Academics Boycott Elsevier Publishing

Josh Fischman, The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The company has sinned in three areas, according to the boycotters: It charges too much for its journals; it bundles subscriptions to lesser journals together with valuable ones, forcing libraries to spend money to buy things they don’t want in order to get a few things they do want; and, most recently, it has supported a proposed federal law (called the Research Works Act) that would prevent agencies like the National Institutes of Health from making all articles written by its grant recipients freely available.

The organizer of the boycott, Timothy Gowers - a mathematician at the University of Cambridge - wrote a call to action on January 21.

So I am not only going to refuse to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on, but I am saying so publicly. I am by no means the first person to do this, but the more of us there are, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and that is my main reason for writing this post.

This is a generation built on sharing information through the digital flow of knowledge. At what point do we all realize that publishers are largely unnecessary? We scientists strive to solve some of life’s most complex problems. Surely we can devise a system devoid of a middleman that allows us to freely share our work while still maintaining the important peer-review process.