Services and Interim Department Head, Data and Specialized Services at MIT Libraries, answers questions from Katie Mika about the importance of creating open infrastructure to share and, crucially, cite research data. Amy discusses:

A current MIT project to automatically index research data outputs published by Institute affiliates in open repositories around the world;

The importance of creating and upholding systems of openness and equity in open access movements;

The value of normalizing data citation for developing an understanding of data use and sharing practices; and

Resisting impulses to treat potential or emerging data citation metrics like existing article citation metrics which may replicate existing systemic problems….”

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Open Access Agreement | Scholarly Publishing – MIT Libraries

“The MIT Libraries has negotiated an innovative open access agreement with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that allows MIT authors to make ACM articles freely available at no cost to them.

Under the agreement, MIT corresponding authors can make all articles and conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library open access immediately at no cost to the author. Instead, MIT is paying ACM a single bulk fee to cover both article publication costs and subscription access. Authors who elect open access may select a Creative Commons license for article sharing and reuse.

The pilot agreement runs from January 2020 through December 31, 2022, and applies to manuscripts submitted and articles published during that period….”

IBM, MIT and Harvard release DARPA “Common Sense AI” dataset at ICML 2021 | IBM Research Blog

“Before we can build machines that make decisions based on common sense, the AI powering those machines must be capable of more than simply finding patterns in data. It must also consider the intentions, beliefs, and desires of others that people use to intuitively make decisions.

At the 2021 International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), we are releasing a new dataset for benchmarking AI intuition, along with two machine learning models representing different approaches to the problem. The research has been done with our colleagues at MIT and Harvard University to accelerate the development of AI that exhibits common sense. These tools rely on testing techniques that psychologists use to study the behavior of infants….”

What the edX Acquisition Means for the Future of Higher Education

“By entering into this deal, Harvard and MIT have shown that they’re committed to a new business model. That is, they’ll continue their excellence in the residential model for a select few but will also leverage their expertise and teaching resources to provide high-quality education to the masses at affordable prices. To start with, they developed an incredible collection of content in edX, which netted them $800 million. They’ll use that money to further expand their online strategy.

This development should serve as a wakeup call for other colleges and universities. Lamenting a lack of government support and declining enrollments won’t help. They must instead ask how they can orchestrate an ecosystem to offer high-quality education at low cost. They currently follow a vertical integration model where they perform the entire value chain in house, from admitting students all the way to awarding degrees. They must start thinking about how to unbundle the value chain and outsource areas where others possess superior core competencies — for example, to content creators like Outlier.org, outreach platforms like edX, and those in the gaming industry with expertise in artificial and augmented reality and capabilities to create immersive experiences. By partnering and controlling significant parts of value chain instead of resisting them, universities can gain a significant portion of revenues that would steadily migrate toward EdTech companies. Those additional revenues can provide seed capital to universities to drive their own EdTech initiatives. Right now, they’re mere spectators in the game.”

MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future

“Last week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sold their edX platform to a for-profit company for $800 million. Founded by the two institutions nearly a decade ago, edX was higher education’s answer to the venture-backed start-ups jostling for an online-course windfall. With the sale to one of those firms, Maryland-based 2U, Harvard and MIT have surrendered. Their decision to fold is a major, and potentially fateful, act of betrayal.

Alan Garber, Harvard’s provost, adopted the language of edX’s profit-maximizing rivals in conceding defeat. “Taking full advantage of [online learning’s] potential,” he told The Harvard Gazette, “will require capital investments at greater scale than is readily attainable for a nonprofit entity like edX.” The decision to sell comes as investor interest in higher education has swelled during the pandemic. Coursera, the Silicon Valley online-course provider, went public in March, and Instructure — the maker of the popular learning-management software Canvas — filed for an IPO last week. The Covid Zoom boom has brought the inevitable wave of start-ups hoping to cash in on the virtual college classroom. So it’s no surprise that the market value of 2U, after the edX announcement, surged past $3 billion.

