Friday, February 03, 2012

Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier | Science |

More than 3,000 academics, including several Fields medal-winning mathematicians, have put their names to a petition declaring their intention to boycott the academic publisher Elsevier.

The "Cost of Knowledge" petition claims Elsevier charges "exorbitantly high" prices for its journals and criticises its practice of selling journals in "bundles" so libraries "must buy a large set with many unwanted journals, or none at all". It says the publisher makes "huge profits by exploiting their essential titles, at the expense of other journals".

The petition also criticises Elsevier's support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), PIPA and the US Research Works Act, which it says are an attempt to "restrict the free exchange of information".

"If you would like to declare publicly that you will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate, then you can do so by filling in your details in the box below," the petition says.

By Thursday afternoon, there were more than 3,000 names on the list – including academics from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale universities, and the Fields medal winners Timothy Gowers, Wendelin Werner and Terence Tao – and a host of critical comments.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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