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
- Main article: 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.
A more detailed statement of purpose of the boycott, can be found here. It is written and signed by Scott Aaronson, Douglas N. Arnold, Artur Ávila, John Baez, Folkmar Bornemann, Danny Calegari, Henry Cohn, Ingrid Daubechies, Jordan Ellenberg, Matthew Emerton, Marie Farge, David Gabai, Timothy Gowers, Ben Green, Martin Grötschel, Michael Harris, Frédéric Hélein, Rob Kirby, Vincent Lafforgue, Gregory F. Lawler, Randall J. LeVeque, Laszlo Lovasz, Peter J. Olver, Olof Sisask, Terence Tao, Richard Taylor, Bernard Teissier, Burt Totaro, Lloyd N. Trefethen, Takashi Tsuboi, Marie-France Vigneras, Wendelin Werner, Amie Wilkinson, and Gunter M. Ziegler.
See also the blog associated to the cost of knowledge site. A poster for the protest may be found here.
There have been numerous reactions to this protest from both traditional and new media.
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
- Call to action: Tell Congress you support the Bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act (H.R. 4004 and S. 2096), Alliance for taxpayer access, February 9, 2012.
- 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
- Reforming Scholarly Publishing in the Sciences: A Librarian Perspective, Joseph J. Branin and Mary Case, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 475-486, April 1998.
- 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.
- Towards free access to scientific literature, Krzysztof R. Apt, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 5/2 nr. 3, September 2001, pp. 251-255.
- 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.
- Elsevier, double-dipping, and the NHS, Ben Toth, February 11, 2012.
- 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.
- scientific journals in the e-publishing age, Phillip Thrift, February 1, 2012.
- Abstract thoughts about online review systems, Tim Gowers, February 2, 2012.
- What actually is Elsevier’s open-access licence?, SP-POW, February 2, 2012.
- What have we learned about Elsevier’s open-access licence?, SV-POW, February 24, 2012.
- Winkling licence information out of Elsevier, bit by bit, SV-POW, March 6, 2012.
- Understanding Elsevier’s open-access licence, part 4: who owns copyright?, SV-POW, March 19, 2012.
- The Research Works Act and the breakdown of mutual incomprehension, Cameron Neylon, February 3, 2012.
- A forum on mathematical publishing, Scott Morrison, February 9, 2012.
- The moral imperative for Open Science, Russell Neches, February 9, 2012.
- The Federal Research Public Access Act, John Baez, February 10, 2012.
- The parable of the farmers and the Teleporting Duplicator, Michael Taylor, the Guardian, February 10, 2012.
- Why isn’t anyone publishing open-access articles in Elsevier journals?, Mike Taylor, February 11, 2012.
- How you can help the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) become law, Michael Nielsen (interviewing Heather Joseph), February 14, 2012.
- Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only, LISNews, February 14, 2012.
- The Dangerous “Research Works Act”, Richard Price, TechCrunch, February 15, 2012.
- A thorn in the side for science publishers, Wolfram Neubauer, February 17, 2012.
- Elsevier and Springer Sue University Library, John Baez, February 20, 2012.
- Make tax-funded scientific research public, Editorial, Newsday, February 26, 2012.
- Women in math, and the overhaul of the publishing system, Izabella Laba, February 26, 2012.
- Tell President Obama to support the Federal Research Public Access Act, Scott Aaronson, February 28, 2012.
- The control of knowledge: ours or Elsevier's; it's high noon for universities, Peter Murray-Rust, March 6th, 2012.
- Textmining: Update, Wiley, Nature and Hargreaves. And Elsevier allows me unrestricted text mining! Thanks!!, Peter Murray-Rust, March 8th, 2012.
- Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken, Michael Taylor, The Scientist, March 19, 2012.
- Open sesame: When research is funded by the taxpayer or by charities, the results should be available to all without charge, editorial, the Economist, April 14, 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.
- Lessons from the Campaign against Elsevier "We won, but how did we win?", Tom Stafford, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 2009, 8 (3), 494-504.
- Campaign success: Reed Elsevier sells international arms fairs, Campaign against arms trade, March 9, 2009.
- 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. Also, rival publisher Wiley has no plans to support the act.
- A message to the research community: Elsevier, access, and the Research Works Act, Elsevier, February 3, 2012. (Note: On March 2, 2012, this link was redirected to the link below, but the original link was restored on March 5, 2012.)
- Elsevier withdrew its support for the Research Works Act on February 27, 2012. Several hours later, the act was withdrawn by its Congressional sponsors.
- 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.)
- Stock analyses and financial data of Elsevier and other publishers
- Scientific Publishing: Knowledge is Power, Morgan Stanley, September 20, 2002.
- Reed Elsevier: The inevitable crunch point – downgrading to under perform because of growing concerns on Elsevier, Bernstein Research, March 10, 2011.
- Reed Elsevier, Bringing down the house – Why Elsevier is vulnerable in its upcoming Big Deal negotiations, Bernstein Research, March 29, 2011.
- Occupy Elsevier, Bernstein Research, February 6, 2012.
- Noise around boycott against Elsevier offers short term trading opportunity, Exane Paribas, February 7, 2012.
- A tale of two analysts, Cameron Neylon, February 15, 2012.
- Reed Elsevier's 2012 annual report (form 20-F) filing with the SEC
- On the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)
- On open access
- Open Access
- Open Access Directory
- Open Access Overview (Peter Suber)
- On scholarly journals
- Exclusion or efficient pricing? The "Big Deal" bundling of academic journals, Aaron S. Edlin, Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 72 Antitrust Law Journal No. 1 (2004).
- 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)
- Best Current Practices for Journals, endorsed by the International Mathematical Union general assembly, August 16, 2010.
- Mathematics journals: what is valued and what may change, Report of the workshop held at MSRI, Berkeley, California on February 14 – 16 2011.
- Do Mathematicians Get the Author Rights They Want?, Kristine K. Fowler, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, March 2012.
- Miscellaneous links
- The Crisis in Scientific Publishing - a collection of links hosted by the University of Maryland.
- Academic publishing - a wiki collection of links at the Azimuth project.
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
- Ingrid Daubechies resigned her position as editor-in-chief in 2012, according to her statement on the Elsevier boycott site.
- Applied Mathematical Modelling
- Applied Mathematics & Computation
- "Cooperative, Compact Algorithms for Randomized Algorithms", Rohollah Mosallahnezhad, Appl. Math. Comput. (2007) was a computer-generated article accepted by this journal (using Scigen), and subsequently removed by the editors.
- 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
- A computer application in mathematics, M. Sivasubramanian, S. Kalimuthu, in Computers and Mathematics with Applications, vol. 59 (2010) pp. 296-297. (This article is discussed in this blog post on the IMU mathematics journal blog, and is also available here.)
- The editorial board was replaced in 2012.
- 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 (*)
- Gunther Ziegler resigned his position as an editor of this journal in 2012.
- 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, December 13, 2003.
- Editorial Board of Scientific Journal Quits, Accusing Elsevier of Price-Gouging, Brock Read, the Chronicle of Higher Education, February 9, 2004.
- Journal of Applied Logic
- Journal of Approximation Theory
- Journal of Combinatorial Theory, series A (*)
- Gunther Ziegler resigned his position as an editor of this journal in 2012.
- 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 (*)
- Marie-France Vigneras resigned her position as an editor in 2012, according to her statement on the Elsevier boycott site.
- 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
- On the second part of Hilbert's 16th problem, E. Oxenhielm, Nonlinear Analysis 57 (1), April 2004.
- Historic maths problem 'cracked' David Whitehouse, BBC, November 27, 2003.
- Elin Oxenhielm update, Peter Lindberg, December 3, 2003.
- Mathematicians dispute proof of century-old problem, John Whitfield, Nature, December 9, 2003.
- Struggling for sixteen, Rachel Thomas, Plus magazine, December 16, 2003.
- The paper was eventually withdrawn from the journal by the editors.
- On some contradictory computations in multi-dimensional mathematics, L. Carvalho, Nonlinear Analysis 63 (5-7), November 2005, 725--734. (Claims that the change of variables formula is incorrect.)
- A New Bogdanoff Affair?, David Corfield, March 28, 2006.
- A comment on: On some contradictory computations in multi-dimensional mathematics, E. Capelas de Oliveira, W. Rodrigues, Nonlinear Anal. 67 (7), October 2007, 2316–2320.
- As of 2012, the original paper of Carvalho has not been retracted from the journal. (However, it is no longer listed as a publication on Carvalho's web page.)
- This is me losing all faith in Nonlinear Analysis, Mikael Johansson, March 28, 2006.
- On the second part of Hilbert's 16th problem, E. Oxenhielm, Nonlinear Analysis 57 (1), April 2004.
- 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.
(*) On February 27, 2012, Elsevier announced that the archives of these 14 journals, from 1995 to four years before the current date, would be made open access.
Open Access journals
- These lists are taken from the Directory of Open Access Journals (limited to peer-reviewed journals).
- Perhaps someone could spell out or cut/paste the DOAJ lists below, like the Elsevier list above.
- In mathematics
- In statistics
- In computer science, e.g.
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 |
Data from libraries
Pricing data from libraries is often hard to come by (for instance, many bundling contracts come with confidentiality agreements). More links in this section would be greatly appreciated.
- Here is a list of the 10 most expensive journals subscribed to by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as of 2010/2011. 8 of the 10 are published by Elsevier.
- Elsevier Fact Sheet, MIT libraries. MIT avoids bundling in order to obtain flexibility in its subscriptions, but pays Elsevier almost $2 million/year for its journals.
- According to this news article, Purdue pays Elsevier $2.3 million/year for digital access to its journals, with price increases of approximately 5 percent per year.
- The Elsevier Boycott and its relationship to WUSM. Some data on the bundling arrangements Elsevier has with the Becker medical library at the Washington University of St. Louis. About 29% of the $3.5 million annual budget of this library goes toward Elsevier journals and services.
- The Bundle Contract Project seeks to collect bundling contracts from commercial publishers.
- Watching your cards in The Big Deal, slides by Ted Bergstrom for the ARL meeting in Montreal, May 3, 2011.