Lingua board walks over open access, Elsevier pricing | 2015
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"The entire editorial board of a highly ranked linguistics journal has resigned as a growing dispute over open access continues to escalate.
All 31 editorial board members and all six editors of the Elsevier-published Lingua resigned last week in protest against the pricing of the journal and a refusal to convert it into an open-access publication.
In a statement, Elsevier confirmed the editors had chosen to step down but would continue for the remainder of this year while a new editorial team was assembled.
“We will continue our work to maintain Lingua’s high standards into the future,” the statement read. “Lingua is widely available to the academic community and has a range of open-access options and is also included in the Research for Life initiatives, enabling access for researchers worldwide. We appreciate the editors’ work on the journal over the years and wish them well.”
Johan Rooryck, Lingua’s executive editor, said the editors planned to open their own open-access journal called Glossa.
Professor Rooryck, who specialises in French linguistics at Leiden University in The Netherlands, told the Inside Higher Ed website he would have known the cost of a subscription “to the cent” when he started in 1998.
He criticised Elsevier for an opaque subscription model, where the cost varied on what journals were “bundled” together. The editors previously had complained that libraries were reporting they could not afford the cost of Lingua, which as a stand-alone journal would cost about $2500 each year.
Another linguistics journal, Language, published by the Linguistic Society of America, costs $US300 ($400).
A push to convert Lingua to an open-access publication began last month, when editors met to renegotiate the publishing deal with Elsevier.
Professor Rooryck, posting in Facebook, said they had requested an open-access status, with article processing charges of €400 ($612). The publishing charges levied on individual academics would have been paid by the Linguistics in Open Access organisation, he wrote.
This is not the first time this year Elsevier, a huge publishing house, has faced criticism over its open-access policies. In May the company introduced a policy to make sharing “simple and seamless”, it said. But librarians and open-access advocates said the policy would prevent authors from sharing their journal article manuscripts publicly and through university-based repositories."