Get Syeducated: No More “Free Work” for Scientific Societies That Do Not Share My Values

“This is all a long preface to say that I will no longer do any free work for the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), a society for which I have been an extremely active member since joining in 2003. I have been to every meeting since 2004, have served on committees, chaired review panels, given countless presentations, and met many great friends and colleagues through the society. I owe much of my professional existence to SRA, which is why I felt such betrayal at their recent actions.

 

SRA, along with a number of societies and publishers (including APA and SRCD) signed on to this letter to the U.S. President urging him to delay executive action on open access of journal articles. Now, whether or not the President should take this action is not the core issue—I understand that this is a complex issue. But, signing on to this particular letter is inexcusable for a society like SRA. The letter is essentially publisher propaganda, containing mischaracterizations about the nature of intellectual property and the role of journals in the scientific process. Moreover, it is deeply nationalistic, prioritizing the benefits to the U.S. at the expenses of the rest of the world. This latter point should have been a deal breaker for any society that positions itself as valuing global science. The letter is a direct attack on two of my core values: diversity and open science….”

31 UC faculty members step down from editorial boards in protest of Elsevier | Daily Bruin

“About 30 University of California faculty members suspended their editorial services for Elsevier’s journals starting Aug. 7 to protest the publisher’s alleged lack of productive negotiations with the UC….

Faculty members participating in the protest wanted to put pressure on Elsevier to restart negotiations with the UC and come to an agreement that would restore the UC’s access to Elsevier’s journals, said Matthew Welch, a UC Berkeley professor who is participating in the protest….”

31 UC faculty members step down from editorial boards in protest of Elsevier | Daily Bruin

“About 30 University of California faculty members suspended their editorial services for Elsevier’s journals starting Aug. 7 to protest the publisher’s alleged lack of productive negotiations with the UC….

Faculty members participating in the protest wanted to put pressure on Elsevier to restart negotiations with the UC and come to an agreement that would restore the UC’s access to Elsevier’s journals, said Matthew Welch, a UC Berkeley professor who is participating in the protest….”

California academics quit Elsevier journals in open access row | Times Higher Education (THE)

“More than 30 University of California faculty have quit editorial positions at Cell and other leading academic journals owned by Elsevier in an escalating showdown with the publishing giant over open access.

The editors include many leading figures in their fields, compounding the pressure on Elsevier as it battles a major statewide university system that produces 10 per cent of the US’ academic research papers….

In making their move, the editors talked more about the inconvenience that California faculty now face than they did about any determined commitment to global efforts aimed at making science articles freely available to all users.

In a three-paragraph letter to Elsevier, the participating faculty said simply that they were protesting against the lack of a contract between the California system and Elsevier, and their resulting inability to directly access the company’s library of 2,500 scientific journals….

By other measures, however, Elsevier may have little reason for urgency. The quarterly earnings report issued last month by its parent company, RELX, showed that Elsevier’s operating profit remained at about 36 per cent – a level many academics see as proof that the company is not treating them fairly – with reported increases in both contract renewals and new subscription sales….”

Top University Of California Scientists Tell Elsevier They’ll No Longer Work On Elsevier Journals | Techdirt

“Last week we highlighted the ongoing dispute between academic publishing giant Elsevier and the University of California (UC) system. Earlier this year, UC cancelled its contract with Elsevier, after the publishing giant — which gets nearly all of its content and labor for free, but charges insane prices for what is often publicly funded research — refused to lower prices or to work with the UC system on moving to an open access approach. Last week, we covered how Elsevier had emailed a bunch of UC folks with what appeared to be outright lies about the status of negotiations between the two organizations, and UC hit back with some facts to debunk Elsevier.

Perhaps Elsevier is getting antsy because a bunch of UC scientists have sent an open letter to Elsevier, saying they will no longer do editorial work for any Elsevier publications until this dispute gets worked out….”

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….”