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NERL and CRL sign agreement to support Direct to Open from the MIT Press

NERL and CRL sign agreement to support Direct to Open from the MIT Press

It has become easier for NERL and CRL member libraries to make a strategic choice and switch from buying scholarly books from the MIT Press once for a single collection to funding them once, open access, for the world while enjoying exclusive benefits including backlist access and trade collection discounts

August 30, 2021 (Cambridge, MA)—Today, the MIT Press, the NorthEast Research Libraries (NERL), and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) announced that NERL will handle the central licensing and invoicing for MIT Press’ Direct to Open (D2O) for NERL and CRL member libraries. Through this three-year agreement, NERL and CRL join a growing community of libraries seeking to support innovative, sustainable frameworks for open access monographs through collective action. 

Developed over two years with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund, D2O moves professional and scholarly books from a solely market-based, purchase model to a collaborative, library-supported open access model. Through the participation of libraries and consortia like NERL and CRL, D2O will enable scores of titles each year to become openly accessible without BPCs and with real local benefits for supporting libraries. Rather than opening access to books on a per title basis, D2O will allow the Press to open its complete list of scholarly books published in 2022.

NERL and CRL libraries that commit to support D2O collections—libraries may support the entire collection or select between the Humanities and Social Sciences or the STEAM (STEM plus Art & Design) collection—before September 30, 2021 will also receive the benefit of access to the corresponding backfile for that collection. The complete collection backfile offers access to over 2,300 scholarly titles on the MIT Press Direct platform spanning the publishing history of the Press. D2O participating libraries also receive special discounting on the MIT Press’s trade books collection on the MIT Press Direct platform. If D2O does not reach the success threshold for 2022, participating libraries are assured term access to the archive collection without paying the fee.

Christine Stamison, director of NERL, says “The D2O initiative seeks to make books open access in a manner that aligns with NERL’s values of transparency, sustainability, equity, reproducibility, and flexibility. We are delighted to support D2O access for NERL and CRL institutions through NERL’s efficient services.”

“MIT Press’ D2O model speaks to the heart of our work at CRL in finding new ways research libraries and mission-driven academic publishers can partner together to create an open knowledge ecosystem that aligns with our values,” notes Greg Eow, president of CRL and board member of the MIT Press Management Board. “These kinds of radical collaborations redefine how the community can work together to advance the creation and dissemination of knowledge for the good of all.” 

“We are thrilled to have NERL’s support in our mission to make scholarly monographs and edited collections available as widely and openly as possible,” says MIT Press director and publisher Amy Brand. “Their sponsorship will go a long way in helping to ensure the success of the D2O model and also get us several steps closer to being able to guarantee that any author, regardless of their ability to source funding, is able to publish their accepted monograph open access with the MIT Press.”

To learn more about Direct to Open, or to sign-up to become a participating library, visit or contact Emily Farrell, Library Partnerships & Sales Lead, the MIT Press.

About NERL  
The NERL Consortium consists of a core group of 30 of the most research-intensive institutions in North America. It is a national leader in negotiated licensing whose mission is to serve as an advocate for the collective power and influence of libraries and their parent institutions. NERL is based at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago. 

About CRL  
The Center for Research Libraries is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries collectively building, stewarding, and sharing a wealth of resource materials from all world regions to support inspired research and teaching. CRL’s deep and diverse collections are shaped by specialists at major U.S. and Canadian research universities, who work together to identify and preserve collections and content, to ensure its long-term integrity and accessibility to researchers worldwide. 

About the MIT Press
Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press publications are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design. Direct to Open (D2O) harnesses collective action to support open access to excellent scholarship. When successful, the model will open access to all new MIT Press scholarly monographs and edited collections (~90 titles per year) from 2022 via recurring participation fees, provide participating libraries with term access to backlist/archives (~2,300 titles) which will otherwise remain gated, and cover partial direct costs for the publication of high-quality works that are also available for print purchase.