Life After Elsevier: Making Open Access to Scientific Knowledge a Reality

Tyler Neylon | The Guardian | April 24, 2012

As more than 10,000 scientists pledge to boycott Elsevier on the Cost of Knowledge website, its creator looks to the future

Academic publishing is in the midst of an upheaval. The internet has transformed the ability to disseminate knowledge, a capacity once exclusive to publishers. Despite this, the exorbitant profit margins of academic publishers – who often do not pay their authors, editors and reviewers – continue to grow unchecked while library budgets shrink as a percentage of university spending.

This is a problem.

I became involved, along with thousands of other researchers, in solving this problem upon reading a blogpost by Cambridge mathematician Tim Gowers. Dr Gowers had already chosen, unannounced, to refrain from publishing in Elsevier's journals. His post, "Elsevier - my part in its downfall," simply made this decision public and asked for others to follow suit. In fact, he suggested, perhaps everyone could add their name to a website dedicated to this cause...