How does the international scientific community counteract the increasing trend of pay-journals obstructing free scientific information?

+2 votes
asked Aug 16, 2015 in Open Science by just_curious (60 points)

As has become clear for example from this discussion, publishers of non open-source journals such as Elsevier for example, are more and more threathening the free exchange of knowledge and information among the international scientific community. If this keeps going and gets even worse, even the scientific method itself which relies on scientific results being freely discussed in the corresponding communities of researchers, might get endangered or at least made much less efficient than it could and should be.

Are there any serious well-organized and coordinated attempts of the international scientific community to address and counteract these unhealthy and worrysome developments?

By counteract these trends I dont mean just offering alternatives to publication in pay-journals, but addressing head-on the anti-scientific behavior of certain publishers by getting (internationally) organized to protect the scientific method and the rights of academics and researchers to freely interact and exchange knowledge as is needed to make scientific progress, protect researchers against haphazardous draconic punishments (that by no means match the wrong-doing or damage done) for doing nothing but sharing scientific information with colleagues which is their job, and so on?

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1 Answer

+3 votes
answered Oct 7, 2015 by CH (30 points)

I don't know of all activities against toll access, but a recent and strong endeavor has been made by the Dutch scientific community. You can find a nice round-up of the Dutch activities here at Unlocking Research.

As a first step in boycotting the publisher, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has asked all scientists that are editor in chief of a journal published by Elsevier to give up their post. If this way of putting pressure on the publishers does not work, the next step would be to ask reviewers to stop working for Elsevier. After that, scientists could be asked to stop publishing in Elsevier journals.

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