A behind-the-scenes look at the mass resignations at Lingua | University Affairs | 2015
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"On Oct. 27, the editors of Lingua, a highly influential journal of linguistics, resigned from their posts. The journal’s six editorial staffers and all 31 members of its editorial board quit to protest the high fees charged by Lingua’s publisher, Elsevier. The editors had previously approached Elsevier about renegotiating the publishing model to reflect a “full Open Access” model that would see the journal’s article processing fees charged to authors slashed by more than 75 percent (from €1,800 to €400, or approximately $2,550 to $567 CDN). Unsuccessful in their attempts, the scholars announced they would cut ties with the publisher at the end of December and found their own open-access journal, Glossa. Anne-Michelle Tessier is an associate professor of linguistics at the University of Alberta and has been an associate editor with Lingua since 2013. We reached her to find out more about the circumstances surrounding the resignation and the group’s forthcoming journal.
University Affairs: How long has the editorial team been considering a challenge to Elsevier’s pricing model for Lingua?
Dr. Tessier: This move was definitely pushed by Johan Rooryck, Lingua’s executive editor. The first time I remember him floating the idea would be almost two years ago. Everybody was on board pretty much unanimously and pretty much immediately. But, there was still the daunting task of how do we go about this. A year ago, it became clear that he was willing to put the time and energy and the logistics in. It was not until very shortly before we announced the resignation that he came to us and said, “OK, here’s what we can actually do.” After that, it happened very fast – within six weeks or something...."