In a related note to my piece the other day on high-priced academic indexes, Ars Technica and Techdirt are reporting on a movement by some academics to boycott Elsevier, an expensive (and big-profit earning) scientific journal publishing company which supported recent restrictive legislation: SOPA and PIPA, which were defeated, and the Research Works Act, which hasn’t been yet. The RWA would prevent “private sector research work” from being forced into an open access model—but the definition of “private sector research work” is loose enough that it could include a lot of federally-funded work too.

After prominent British mathematician Tim Gowers spoke out in favor of a boycott, a website sprang up to organize it, and so far almost 2,000 academics have signed onto the boycott.

Meanwhile, post-publication peer reviewing site Faculty of 1000 has announced it is going to launch a new form of academic publishing. F1000 Research will accept and publish non-peer-reviewed articles under a Creative Commons license, after which the articles will be peer-reviewed. Might some of those boycotters move their publications over here?


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