Scientific publishing: The price of information | The Economist
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"SOMETIMES it takes but a single pebble to start an avalanche. On January 21st Timothy Gowers, a mathematician at Cambridge University, wrote a blog post outlining the reasons for his longstanding boycott of research journals published by Elsevier....It did. More than 2,700 researchers from around the world have so far signed an online pledge set up by Tyler Neylon, a fellow-mathematician who was inspired by Dr Gowers’s post, promising not to submit their work to Elsevier’s journals, or to referee or edit papers appearing in them....This situation has been simmering for years....To many, it is surprising things have taken so long to boil over....Commercial publishers have begun to experiment with open-access ideas, such as charging authors for publication rather than readers for reading. But if the boycott continues to grow, things could become more urgent. After all, publishers need academics more than academics need publishers. And incumbents often look invulnerable until they suddenly fall. Beware, then, the Academic spring."