The nine members of the editorial board of the Oxford University-based mathematics journal Topology have signed a letter expressing their intention to resign on December 31. They cited the price of the journal as well as the general pricing policies of their publisher, Elsevier, as having "a significant and damaging effect on Topology's reputation in the mathematical research community."
As a UK academic the problem I have with boycotting them is that it would effectively amount to careeer suicide. If I don't publish in the key journals in my field then I can't get papers with a sufficiently high rating to allow for any career progression, can't properly support bids for new research funding and would generally be screwed. This is pretty much the case for many science and social science acadmics in the UK.
I can't believe it would be very difficult for a dedicated group of academics to organize a way of completely sidestepping this awful scam. I greatly look forward to it. It would be as important a step in freeing information as Google has managed in its not-evil years.
1) People want to publish in the most prestigious journals,
2) the prestigious journals can pick the best papers to put in them.
3) The best papers, the ones most likely to be cited show up in the journals in 2, this increases the prestige of the journals.
4) Infinite Loop! We never get to 4.
mumimor: It's simple, but then again, it's not. I'm all for hating Elsevier, but I also know a bit about publishing journals. The thing is, even if they are online and the editors and reviewers work for free, there is still a cost to publishing them. And though Elsevier's pricing is grotesque, the cost is a lot higher than most people think - specially if you have to deal with rights to images.
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