Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, March 20, 2005

More on the pricing crisis

The University of Haifa Library has launched a page on high journal prices, Taking a stance on expensive publishers of journals. Excerpt: 'Commercial publishers take advantage of their control (monopoly) of knowledge created mainly in universities, and sell their journals at high prices. In order to get online access to the required journals, academic libraries are forced to acquire bundled packages which include all the publisher's journals, and they are not allowed to cancel any journal. This is a heavy burden on library budgets. Top universities have started a campaign against Elsevier, the publisher leading the above process. Cornell University Library has decided demonstratively not to acquire the Elsevier bundled package, although the price of individual journals is higher, and as a result, the saving is small and the bibliographic loss is significant. Other universities, including the Israeli university library consortium, Malmad, have conducted a long and insistent negotiation with Elsevier without much success. The commercial publishers are determined to keep prices high, and the universities cannot give up the need for information. Academic staff members abroad, who are aware of this situation, suggested taking steps against expensive publishers, such as not publishing with them, not refereeing, refusing participation in editorial boards of their journals. It was also suggested to take an active public stance against expensive publishers and publicize the steps taken against them. Another solution which is in development now is the creation of new electronic journals which will not be dependent on commercial publishers.' The page includes a list of links to related sites and information. (Thanks to Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls.) (PS: Also see my list of university actions against high journal prices.)