Goodbye Elsevier, Goodbye Tet Lett Etc

mattoddchem | Intermolecular | January 26, 2012

I’ve decided to stop refereeing for, and publishing in, Elsevier journals. I was just asked to review for Tet Lett again, and sent notice that I’m out:

“Apologies, but I have decided to stop refereeing for (and publishing in) Elsevier journals because of 1) the lack of a positive policy towards open access (to all content, not just individual articles) and 2) Elsevier’s aggressive commercialism, in particular its sponsorship of the Research Works Act in the United States which would unquestionably harm science. Please remove me from your list of referees.

If Elsevier were, in the future, to decide to support full open access to the academic literature I’d be delighted to resume refereeing duties.”

Over the last few years my interest in open science has grown, and inevitably I’ve had to confront the power of open access literature, which is a necessary condition for open science if we are to avoid the absurdity of research conducted in the open disappearing behind a subscription once it’s done. My doubts about contributing to a system of closed access journals, which totally dominate organic chemistry, were becoming overwhelming when Tim Gowers’ post came along about the need to declare publicly that we would no longer support the system.