Why boycott Elsevier?
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"The snowballing petition on which scholars pledge to boycott Elsevier is gaining a good deal of attention. There is an article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education, and this more general article about the future of Elsevier’s business model from Forbes. As of today the boycott pledge has over 2100 signatures....While I agree that all of these things are significant problems in the current scholarly communications environment, I have to say that Elsevier is not the only “sinner” guilty of these infractions, or necessarily even the most culpable among commercial publishers. This does not mean I am particularly sympathetic to Elsevier, and I am glad to see the petition for a couple of reasons. First, the boycott movement is coming from scholars themselves....Second, when framed as a divergence of values it is much easier to see that the core issue in this movement is who will control the the changing course of scholarly communications and the scholarly record....Instead [of abolishing copyright], scholars will seek new ways to use the rights that vest in them (not their publishers) to control their works in ways that best serve their own needs and the interests of their particular discipline. Boycotting Elsevier may not bring about that revolution by itself, but it is a step toward demanding that the rights and concerns of scholarly authors themselves actually drive decisions about how scholarship is shared in the digital environment."