Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scholars Fight Back!

There is a growing protest by academics against Elsevier the world largest scientific journal publisher. It all started with a rant on a blog post at the end of January. The post was by Timonth Gowers, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University. He suggested it would be a good idea to have a website where mathematicians who had decided not to contribute to Elsevier journals could electronically sign their names. It had about 1800 signatures by the end of January. The website is called Cost of Knowledge
The protest is about the prices Elsevier charge for their jounals and the fact that Elsevier has supported the proposed Research Works Act in the US which would effectively lock down access to academic writing and end the Open Access Movement.
Librarians have complained for years about the high prices that journal publishers charge but now the suppliers of the material are fighting back! Academics write the articles, review them all free of charge and then have to buy back their own material and now some of them are saying enough.
Roll on Open Access and the victory of the right of everyone to access knowledge!
There is a good article on this subject in the Chronicle of Higher Education January, 31, 2012 where Elsevier puts its case

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