The Faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopts the
Each Faculty member grants to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology nonexclusive permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination.
In legal terms, each Faculty member grants to MIT a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same.
The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Provost or Provost's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written notification by the author, who informs MIT of the reason.
To assist the Institute in distributing the scholarly articles, as of the date of publication, each Faculty member will make available an electronic copy of his or her final version of the article at no charge to a designated representative of the Provost's Office in appropriate formats (such as PDF) specified by the Provost's Office.
The Provost's Office will make the scholarly article available to the public in an open- access repository. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Committee on the Library System will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty.
The policy is to take effect immediately; it will be reviewed after five years by the Faculty Policy Committee, with a report presented to the Faculty.
The Faculty calls upon the Faculty Committee on the Library System to develop and monitor a plan for a service or mechanism that would render compliance with the policy as convenient for the faculty as possible.
MIT has supported faculty in making their work open access by supplying them with an authors' addendum which can be added to standard publisher copyright agreements to allow archiving and the making of their published work open access. See at:
The details haven't all been worked out, but the understanding is that MIT faculty are recommended to communicate this policy to their publisher and add to any copyright license or assignment for scholarly articles an addendum stating that the grant is subject to this prior license.
From the FAQ about this (https://web.mit.edu/libraries/www/about/scholarly/restricted/faq.html#comply):
That way, you would avoid agreeing to give the publisher rights that are inconsistent with the prior license to MIT permitting open-access distribution. MIT provides a suitable form of addendum for this purpose. However, whether you were to use a suitable addendum or not, the license to MIT still would have force.
You can also read more about how the mandate was accomplished including the original framing of the committee at MIT and it's work by Hal Ableson (the faculty lead) to the
faculty at : http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/212/abelson.html.