MIT Press News

The MIT Press receives $10 million endowment gift for open access to knowledge

The gift establishes the Arcadia Open Access Fund to support open access books and journals in science and technology, social sciences, arts, and humanities

The MIT Press today announced that it has received a $10 million gift from Arcadia—a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage, and promote open access to knowledge—to establish the Arcadia Open Access Fund.

The new fund will support the MIT Press’s ground-breaking efforts to publish open access books and journals in fields ranging from science and technology to the social sciences, arts, and humanities. It will also help the MIT Press continue to develop tools, models, and resources that make scholarship more accessible to researchers and other readers around the world.

“We are incredibly grateful to Arcadia for this generous gift,” said Amy Brand, Director and Publisher of the MIT Press. “The new endowment makes it possible for the MIT Press to build on and sustain its influential publishing programs. With this enduring support for open books and journals, we can use our power as an academic publisher to expand public understanding of scholarship and science and to democratize participation in research.”

Arcadia is providing an outright endowment gift of $5 million, as well as a $5 million “challenge” gift to incentivize other funders by matching their support of MIT’s open publishing activities.

The chair of Arcadia’s Donor Board, Professor Peter Baldwin, said, “We believe open access to knowledge is a public good. Arcadia hopes that this gift encourages others to help build a permanent endowment which ensures free access to MIT Press’s scholarly books and journals in perpetuity, and inspires other universities to follow MIT’s lead.”

The MIT Press supports a variety of open access funding models and has published hundreds of scholarly books and journal articles openly, working with authors, editors, societies, and universities to disseminate their works as broadly as possible. In 2021, with the support of an earlier grant from Arcadia, the MIT Press established Direct to Open, a collective-action model that makes the publishing of open access monographs more sustainable through institutional partnerships.

MIT Provost Cynthia Barnhart said, “MIT greatly appreciates this generous gift from Arcadia for the MIT Press. The Press’s initiatives help transform scholarly publishing for the better and align with MIT’s broader institutional support for open access to knowledge.”

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Jessica Pellien 
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The MIT Press

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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.

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