Game-changer for open access?

Nieuws | de redactie
9 juli 2015 | Dutch universities are in a fight with academic publisher Elsevier over its reluctance to change to open access. Scientists are therefore urged to put pressure on the publisher. The Dutch academic world gets support from Cambridge where scientists talk of a possible ‘game-changer’.

Last week Koen Becking (Chairman University of Tilburg) and Gerard Meijer (Radboud University) called for a boycot of Elsevier. 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.

Boycot has potential

According to researchers from the University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication this boycot might be a possible game-changer. “This boycott has the potential to be a significant game changer in the relationship between the research community and the world’s largest academic publisher,” Dr. Ben Kingsley writes on his blog.

Kingsley elaborates on the position of Elsevier in the world of academic publishing and its reluctance to pay for the transition to open access. “Elsevier has consistently resisted efforts by Jisc to negotiate an offsetting deal  – where a publisher provides some sort of concession for the fact that universities in the UK are paying unprecedented amounts in Article Processing Charges on top of their subscriptions because of the RCUK open access policy.”

We need to stand by

It is therefore that Kingsley calls upon his British colleagues to fight Elsevier’s position in the open access debate. “the work happening in The Netherlands to break the stranglehold Elsevier have on the research community is important. We need to stand by and support our Dutch colleagues.”

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