Two weeks ago, Dr. Mike Taylor, a researcher at Bristol
University, wrote an angry opinion piece for the Guardian
criticizing academic publishers for profiting exorbitantly from the
intellectual property of scientists. Trigger for this was a proposal put forward to the U.S. Congress
limiting free access to publicly funded research.
Especially Netherlands-based Elsevier has become target of wide
ranging condemnation as Taylor writes that "Elsevier's true agenda
is nothing nobler than to line their pockets at the expense of
scientists worldwide and everyone with a preventable or treatable
Ever since, the debate gained further steam as a number of
scientists, bloggers and magazines have taken up the subject. With
his blog post "Elsevier - my part in its downfall"
British mathematician Tim Gowers has gained particular
Gowers writes that "I am not only going to refuse to have
anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on, but I am saying
so publicly. I am by no means the first person to do this, but the
more of us there are, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and
that is my main reason for writing this post."
Apart from being covered in the popular academic blog "crooked timber", the subject was picked
up by Forbes magazine as well where Tim Worstall
lamented that "the entire cost base and financial structure is
outmoded in this internet age."
Read here a column on the RWA by Cameron Neylon,
British biophysicist, open acces expert and PLoS One