Journal publishing reform
This is a collection of links to information, opinion, activism, and other issues concerning the practices of research journal publishers (particularly in the mathematical sciences). Further contributions are welcome.
Contents
The cost of knowledge
The cost of knowledge is a web page at which one may register a protest against the practices of Elsevier by pledging not to submit a paper to an Elsevier journal, not to referee for an Elsevier journal, not to join an editorial board of an Elsevier journal, or some combination of the three. This site was inspired by the following blog post:
- Elsevier - my part in its downfall, Timothy Gowers, January 21, 2012.
There have since been many reactions to this protest from blogs and in the media:
- Fields medalist Tim Gowers: Elsevier — my part in its downfall, Hacker News, January 21, 2012
- One mathematician's stance against Elsevier, Reddit, January 22, 2012.
- A response by David Clark at Elsevier, January 23, 2012.
- The cost of knowledge, Timothy Gowers, January 23, 2012.
- The Cost of Knowledge: Researchers taking a stand against Elsevier, Hacker News, January 23, 2012.
- Ban Elsevier, John Baez, January 26, 2012.
- Boycott Elsevier!, Scott Aaronson, January 26, 2012.
- The cost of knowledge, Terence Tao, January 26, 2012.
- Why boycott Elsevier?, Adam Harrow, January 27, 2012.
- Scientists organize Elsevier boycott, Slashdot, January 27, 2012.
- Blog blast births boffin boycott of publisher Elsevier, Iain Thomson, the Register, January 28, 2012.
- Elsevier's Publishing Model Might be About to Go Up in Smoke, Tim Worstall, Forbes, January 28, 2012.
- Publisher's wars, Peter Cameron, January 29, 2012.
- Scientists boycott Elsevier, Metafilter, January 29, 2012.
- What's wrong with electronic journals, Tim Gowers, January 29, 2012.
- Testify: The Open-Science Movement Catches Fire David Dobbs, Wired, January 30, 2012.
- Thinking about Elsevier replacements, David Speyer, January 30, 2012.
- Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics, Josh Fischman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2012.
- Will Academics' Boycott Of Elsevier Be The Tipping Point For Open Access -- Or Another Embarrassing Flop?, Glyn Moody, Techdirt, January 31, 2012.
- Scientists and scholars boycott Elsevier over bad business practices and copyright maximalism, Cory Doctorow, Boingboing, January 31, 2012.
- Petition Targeting Elsevier’s Business Practices Begins to Snowball, Michael Kelley, Library Journal, January 31, 2012.
- Academics call for boycott of Elsevier, Charlotte Williams, The Bookseller, January 31, 2012.
- As Journal Boycott Grows, Elsevier Defends Its Practices, Josh Fischman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 31, 2012.
- Researchers boycott publisher; will they embrace instant publishing?, John Timmer, Ars Technica, January 31, 2012.
- Boicot científico a Elsevier, Cristina de Martos, El Mundo, January 31, 2012. (Spanish)
- Elsevier in de clinch met wetenschappers, NOS News , January 31, 2012 (Dutch)
- Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier to Protest Journal Prices, Jop de Vrieze, Science Insider, February 1, 2012.
- Elsevier begins outreach as push-back on publisher threatens to widen, Deborah Weinstein, Medical Marketing & Media, February 1, 2012.
- Scientists Fight For Open Access For Research, Kristina Chew, Care2, February 1, 2012.
- Samsung, CSR, NFL, Elsevier, Motorola: Intellectual Property, Victoria Slind-Flor, Bloomberg, February 1, 2012. (Brief mention only.)
- The Breakfast Meeting: A Week of Negative Ads, and New Chief at Sony, Noam Cohen, New York Times, February 1, 2012. (Brief mention only.)
- Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier, Alison Flood, the Guardian, February 2, 2012.
- Étonnante fronde de chercheurs contre les revues savantes d’Elsevier, Jean-François Cliche, le Soleil, February 2, 2012. (French)
- Mysteries of the Elsevier Boycott, Rick Anderson, February 2, 2012.
- The Elsevier Boycott — Does It Make Sense?, Kent Anderson, February 2, 2012.
- You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals, Michael Eisen, February 3, 2012.
- Is the Open Science Revolution For Real?, David Dobbs, February 3, 2012.
- The price of information, the Economist, February 4, 2012.
- Zum Elsevier-Boykott, Klaus Graf, Archivalia, February 5, 2012. (German)
- More reasons to support the Elsevier boycott, Doug Arnold, IMU blog on mathematical journals, February 5, 2012.
