Tuesday, April 24, 2012
In February, we aired a piece by Rick Karr about a boycott of the academic publisher Elsevier, for practices that academics and academic librarians said were prohibitively expensive. Of particular concern is a practice called "bundling," which requires libraries to subscribe to numerous periodicals they had no interest in so they might get a few that they wanted. A new memorandum by Harvard Library's Faculty Advisory Council makes their concerns about academic periodicals explicit, by saying the existing pricing model is untenable:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The boycott of academic publisher Elsevier that we reported on earlier this month seems to be having an effect: On Monday, the media giant dropped its support of the Research Works Act, a bill that would have limited public access to federally-funded health research by ceding control to commercial publishers. Hours later, the bill's sponsors pulled the plug on the legislation. Elsevier also released an open letter to math scholars -- who were among the first and highest-profile academics to join the boycott -- stating that the firm would "create a scientific council for mathematics, to ensure that we are working in tandem with the mathematics community to address feedback and to give greater control and transparency". The boycott continues; nearly 7,600 academics had signed on as of Tuesday afternoon.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Late last month, a Cambridge Mathematician wrote a blog post that launched a massive boycott of the largest publisher of academic journals in the world. The boycott, now more than 6,000 academics strong, has ignited a discussion over the cost of, and access to, information published by academics. Rick Karr reports on rising discontent with the current academic publishing model.