Titus Stahl

Growing resistance against Elsevier's high-cost open access option

The Atlantic reports that, after the departure of the journal “Lingua” to the Open Library of the Humanities, the editors of the journal “Cognition” have now started a petition, asking Elsevier to lower APC (article processing charges).

Scientists’ frustration is compounded by indications that academic publishers are turning a tidy profit from their labor and free contributions (peer reviews, like the articles themselves, are given to journals for free). Elsevier, Springer, and Taylor & Francis have all reported profit margins around 35 percent, more than Facebook (27 percent) or the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world (29 percent).

Given the fact that there is no reason for why academic publishing should be a for-profit enterprise and that there are successful cooperative models in both the sciences and the humanities by now, it is unclear why the “Cognition” board not just leaves Elsevier.