Journal editor hopes mass walkout quickens open access progress | Times Higher Education (THE)

The editor of a journal whose editorial board staged a mass walkout has said that he hopes that the decision encourages others to do the same.

After more than a year of crisis talks, the full editorial board of The Journal of Informetrics, a quarterly, peer-reviewed title published by Elsevier, resigned on 12 January, citing immovable differences over the publisher’s lack of progress towards open access….”

Editorial board of Journal of Informetrics resigns and launches new journal

Today, the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) announces the launch of the new journal Quantitative Science Studies (QSS), published by MIT Press. The editorial board of QSS consists of the members of the former editorial board of Journal of Informetrics (JOI), an Elsevier journal. The members of the editorial board of JOI, which include CWTS researchers Nees Jan van Eck, Anthony van Raan, and Paul Wouters, have unanimously resigned and have moved to QSS. An important reason for the resignation is Elsevier’s lack of support for the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Disagreements about journal ownership and open access policies have played a role as well….”

About the resignation of the Journal of Informetrics Editorial Board

“After several months of earnest attempts on our part, Elsevier was told on January 10 that the Editorial Board of our Journal of Informetrics (JOI) had decided to resign. Subsequently the board announced they will start a new journalQuantitative Science Studies (QSS). QSS is being launched with financial support from the MIT Libraries and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB). More information on the board’s decision can be found in an announcement from the current Editor-in-Chief here. We wish the board well with their new venture.

Elsevier launched JOI in 2007 in collaboration with this scientific community, and it has since been consistently valued. After many years of strong collaboration, last year the board raised concerns with some of the journal’s policies. We responded to each of these concerns, explaining our position and making concrete proposals to attempt to bridge our differences and move forward together. These were outlined in a Letter to the Board in October 2018, the key points of which are included below….”

In the remainder of its statement, Elsevier responds to three points made by the resigning editors: (1) open citations, (2) open access, and (3) ownership. 

Open-access row prompts editorial board of Elsevier journal to resign

“The editorial board of an influential scientometrics journal — the Journal of Informetrics — has resigned in protest over the open-access policies of its publisher, Elsevier, and launched a competing publication.

The board told Nature that given the journal’s subject matter — the assessment and dissemination of science — it felt it needed to be at the forefront of open publishing practices, which it says includes making bibliographic references freely available for analysis and reuse, and being open access and owned by the community….”