"MIT?s OA Policy Related to #3 Ranking Among Top 200 Universities?"

DuraSpace Blog: “A recent Intechweb article, ?MIT Makes All Faculty Publications Open Access?, suggests that MIT?s #3 ranking among the top 200 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings may be related to both MIT?s OA policy and to the actual ability to access MIT?s research output on the Web through DSpace@MIT which now houses nearly 30,000 digital items.

Traditional Publication: Nontraditional Access-Provision

Huge congratulations to MIT! But a slight correction (of the Intechweb article):

What MIT has done is to mandate that the author?s final draft of all MIT articles published in peer-reviewed journals should be self-archived in MIT?s Open Access Institutional Repository. It is indeed very likely true that the ?determination of MIT to shift from the old tradition ? may be the clue to becoming ranked third among world?s top 200 universities.? The enhanced uptake, usage and impact resulting from this enhanced access is the factor that has helped enhance other universities? rankings too (e.g., those of U. Southampton, the first to mandate OA self-archiving).

But the shift that has occurred at MIT and Southampton to enhance their impact rankings is definitely not a ?shift from the old tradition of publishing model to a new publishing paradigm which relies on internet technology?! MIT and Southampton authors continue to publish exactly as they have done all along ? in the best peer-reviewed journals whose quality standards their research can meet. And just about all journals today ?rely on internet technology.?

No, the shift is that of supplementing the old tradition of publishing in an established peer-reviewed journal with the new tradition of self-archiving the author?s final, accepted draft, so that all researchers can access, use, apply and cite their findings in further research, and not just those whose institutions can afford to subscribe to the (traditional) journals in which they happen to have been published.

Credit where credit is due!

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum