Archive for Stephen Eglen

Elsevier? Just say No!

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , on March 6, 2021 by telescoper

I found out via Twitter that UK Universities are now negotiating again with publishing giant Elsevier for access to its range of hideously overpriced journals.

Five years ago the result of similar negotiations was a clear victory for Elsevier and UK institutions have been paying ever since. This time there’s a strong feeling in the UK academic community that the negotiators have to take a much firmer line, even if that means losing access to Elsevier journals.

See, e.g., this thread from mathematician Tim Gowers (who runs a very successful arXiv overlay journal called Discrete Analysis along similar lines to the Open Journal of Astrophysics).

and this from Computational Neuroscientist Stephen Eglen:

It is important to take a stand on this issue if you want the negotiations to succeed in reducing the burden on University budgets caused by profiteering publishers like Elsevier. If you’re on Twitter you can do so using the hashtag #NoElsevier. Alternatively you can make it clear to your institution’s library that you’re prepared to do without Elsevier journals unless they reduce the price substantially.

I’d add a more general comment. If you’re an academic who thinks academia needs the likes of Elsevier then you’re an academic who is not thinking. There are plenty of ways of communicating your results without shaking hands with the Devil. I find it completely mystifying why so many academics and their institutions are so willing to be fleeced in the academic journal racket. Perhaps they believe they don’t understand how little it actually costs to publish articles online?

You could do a lot worse than seize this opportunity to set up your own journal. It’s really quite straightforward and inexpensive, especially if your research community uses the arXiv. Why not try setting up your own overlay journal?