Posted on February 27, 2012.
As a follow-up to our earlier post regarding the Elsevier boycott, the publisher released a statement today indicating that they have withdrawn their support for the Research Works Act.
The statement is worth reading in full; while Elsevier will no longer openly support the RWA, they still oppose government efforts to require the open release of research:
Therefore, while withdrawing support for the Research Works Act, we will continue to join with those many other nonprofit and commercial publishers and scholarly societies that oppose repeated efforts to extend mandates through legislation.
Long story short, this debate is far from over, and it remains to be seen whether those participating in the boycott will consider this policy change sufficient.
Posted in Division
Posted on February 8, 2012.
Elsevier is notoriously known as being one of the most expensive and challenging publishers to bargain with in the academic publication world, and many academic library budgets feel nearly overtaken with Elsevier journals. Libraries have had to hold their breath as they pay their invoice, and in some instances have been forced to drop big deals altogether when a favorable contract could not be reached.
Now it seems that the researchers and faculty that publish in and use these journals are taking note of the expenses - and doing something about it.
An online petition, started by Tyler Nylon in response to an initial blog outcry from Timothy Gowers (University of Cambridge), has spread across the web and, as of this posting, received 4642 signatures. Faculty in multiple universities are staging a boycott of the Elsevier giant, vowing not to publish in or partake in any reviews board activities of Elsevier content. Instead, the singatories are turning towards the ever growing trend of open access, encouraging others to publish their works in freely accessible journals which are growing in stature and sophistication.
Also on the petition? Calling out Elsevier on taking sides with the Research Works Act which threatens research from grant funded studies, like the NIH, being disseminated freely. While the act itself seems dead in the water, the potential of squeezing such terminology into other legislation is always a possibility and one that librarians will want to keep their eye on.
Elsevier has responded in defending their practices by describing the labor that goes into publishing journals of the highest caliber and that digitizing their materials has actually opened up access and brought down the cost per use.
Does your library provide access to Elsevier journals? Do you feel their pricing and licensing agreements are unfair, or are they justified due to the content and reputation of the publications? How do you feel about this faculty boycott? Please leave your comments below.
Posted in Division