Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier to Protest Journal Prices 2012-08-20


“A movement to boycott scientific publishing giant Elsevier because of the high price of its journals is rapidly gathering steam. Nine days after it started, more than 2600 scientists—including several Fields medalists—have signed a petition at The Cost of Knowledge was initiated by Fields medalist and blogger Timothy Gowers... While he was writing a lengthy blog post on Elsevier's practices on 21 January, he initially thought he'd simply make that policy public. ‘Only while I was writing did it occur to me that it would be good to have a place where everybody who wanted to could make a similar declaration, so I mentioned that,’ he says. Tyler Neylon, a blogger and Ph.D. student in math at New York University took Gowers's cue and created the Web site 2 days later. Many scientists and librarians consider Amsterdam-based Elsevier, which publishes over 2500 journals in all fields of science, one of the villains in the scientific publishing industry; its journals can cost up to $20,000 a year, while the company's profit margin in 2010 was 36%, according to an annual report... Elsevier declined to answer questions, but the company sent ScienceInsider a written statement yesterday saying that its price increases ‘have been among the industry's lowest for the past ten years,’ and that Elsevier has made several other efforts to increase access to its information, such as the introduction of optional packages and a large contribution to the PubMed Central database... Heather Joseph, the executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries based in Washington, D.C., says she's ‘surprised and pleased’ to see the scientific community organize itself so quickly. ‘The scientists realize their work should be published, not locked, and that they are behind the steering wheel,’ says Joseph. Although the petition singles out Elsevier, both Gowers and Joseph emphasize that other big publishers—such as Springer and Wiley - apply similar business models... Gowers says he's considering further steps if support for the petition keeps growing, such as approaching the publisher directly... ‘Timing is crucial,’ says Gowers. ‘Doing this too early could mean we have not gained sufficient pressure, too late could mean we have lost our momentum...’"



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.usa oa.legislation oa.negative oa.rwa oa.nih oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.copyright oa.libraries oa.costs oa.librarians oa.sparc



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 15:17

Date published:

02/03/2012, 15:42