Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I am boycotting Elsevier

It is not secret to regular readers that I am no friend of Elsevier. It is engaging in unethical behavior (exhibits I and II), it is abusing its near monopoly power in the diffusion of research, yielding profit margins in the order of an incredible 30%. But foremost, it is actively trying to prevent the dissemination of research by hiding articles behind expensive paywalls and lobbying for making illegal various initiatives promoting Open Access in science.

A few years ago, biologists had enough and managed to create a group of journals in Open Access that are now the most respected in the profession, and that in just a couple of years. Mathematicians seem to be the next, and they invite a signature campaign for boycotting submissions to and refereeing for Elsevier journals. The site is here, and appears to suffer from the strain of its sudden popularity. Bookmark it to sign on when it is back on. You can certainly can count me in, as I have already been following such a boycott for a few years. It is not always easy, especially when I refuse to referee for editor friends, but they are understanding.


mOOm said...

Presumably the reason why there are few good open access journals in econ is because of all the working papers. Does open access matter much if people like you anyway just seem to read working papers? And when you can e-mail any author in the world quickly now and request a copy of their paper is the subscription model such a barrier to the dissemination of science anyway?

Kansan said...

The only reason Elsevier will continue to attract top papers in Economics is because of its top field journals. The AEA has completely missed the boat by creating its journals two or three decades too late.