Journal publishing reform

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Credit: Michael Eisen

This is a collection of links to information, opinion, activism, and other issues concerning the practices of research journal publishers (particularly in the mathematical sciences). Further contributions are welcome.

The cost of knowledge

Main article: The cost of knowledge

The cost of knowledge is a web page at which one may register a protest against the practices of Elsevier by pledging not to submit a paper to an Elsevier journal, not to referee for an Elsevier journal, not to join an editorial board of an Elsevier journal, or some combination of the three. This site was inspired by the following blog post:

A more detailed statement of purpose of the boycott, can be found here. It is written and signed by Scott Aaronson, Douglas N. Arnold, Artur Ávila, John Baez, Folkmar Bornemann, Danny Calegari, Henry Cohn, Ingrid Daubechies, Jordan Ellenberg, Matthew Emerton, Marie Farge, David Gabai, Timothy Gowers, Ben Green, Martin Grötschel, Michael Harris, Frédéric Hélein, Rob Kirby, Vincent Lafforgue, Gregory F. Lawler, Randall J. LeVeque, Laszlo Lovasz, Peter J. Olver, Olof Sisask, Terence Tao, Richard Taylor, Bernard Teissier, Burt Totaro, Lloyd N. Trefethen, Takashi Tsuboi, Marie-France Vigneras, Wendelin Werner, Amie Wilkinson, and Gunter M. Ziegler.

See also the blog associated to the cost of knowledge site. A poster for the protest may be found here.

There have been numerous reactions to this protest from both traditional and new media.

Open Access journals

  • These lists are taken from the Directory of Open Access Journals (limited to peer-reviewed journals).
    • Perhaps someone could spell out or cut/paste the DOAJ lists below, like the Elsevier list.

Other pledges, boycotts, and petitions

Other blog posts, letters, and opinion pieces


Other Information

Elsevier mathematics journals

This list is taken from here

(*) On February 27, 2012, Elsevier announced that the archives of these 14 journals, from 1995 to four years before the current date, would be made open access.

Mathematics journal price tables

The following tables list the ten most expensive mathematics journals by volume list price (as of 2008), and (for comparison) the ten mathematics journals with the highest impact factor (as of 2000). One should caution that due to complicated (and, in some cases, deliberately obscured) bundling agreements, the actual price of subscriptions to many journals (including Elsevier journals) may differ somewhat from the official list price. Nevertheless, these tables should convey the rough order of magnitude, at least, of journal costs from publisher to publisher.

Data is drawn from this set of 2007 journal price data and this list of 2000 ISI impact factors. All prices in US dollars.

Top ten mathematics journals by volume list price

Title Publisher Price/volume Price/page
J. Math. Sci. (New York) Springer 9998 1.38
Theoret. Comput. Sci. Elsevier 6551 1.02
J. Math. Anal. Appl. Academic Press/Elsevier 6362 0.36
J. Algebra Academic Press/Elsevier 5736 0.51
Nonlinear Anal. Elsevier 5426 0.84
Discrete Math. Elsevier 5269 1.63
Appl. Math. Comput. Elsevier 5250 0.38
Math. Methods Appl. Sci. Wiley/Teubner 4995 2.09
Linear Algebra Appl. Elsevier 4885 0.94
Math. Nachr. Wiley/VCH Verlag 4795 2.58

Top ten mathematics journals by impact factor

Title Publisher Price/volume Price/page
Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. American Mathematical Society 418 0.64
Acta Mathematica Institut Mittag-Leffler 392 0.65
J. Amer. Math. Soc. American Mathematical Society 287 0.24
Comm. Pure Appl. Math. Wiley 3205 1.74
Inventiones Mathemat. Springer-Verlag 3232 1.21
Annals of Mathematics Princeton University Press 260 0.13
Advances in Mathematics Elsevier/Academic Press 3221 0.41
Mem. Amer. Math. Soc. American Mathematical Society N/A N/A
Commun. Contemp. Math. World Scientific 483 0.51
Geom. Func. Anal. Springer/Birkhauser 1185 0.88

Data from libraries

Pricing data from libraries is often hard to come by (for instance, many bundling contracts come with confidentiality agreements). More links in this section would be greatly appreciated.

Formulating Response to Elsevier's Policy Change], Richard Holton, MIT Faculty Newsletter, April 2012.