Monday, May 01, 2006

Enough willpower to not be exploited by paper academic journals?

Surprised to learn of all the actions recently taken by universities against the price gouging of paper journals. For example, my alma mater U.C. Santa Cruz:

"Elsevier journals cost 50% of the UC online serials budget but attracted only 25% of the usage. Elsevier profits rose 26% the previous year. Elsevier has been inflexible in negotiations. Taking the University of California system in its entirety, 10-15% of Elsevier content was written by UC faculty, 1,000 UC faculty serve on Elsevier editorial boards, and 150 serve as senior editors. The resolution recommends using the California Digital Library, the related eScholarship Repository, and peer-reviewed OA journals from PLoS and BMC. It urges faculty to retain copyright, the right of postprint archiving, and the right to distribute copies of their work to their classes. 'Therefore, the UCSC Academic Senate resolves to call upon its tenured members to give serious and careful consideration to cutting their ties with Elsevier: no longer submitting papers to Elsevier journals, refusing to referee the submissions of others, and relinquishing editorial posts...'"

Taken from "Lists related to the open access movement". Most of these battles are taking place in the realm of natural science research that is thoroughly peer reviewed. Perhaps the transition will take place there before the humanities. I cringe when I see hastily prepared books with errors. There's certainly no excuse for waste paper with shoddy scholarship nowadays.