A few years ago, I wrote a post explaining that I was no longer going to referee for, or publish in journals published by Elsevier (and that I was likely only to cite Elsevier published articles with an explicit health warning). This was relatively cheap for me, as I work in a field where Elsevier has little presence (I’ve only had one occasion to turn down refereeing in the intervening period), but I did suggest that other readers might do the same. Now, Tim Gowers has independently had the same idea. Unsurprisingly, famous mathematicians are rather better able to rally support than political scientists of middling repute. So far, nearly 400 academics have publicly committed not to cooperate with Elsevier (I suspect this is an undercount, as they are verifying the credentials of signatories before posting their names). I warmly recommend that CT readers, especially readers in the hard sciences sign up. This is a plausibly effective form of collective action, since these journals, published by a notably rapacious and demonstrably dishonest commercial enterprise, rely on a lot of volunteer work to keep going. If academics stop working for Elsevier journals for free, either because they sign up to these commitments, or because they get the broad feeling that Elsevier is bad news, then the company’s business model collapses.
Via Michael Nielsen.