Soon after scientists announced on February 11, 2016, that LIGO had detected gravitational waves, the MIT Libraries deposited the detection paper to the open access collection in DSpace@MIT. This was possible because the Libraries have a long-standing agreement with the American Physical Society in which the publisher automatically sends papers to DSpace@MIT soon after they’re published, for immediate open access.
In this case, researchers in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration had paid to release the article under a Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to download, share, or build on the work. “Why make it open access? Well maybe that doesn’t need much explanation — for the most important publication in the life of the collaboration, the only reason not to is that it costs us something, but there was never any question that we would pay for it,” says Peter Fritschel, LIGO’s chief detector scientist and co-chair of the team that coordinated work on the discovery paper.
We’ve received several comments about the DSpace paper from interested readers, including these: