Time for Elsexit?

I, for one, agree very strongly that we should ditch Elsevier completely. Tim Gowers gives the lowdown on the scandalous situation.

Gowers's Weblog

This post is principally addressed to academics in the UK, though some of it may apply to people in other countries too. The current deal that the universities have with Elsevier expires at the end of this year, and a new one has been negotiated between Elsevier and Jisc Collections, the body tasked with representing the UK universities. If you want, you can read a thoroughly misleading statement about it on Elsevier’s website. On Jisc’s website is a brief news item with a link to further details that tells you almost nothing and then contains a further link entitled “Read the full description here”, which appears to be broken. On the page with that link can be found the statement

The ScienceDirect agreement provides access to around 1,850 full text scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals – managed by renowned editors, written by respected authors and read by researchers from…

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2 Responses to “Time for Elsexit?”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    How strong are the links between Jisc and the institutes that represent scientists in various subjects in the UK? I ask because many of these institutes are themselves on the publishing gravy train and have a clear conflict of interest.

    Ever since the WWW, the primary task of journals – dissemination – has been redundant. The secondary task of quality control remains important. (Whether refereeing is the best way to do it is, NB, a separate subject.) The strength of feeling that we have against the publishers of staggeringly expensive academic journals is best directed into the setting up of online journals, and then building up their reputation until a tipping point is reached. Those who do this essentially thankless task deserve our gratitude.

    • telescoper Says:

      That’s a very good question. I don’t really know how the system works, but the (long) post by Tim Gowers makes it clear that the deal negotiated with Elsevier is far from being a good one for UK researchers.

      As profiteers go, Elsevier is one of the worst offenders but it’s by no means the only one..

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