Before the sale, edX was academe’s public option — a mission-aligned satellite of the brick-and-mortar campus. Now all the major players in the sector are profiteers, legally obligated to maximize shareholder return….

By the turn of the millennium, most societies had handed over their journals to be published by the big commercial players, in exchange for a share of profit. Now most scholarship is published by an oligopolist quintet of information conglomerates that, in turn, charge their college customers usurious fees.

That industry is among the most profitable in the world, in part because academics write and review for free. As the historian Aileen Fyfe has shown, there was nothing inevitable about the joint custody — nonprofit colleges and for-profit publishers — we’ve ended up with. We owe our current predicament, in part, to the decisions of learned societies who chose short-term cash over their scholar-members’ long-term interests. Harvard and MIT have just made the same disastrous miscalculation….

2U’s mission is fundamentally misaligned with the university tradition. 2U, Coursera, and their venture-funded competitors are built to squeeze profit from our students, using our faculty and course offerings. Harvard and MIT had no right, in the meaningful sense, to sell us off. None of us — not faculty members, not students — signed up for edX to increase Silicon Valley’s wallet share. We will look back on this careless abrogation of stewardship as the tragic squandering that it is.”

edX: A Look Backward

“It soon became clear that edX was pursuing a strategy fundamentally different from that which I had signed up for. Rather than being a force for innovation and educational research, it would instead be content aggregator, marketing platform, and a (second-tier) LMS.

This week, edX announced that it would be absorbed by 2U in exchange for $800 million that would establish a non-profit dedicated to access, research, and innovation 

Talk about lucrative investments. Over nine years, Harvard and MIT transformed an initial “loan” of $60 million plus a subsequent investment of $20 million into $800 million that will be fund the non-profit that the two institutions will govern. 

By my calculations, that’s a return of 900 percent – or over 29 percent a year.

It’s my understanding that neither Harvard nor MIT will receive any cash from the transaction. But the two institutions will no longer have to bankroll any aspect of edX and will, it appears, exercise control over the new non-profit entity that the edX sale will create….

edX’s sale will not be widely mourned. But I, for one, feel an acute sense of loss, frustration, and, yes, disappointment. edX had promised to make high quality courses by the best professors in the world available globally for free. It was to drive technological and pedagogical innovations in online education. It was to create an international consortium of educational researchers and innovators. Spoiler alert: It didn’t….”

Harvard and MIT to Sell edX for $800 million | Harvard Magazine

“HARVARD, MIT, AND EDX ANNOUNCED TODAY that edX, the two institutions’ 2012 joint venture into online education, would be sold to leading educational technology company 2U for $800 million. 2U, a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ, with revenues expected to approach $1 billion in 2021, is an online program manager. The company provides digital platforms and marketing and logistical support that allows colleges and universities to offer online instruction but does not itself provide degrees. 

As part of the agreement, which is subject to approval by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey ’92, 2U will own and plans to operate edX as a public benefit entity, which means that in addition to creating value for shareholders, edX will also provide a specific public benefit—in this case, online courses, some of which can be audited for free. Currently, edX offers more than 3,000 online programs. “With the acquisition,” according to a University statement, “2U’s network will expand to include more than 230 partners, including over 185 nonprofit colleges and universities and 19 of the top 20 ranked universities globally.”

 

 

Harvard University provost Alan M. Garber said in an interview that the most important aspect of the match with 2U is that the company will continue edX’s mission. “They have committed to continuing to provide free audit tracks—in other words, free courses—in a wide range of subjects. And there are other provisions of the agreement,” said Garber, “that give us a great deal of comfort” that they will continue to make “great courses available at low or no cost to learners throughout the world.” …”

Three Charts That Help Explain the 2U / edX Acquisition – PhilOnEdTech

“I won’t describe the announcement here but instead list preliminary media coverage and then share three charts that I think help explain why 2U would acquire the edX assets for $800 million. I’ll add some additional analysis on what this deal means for online education in a second post….”