Massachusetts Institute of Technology Agreement with Springer Following license discussions that began in the summer of 2008, MIT has signed a three-year agreement with Springer that includes language that gives MIT authors rights to flexibly reuse and post their work. MIT-authored articles published in a Springer journal that MIT subscribes to can be posted anywhere on the Web, including institutional, disciplinary, and other open-access repositories as well as on the author’s Web page. The version of the article expected to be targeted is the author's final version, after peer review, which is also the focus of the MIT Faculty Open-Access Policy. The language is written not as a direct extension of rights to authors, but in such a way that MIT retains certain rights, including the right to extend those rights to the authors of the articles. MIT considered a number of options in developing wording for the agreement, including the third-party beneficiary issue, which would allow MIT authors to benefit by a contract between MIT and a publisher. MIT decided it was cleaner to have the rights go directly to MIT because the authors are not direct parties to the agreement. The aim was to begin with a set of terms that would allow MIT-authored work to be widely shared, without the need for individuals to negotiate such rights for each paper. The agreement was developed in a spirit of joint exploration and innovative partnership with Springer. Conclusion MIT’s and University of California’s efforts represent different approaches to including author-rights language in content licenses, highlighting the potential for universities and publishers to benefit from the availability of standard language that could be used in carving out agreements. Certain common principles are suggested by these case studies, and offer a framework for universities seeking to work with publishers on new models. Several institutions represented at the ARL meeting in January have begun discussions aimed at addressing these concerns. Defining the principles underlying such agreements is a useful first step in creating standard language. For example, assuring that the language allows for making articles available under Creative Commons licensing clearly offers a substantial benefit to scholars, opening up the possibility of using new data- mining and filtering tools, a desirable—even necessary—step forward in RLI 263 36 Author-Rights Language in Library Content Licenses ( C O N T I N U E D ) APRIL 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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