A Rebellion Erupts Over Journals Of Academia | October 26, 2006 | New York Sun
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"There's been a rebellion, not with pitchforks but pocket calculators. The nine members of the editorial board of the Oxford University-based mathematics journal Topology have signed a letter expressing their intention to resign on December 31. They cited the price of the journal as well as the general pricing policies of their publisher, Elsevier, as having "a significant and damaging effect on Topology's reputation in the mathematical research community." The subscription cost of journals can be difficult to determine, since institutions often subscribe to many periodicals in a single bundle. But according to Elsevier's Web site, in 2007 the cost of a single year (six issues) of Topology, in all countries except Europe and Japan, will be $100 for individuals and $1,665 for institutions. Founded through the vision of the Oxford topologist J.H.C. Whitehead in mid-century, Topology has an "illustrious history" with "some of the greatest names of 20th century mathematics" among its editorial and honorary advisory editorial board members, the editors wrote in their resignation letter, dated August 10. "Elsevier's policies towards the publication of mathematics research have undermined this legacy." A company spokesman, David Ruth, replied, "Elsevier regrets the decision taken by the editorial board of Topology, but we believe it doesn't fully reflect the changes we have made over the past decade, and continue to make, which have moderated price increases and provided considerably more value for customers, in terms of both cost per article and research efficiency." Board resignations have occurred at other Elsevier publications, such as the Journal of Logic Programming and the Journal of Algorithms, and also at a variety of other publishers such as Kluwer and Taylor and Francis. Of the Topology resignations, Mr. Ruth said, "Considering that Elsevier publishes more than 1800 journals, this still constitutes a pretty rare occurrence."..."