10 March, 2012

Boycott Elsevier

It turns out that a number of people suddenly discovered my blog and I didn't update it for a while. In a nutshell: I moved to the US, changed the research subject a little (I just have to write a popular post about my research at some point!), and things of that sort, which is nothing but peanuts :-) Here comes some funny stuff.

After coming to the US I was surprised how many people are opposing Elsevier, and deny publishing, reviewing, or collaborating with them otherwise.

The reason is that Elsevier was actively pushing so-called Research Works Act, the directive that would prohibit open-access publishing of the federally funded research. Apart from just being unscientific, this directly contradicts the NIH policy stating that the taxpayers-funded research must be freely accessible online.

This very effort was triggered by mathematicians and spread widely across the general scientists' community, a good example is the website, where everyone can sign the "boycott petition."

Finally, Elsevier withdrew the support for the act, but it seems that most of the scientists' activity was prompted by Elsevier's pricing and things of that sort alone, without people discussing the Journal of Chaos Solitons and Fractals (Google it) and 6 fake medical journals they've been publishing. A few years ago my PhD institution and I had a funny story related to it, which made some established scientists join the boycott movement (if we met - ask me in person :-).

Apparently, all that is a consequence of Elsevier being run as a money-making machine, as juxtaposed to many publishing houses ran by scientific societies, like APS, ACS, AAAS, and so on.

It's nice that we don't hear such stories about the Nature magazine that also belongs to the commercial publisher.

Take care,


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