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MIT seeks better compliance with open-access policy

Since the implementation of the Institute’s open-access policy in 2009, more than 11,000 articles have been posted on DSpace, MIT’s online archive of research. These represent 37 percent of the total number of papers published by the MIT faculty in that period.

“That number is less than the majority of papers — it may not sound impressive, but its actually among the highest of MIT’s peers,” said Faculty Chair Steven Hall, who reported on a five-year review of the policy at a faculty meeting on April 16.

The policy mandates that faculty members let MIT openly publish the “fruits of their research.”

Hall hopes to form a committee in the fall that will consider what incentives MIT can offer to encourage authors to comply with the policy more often. The committee will also consider whether to extend the policy to the thousands of postdoctoral researchers, and perhaps even MIT students.

G/H-level subject distinction to be eliminated

The faculty voted to remove all graduate degree requirements associated with H-level subjects at the faculty meeting on April 16.

G-level subjects are subjects approved for graduate credit, while H-level subjects are higher-level graduate subjects approved for a graduate degree, according to MIT’s 2012 Bulletin.

“In addition to being very unclear, it also leaves the department to decide what is appropriate for a degree… It led to confusion and inconsistency, and also unfair student treatment,” said Professor Nicolas G. Hadjiconstantinou. According to Hadjiconstantinou, graduate departments and programs responded overwhelmingly in favor of eliminating the G/H distinction when asked for feedback during the evaluation process.

—Victoria Messuri