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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries system has signed a publishing agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry, thought to be the first of its kind in North America.

The so-called read and publish agreement will enable members of the MIT community to access journals from the British scholarly society, as they normally would under a typical subscription agreement. However, the agreement also means that any articles published by MIT authors in RSC journals will be immediately available for the public to read at no cost (an option known as gold open access).

Greg Eow, associate director for collections at MIT Libraries, said in a press release that he hopes other institutions “will join us in experimenting with new publishing models and helping to move the dial towards openness.”

The agreement has been signed for an initial term of two years.