- Academics Revolt Against Elsevier’s Journal Pricing, Robert Andrews, PaidContent, February 6, 2012.
- Open Letter to Elsevier, Norbert Lossau, Chair of the Executive Board, Confederation of Open Access Repositories, February 6 2012.
- An open letter to the research community: journal prices, discounts, and access, Elsevier, undated as of Feb 6, 2012.
Other pledges, boycotts, and petitions
- Research Without Walls
- Open Access Pledge
- Appel pour des négociations équilibrées avec les éditeurs de revues scientifiques - a petition concerning the bundling and pricing practices of Springer
- A petition to stop the Research Works Act
- See these tag libraries from the Open Access Tracking Project (more comprehensive after April 2009 than before):
Other blog posts, letters, and opinion pieces
- Comparative price of math journals, Rob Kirby, May 27, 1997.
- Open letter to Elsevier, Rob Kirby, December 30, 1997.
- 2000 data update
- Scientific Publishing: A Mathematician’s Viewpoint, Joan Birman, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 770-774, July 2000.
- One More Revolution to Make: Free Scientific Publishing, Krzysztof R. Apt, Communications of ACM, 44(5), pp. 25-28, 2001.
- Scholarly Mathematical Communication at a Crossroads, Greg Kuperberg, Nieuw Arch. Wisk., (5) 3 no.3, September 2002.
- Can Peer Review be better Focused?, Paul Ginsparg, March 2003.
- Fleeced?, Rob Kirby, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 161-162, February 2004.
- We can make a change, Gerard van der Geer, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, May 2004.
- What we can do about journal pricing, Walter Neumann, September 2005.
- The discussions mentioned in that email led to the Banff protocol (web site now only available through web archive).
- Review of The Access Principle by John Willinsky, Scott Aaronson, 2006
- Scientific Publishing in the Internet Era Efthymios Constantinides June 17, 2008
- Publishing economics harm science's credibility, Chris Lee, Ars Technica, November 2008.
- Integrity under attack: The State of Scholarly Publishing, Douglas Arnold, SIAM news, December 2009.
- Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Already?, Michael Clarke, January 4, 2010.
- What We Can Do About Science Journals, John Baez, January 24, 2011.
- What might be done about high prices of journals?, IMU blog on mathematical journals, July 12, 2011.
- The lairds of learning George Monbiot, August 29, 2011.
- Serials crisis and corn laws, Francis Sedgemore, September 7, 2011.
- Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist, George Monbiot, the Guardian, August 29, 2011.
- Peers, review your actions, Michael Taylor, Times Higher Education, September 29, 2011.
- How might we get to a new model of mathematical publishing?, Timothy Gowers, October 31, 2011.
- A more modest proposal, Timothy Gowers, November 3, 2011.
- A timeline of the debate initiated by this post, Peter Krautzberger, November 26, 2011.
- Research Bought, Then Paid For, Michael B. Eisen, New York Times opinion piece, January 10, 2012
- Should Research Be More Freely Available?, Jeffrey M. Drazen (Editor in Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine), Gene D. Sprouse (treasurer of APS), and Joseph W. Serene (publisher at APS), letters to the New York Times, January 23, 2012.
- Academic publishers have become the enemies of science, Mike Taylor, the Guardian, January 16, 2011.
- Branding academic publishers 'enemies of science' is offensive and wrong, Graham Taylor, January 27, 2011.
- Nature’s shiny sounding copout on open access, Michael Eisen, January 26, 2012.
- Publishers invent a whole new form of evil: suing their customers, Mike Taylor, SV-POW, January 27, 2012.
- Why I chose to decline an invitation to review by Elsevier, Stephen Curry, January 28, 2012.
- Journals and the arXiv, Scott Morrison, February 1, 2012.
- Abstract thoughts about online review systems, Tim Gowers, February 2, 2012.
Media
- PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access, Jim Giles, Nature, January 25, 2007. Summary: A coalition of scientific publishers (including Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society) organises to oppose open access.
- Reed Elsevier makes its final farewell to arms, Katie Allen, the Guardian, 30 May 2008. Summary: Reed Elsevier was until 2009 organizing arms trade fairs.
- Elsevier Published 6 Fake Journals, Bob Grant, The Scientist, May 7, 2009. Summary: Elsevier was paid by unnamed pharmaceutical companies to publish six journals that looked like independent peer-reviewed medical journals, but which were not.
- The wikipedia page on these six journals.
- The Elsevier fake-journal tally eventually rose to nine.
