Follow-up on journal editor resignations (MLJ) | October 19, 2001 | Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
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"If you're just tuning in, last week we reported that 40 editors of _Machine Learning Journal_ resigned in order to protest the subscription price and online access policies of its publisher, Kluwer. One of the editors, Leslie Pack Kaelbling, created the _Journal of Machine Learning Research_ (JMLR) as a free online alternative.
Some corrections and further details to the story have been posted to our discussion forum and others have come in by private email. Here are the highlights. Robert Holte, executive editor of MLJ, reports that about a third of the MLJ editors did not resign, considerably more than the "handful" I described. Holte also points out that Kluwer now allows author self-archiving and gives free online access to its own copies of accepted MLJ articles, though only until the articles appear in print. However, Kluwer didn't tell Holte about this change of policy until October 11, after the 40 editors' public letter of resignation. It appears that the resignations, or perhaps the public letter explaining them, triggered a policy change that Kluwer would not have made otherwise. Leslie Pack Kaelbling, editor of JMLR and my source for the story, agrees that Kluwer's new online access policy is a very reasonable one. She says that if MLJ had allowed author self-archiving earlier, she would not have resigned from MLJ or launched JMLR...."