H/T Tim Channon.
The ongoing world protests against SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA have helped inspire a revolt among scientists over the role of academic publisher Elsevier and its business practices.
British mathematician Tim Gowers kicked-started the campaign with a scorching blog post outlining numerous complaints against the publisher, which sells over 2,000 academic journals such as The Lancet and Cell. Gowers claims that Elsevier charges unacceptably high prices and forces libraries to subscribe to bundles of publications en masse – some of which have little, if any, scientific credibility.
He also noted the company’s involvement in lobbying for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act (RWA) currently going through the US Congress, which would introduce charges to access publicly funded scientific research.
I am not only going to refuse to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on, but I am saying so publicly. I am by no means the first person to do this, but the more of us there are, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and that is my main reason for writing this post.
I firmly believe the day of the big journals publishers is nearly done. They are an anachronism. Their restrictive practices go against natural justice on fundamental issues around the sharing of knowledge and the progress of humanity.
I want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you! to scientists like Hans Jelbring and Ned Nikolov who bring their science to the people for free here on the talkshop. They are in the vanguard of a new movement which is bringing real and exciting new science out into the light where the public can share a draught at the wellspring of knowledge and participate in it’s advancement and refinement. A huge thank you! to WordPress as well, our excellent hosts, who calmly resist the attack on free speech and knowledge being waged against us.
We do not need or want privately owned corporations in science behaving like Rupert Murdoch and forcing our library institutions to accept bundles of substandard, partisan and corporate driven material to dilute what should be ranked amongst the finest of human achievements.
After we have driven this goliath to the ground it will be time to tackle the cliques who have taken over the administration and editorial control of the big science institutions. For too long we have allowed the interests of power and finance to control public perception of truth and fact.
Bring on the renewal of the enlightenment! Independent publishing via the internet is the new medium we must nurture and protect.