- The danger of drugs... and data, Ben Goldacre, the Guardian, May 8, 2009.
- Elsevier press release on this incident, May 7, 2009.
- Elsevier Won't Pay for Praise, Scott Jashik, Inside Higher Ed, June 23, 2009. Summary: Elsevier suspends its practice of offering Amazon gift cards to anyone who would give their textbooks a five-star rating.
Other Information
- On Elsevier
- Reed Elsevier's 2009 report Elsevier reported a profit of 1.1 billion dollars on revenue of 3.2 billion dollars.
- Criticism and controversies of Elsevier (Wikipedia)
- Elsevier support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (Gizmodo)
- Elsevier support for the Research Works Act (RWA) (Michael Nielsen)
- Elsevier needs to get out more (Richard Poynder)
- Elsevier = evil (Phyrangula)
- Elsevier-funded NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research (Michael Eisen)
- A response by Tom Reller (Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier)
- Note however that the editorial board of the Lancet, a very prestigious medical journal published by Elsevier, has come out strongly against the Research Works Act.
- Elsevier submission to the Office of Science and Technology Policy on open access, January 2012.
- Elsevier tries to block institutional OA mandates, Jan Hagerlid, January 31, 2012.
- Why commercial publishers are good for research, Arie Jongejan, CEO Science & Technology, Elsevier, Autumn 2003.
- Elsevier's policy on authors making their papers available on preprint servers (Short version: Elsevier allows draft versions of papers to be placed on public servers such as the arXiv, and revised versions of papers to be placed on personal or institutional pages, but final versions of papers are only permitted at the journal site itself.)
- On open access
- Open Access
- Open Access Directory
- Open Access Overview (Peter Suber)
- On scholarly journals
- The serials crisis Judith Panitch and Sarah Michalak, A White Paper for the UNC-Chapel Hill Scholarly Communications Convocation, January, 2005.
- AMS Journal Price Survey
- Math Journal Price Survey, from 2008 data.
- Journal subscription prices have increased far more rapidly than either inflation or spending on research
- A summary of journal price averages in various disciplines including mathematics as of 2010 (see also the parent site, which contains more detailed information).
- Big Deal Contract Project - an analysis of journal bundling contracts, and the attempts by publishers such as Elsevier to prevent them from becoming public.
- Open access journal business models (from the Open Access Directory)
- Miscellaneous links
- The Crisis in Scientific Publishing - a collection of links hosted by the University of Maryland.
Elsevier mathematics journals
This list is taken from here
- Acta Mathematica Scientia
- Advances in Applied Mathematics
- Advances in Engineering Software
- Advances in Mathematics
- Annales de l'Institut Henri Poincaré (C) Analyse Non Linéaire
- Annals of Pure & Applied Logic
- Annales Scientifiques de l'École Normale Supérieure (Until 2008)
- This journal is now published by the Société mathématique de France.
- Annual Reviews in Control
- Applied & Computional Harmonic Analysis
- Applied Mathematical Modelling
- Applied Mathematics & Computation
- Applied Mathematics Letters
- Applied Mathematics Letters posts apology for retracting Intelligent Design-friendly paper, Retraction Watch, 13 June 2011.
- Second thoughts result in payout, Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 16 June 2011.
- Applied Numerical Mathematics
- Artificial Intelligence
- Automatica
- Biometric Technology Today
- Biosystems
- Bulletin des Sciences Mathématiques
- Chaos, Solitons & Fractals
- There was a significant amount of controversy regarding the quality control at this journal during the tenure of a past editor-in-chief, who stepped down in 2009. Unfortunately, most of the primary reporting on this has been taken down due to ongoing litigation.
- The Wikipedia section on this issue
- L’affaire El Naschie, Secret Blogging Seminar, November 30, 2008.
- Integrity under attack: The State of Scholarly Publishing, Douglas Arnold, SIAM news, December 2009.
- Nature journal libel case begins, Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, November 11, 2011.
- Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation
- Comptes Rendus Mathematique
- Computational Geometry
- Computational Statistics & Data Analysis
- Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
- Computers & Mathematics with Applications
- Control Engineering Practice
- Differential Geometry and its Applications
- Discrete Applied Mathematics
- Discrete Mathematics
- Discrete Optimization
- Electronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics
- Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
- Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements
- Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
- European Journal of Combinatorics
- European Journal of Operational Research
- Expositiones Mathematicae
- Finite Fields and their Applications
- Fuzzy Sets and Systems
- Historia Mathematica
- Indagationes Mathematicae
- Information Sciences
- International Journal of Forecasting
- International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
- Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées
- Journal of Algebra
- Journal of Algorithms
- Editorial board resignation, 13 December 2003
- Journal of Applied Logic
- Journal of Approximation Theory
- Journal of Combinatorial Theory, series A
- Journal of Combinatorial Theory, series B
- Journal of Complexity
- Journal of Computational & Applied Mathematics
- Journal of Computer and System Sciences
- Journal of Differential Equations
- Journal of Discrete Algorithms
- Journal of Econometrics
- Journal of Functional Analysis
- Journal of Geometry and Physics
- Journal of Mathematical Analysis & Applications
- Journal of Mathematical Economics
- Journal of Multivariate Analysis
- Journal of Number Theory
- Journal of Process Control
- Journal of Pure & Applied Algebra
- Journal of Statistical Planning & Inference
- Journal of the Franklin Institute
- Journal of the Korean Statistical Society
- Linear Algebra and its Applications
- Mathematical and Computer Modelling
- Mathematical Biosciences
- Mathematical Social Science
- Mathematics and Computers in Simulation
- Neural Networks
- Nonlinear Analysis
- Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems
- Nonlinear Analysis: Real world applications
- Operations Research Letters
- Pattern Recognition
- Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
- Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
- Simulation Modelling Practice & Theory
- Statistical Methodology
- Statistics and Probability Letters
- Stochastic Processes and their Applications
- Systems & Control Letters
- Topology
- Editorial board resignation letter, 10 August 2006
- A Rebellion Erupts Over Journals Of Academia, Gary Shapiro, New York Sun, 26 October, 2006.
- Jumping Ship: Topology editorial board resigns, Allyn Jackson, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, May 2007.
- Wikipedia page on the journal
- This journal was discontinued in 2012.
- Topology & its Applications
- In 2001, a group of editors of this journal resigned to form Algebraic & Geometric Topology.
Open Access mathematics journals
- This list is taken from the Directory of Open Access Journals (limited to peer-reviewed journals).
- Perhaps someone could spell out or cut/paste the two DOAJ lists below, like the Elsevier list above.
- In mathematics
- In statistics
Mathematics journal price tables
The following tables list the ten most expensive mathematics journals by volume list price (as of 2008), and (for comparison) the ten mathematics journals with the highest impact factor (as of 2000). One should caution that due to complicated (and, in some cases, deliberately obscured) bundling agreements, the actual price of subscriptions to many journals (including Elsevier journals) may differ somewhat from the official list price. Nevertheless, these tables should convey the rough order of magnitude, at least, of journal costs from publisher to publisher.
Data is drawn from this set of 2007 journal price data and this list of 2000 ISI impact factors. All prices in US dollars.
Top ten mathematics journals by volume list price
Title | Publisher | Price/volume | Price/page |
J. Math. Sci. (New York) | Springer | 9998 | 1.38 |
Theoret. Comput. Sci. | Elsevier | 6551 | 1.02 |
J. Math. Anal. Appl. | Academic Press/Elsevier | 6362 | 0.36 |
J. Algebra | Academic Press/Elsevier | 5736 | 0.51 |
Nonlinear Anal. | Elsevier | 5426 | 0.84 |
Discrete Math. | Elsevier | 5269 | 1.63 |
Appl. Math. Comput. | Elsevier | 5250 | 0.38 |
Math. Methods Appl. Sci. | Wiley/Teubner | 4995 | 2.09 |
Linear Algebra Appl. | Elsevier | 4885 | 0.94 |
Math. Nachr. | Wiley/VCH Verlag | 4795 | 2.58 |
Top ten mathematics journals by impact factor
Title | Publisher | Price/volume | Price/page |
Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. | American Mathematical Society | 418 | 0.64 |
Acta Mathematica | Institut Mittag-Leffler | 392 | 0.65 |
J. Amer. Math. Soc. | American Mathematical Society | 287 | 0.24 |
Comm. Pure Appl. Math. | Wiley | 3205 | 1.74 |
Inventiones Mathemat. | Springer-Verlag | 3232 | 1.21 |
Annals of Mathematics | Princeton University Press | 260 | 0.13 |
Advances in Mathematics | Elsevier/Academic Press | 3221 | 0.41 |
Mem. Amer. Math. Soc. | American Mathematical Society | N/A | N/A |
Commun. Contemp. Math. | World Scientific | 483 | 0.51 |
Geom. Func. Anal. | Springer/Birkhauser | 1185 | 0.88 |