[FRIAM] Elsevier — my part in its downfall « Gowers's Weblog

Owen Densmore owen at backspaces.net
Fri Jan 27 12:02:12 EST 2012

Timothy Gowers the Fields medalist mathematician has a recent post on
Elsevier and a growing movement to boycott their use


This includes not submitting to the VERY MANY math journals owned by


.. or reviewing submissions

One previous successful act against Elsevier was extraction of the Journal
of Topology


On 10 August 2006, after months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier
about the price policy of library subscriptions, the entire editorial
board<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial_board> of
the journal handed in their resignation, with effect from 31 December
2006. Subsequently, two more issues appeared in 2007 with papers that had
been accepted before the resignation of the editors. In early January the
former editors instructed Elsevier to remove their names from the website
of the journal, but Elsevier refused to comply, justifying their decision
by saying that the editorial board should remain on the journal until all
of the papers accepted during its tenure had been published.

In 2007 the former editors announced the launch of the* Journal of
Topology*, run
under the auspices of the London Mathematical
Society<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Mathematical_Society> at
a significantly lower price.

Its interesting that Timothy also refers to SOPA/PIPA and took part in the
wikipedia led protest.  (I just found out that wordpress made a plugin that
folks all could use for that and future protests.  Impressive!)

I'd really like more of us to be careful about our papers and demand they
be open.  Its not exactly black/white, but certainly the papers have to
be publicly available, whatever else the publisher's rights may be.

I'd like your opinions, which are quite likely more informed than mine.

   -- Owen
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