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LIBER 2023 Annual Conference: Day Two

by | Jul 11, 2023 | 0 comments


by Leah Hinds, Executive Director, Charleston Hub

Thursday, July 6

The second day of the meeting opened with a keynote presentation from Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who presented “Role of Research Libraries in Open Research: A view from MIT.”

Chris Bourg, MIT

The first point of the presentation was “Libraries and Open.” Libraries take the lead for open research/open science, but often don’t have the power or budget to do so, with little to no support from their institutions. They prioritize “minimal disruption” to faculty, and shift inequitable access from reading to publishing. Some incentives that MIT provided for open scholarship included an Open Data Prize with an in-person event for the award ceremony, an Open Monograph Fund that funded 22 books, and the Center for Research on Open and Equitable Scholarship (CREOS). CREOS launched in 2019 with library discretionary funds and later received $2 million in grants.

Chris also spoke about MIT’s open framework and their negotiations and eventual cancellation of their deal with Elsevier. MIT has been out of contract with Elsevier for nearly 3 years. They formed the MIT Framework as purposeful and transparent principles for negotiating. They were approved by all the senior leadership at MIT as well as over 200 external organizations. Elsevier failed to produce a contract that aligned with the framework, so they cancelled in June 2020, and MIT rejected a second proposal in February 2023. They are currently paying for per article service and are spending around 10% of the cost of their old contract.

During the audience Q&A, someone pointed out the “elephant in the room” that is SciHub. They indicated MIT was only able to do per-article service because their faculty and students were able to illegally access articles through SciHub or similar means. Chris responded that they have no way of knowing if or how often their faculty use SciHub, and that pirating sites are only necessary because the system is broken. Another question asked if MIT had a framework aligned contract with Springer Nature. Chris responded that it wasn’t optimal, but that they did come to an agreement with Springer.

The day closed with the conference reception at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services. The reception was held in the Main Reading Room, a gorgeous space built in the early 1800’s. The winners of the poster session contest were announced here as well: congratulations to Elena Sipria-Mironov and Liisi Lembinen, University of Tartu, Estonia, whose poster was titled EODOPEN: User Dialogue, Audience Development, Copyright Issues & On-Demand Access to Hidden Collections.


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