So they are simple thugs to be dealt with by police and the law by exposing and cancelling their coercive and forced copyright assignment agreements and placing those copyrights into a copyleft or similar position. This applies to all prior work and all new work going forward. The cost of running this process will be less than 1% of the monster eye breaking gougery that the colleges now bear.
It has to come, they have to go.
And recall the way they have kept the poor contries down by denial of access - that has kept the third worlders with first world brains, locked in an unethical cubbyhole.
In the mead time, get a few dozen seed boxes online with the last 20+ years of research data indexed and downloadable for free or very low fees. All well hid by technical means for anonymity.
I wish I could do more, but do this much damage to those evil thugs is already a good days work,
The Vioxx debacle is one of the most blatant and straightforward examples of "evil big pharma" in the modern era, and Merck holds most of the blame -- but Elsevier is complicit in the deaths of people who took Vioxx also.
Now Endnote on the other hand... if I could just get collaborators to switch away from Endnote...
Still searching for a better solution for annotations + referencing. I use zotero and the highlights app at the moment.
Why don’t they? Because their career is dependent on high impact journals because their bosses don’t care about lesser publications.
This problem could be readily solved if they turned their anger against the school administration for pretty much forcing authors to publish in Elsevier journals.
Not exactly. I'm an academic (mathematics), and I don't care much about what my bosses think of me. From what I've observed, within my university there don't seem to be consequences (positive or negative) for much of anything.
So who do I care about impressing then? Well, my bosses, a little. But mostly my peers within the scientific community. They are the ones who decide whether or not to invite me to conferences, whether to fund my grant proposals, and whether to interview me if I decide to apply for other jobs.
The problem is pretty entrenched. Really, we are ourselves to blame.
In theory, if everyone decided that starting January 1, 2021 all the previous academic effort devoted to Journal X could be instead turned to Open Science Journal Not-X, the impact on scientific endeavor would be essentially zero.
But getting everyone on board for that is a difficult task. Most faculty have no direct involvement in the allocation of subscription fees, so they don't really experience much cost (only that of emailing the occasional paywalled PDF to a less-well-placed colleague). It's easier to just keep on doing what we've been doing.
This is patently false. Some universities and even governments enforce whitelists of reference publications, and each researcher is evaluated based on how many papers he manages to publish on them. Failing to meet quotas has a negative impact on the researcher's evaluation and ultimately may result in termination. Researchers may not care if a paper they read was from GloriousJournal or ModestPublication or even arxiv, but researchers without tenure who need to publish to avoid perishing do care. If you're starting out and you manage to produce 1 or 2 papers a year, you'll obviously care a lot where your work will be published
The real problem is network effect and collective action.
Whether it's whitelisting, "impact factor", or whatever, lots of tenure committees will have evaluation criteria you have to meet. So in that sense you are very correct.
What misterdoubt was saying, I think, is that nobody in the field actually actually cares that it is Y Journal of X, what they care about is who is publishing in it. Elsevier or whomever isn't what makes it a high impact journal, it's the papers and researchers.
So while what you say is true, it's also true that if everyone in a field could mostly agree to drop Y Journal of X in favor of X letters, or whatever, it would work fine and the tenure committees wouldn't take long to catch up. There might be a year or two of confusion, but that's it.
No, you did not understood the problem. They do care a lot about if it's journal X or journal Y. They care because their job depends on it because the journals that count are regulated into a whitelist and sometimes even into a legal bill, which is outside of their power to change or influence, and they do care because getting your paper into a exclusive paper is a mark of prestige that signals whether your work is worth publishing along with other meaningful work. It's disingenuous and even clueless to assert otherwise. This blind and baseless assertion that journals don't count ignores fundamental and very basic aspects of working in research, particularly how important it is to have your work accepted into the right publication or venue. Otherwise arxiv and blogs would suffice, don't you agree?
misterdoubt was drawing a distinction between a journal, i.e. the publication itself, and it's constituent papers & researchers. You are simply denying that distinction, which isn't an effective refutation of their idea.
To me it seems you are being intentionally obtuse here, so I'll leave it at that.
To avoid the confusion, I should have emphasized the lack of publisher as marker of high quality. A Sage journal or an Elsevier journal is probably better than random-publisher-I've-barely-heard-of... but I'd never heard of a field where publisher specifically was a criterion for paper/citation-counting.
Reminds me of https://xkcd.com/2025
There is a campaign to boycott publication in Elsevier journals more generally, which has been going on for many years, but the collective action problem means it hasn't dented Elsevier much: http://thecostofknowledge.com/
By comparison Penguin Random House makes €3.3 billion euros in revenue last yr and they sell a ton of books. Simon and Schuster makes $800m/yr.
I guess annuity’s from businesses and non profits using a legacy business model that predates technology beats selling books. No wonder they want to protect the business.
There will be no shortage of manuscripts, but that's really not the point.
Remember, you can't spell "Elsevier" without E-V-I-L.
The fact that people are still so dependent on these useless hegemonies sickens me.
It only takes a little bit of courage and everyone else will join. Scientists are only keeping themselves captive by playing along.
- Elsevier, and other commercial publishers, also publish the journals for the societies I am a member of. Where my peers are. Where the audience is clear.
- "The Internet" has not exactly done a great job of coming up with a substitute. Every time this comes up on HN, there's all kinds of comments about academic publishing being "ripe for disruption" and yet somehow nothing manifests itself.
- "It only takes a little bit of courage and everyone else will join." People have tried this, and while it ends up being an admirable principled stand, it's mostly an affectation of secure senior academics who don't have to scramble for funding. For the rest of us, it's not "a little bit of courage". It's "lets detonate your career and hope some people come along."
- The alternatives put more burden on individual academics. Preprints require shepherding, and marketing and curation. Open access publishers put the costs directly on a lab, which especially for new faculty, is often a fairly substantial portion of their total funding. I can submit a paper to a PLOS journal - or I can submit a paper to a journal that's potentially better and hire an undergraduate to help with the work for a new project. Or send a graduate student to a conference.
Unlike math and physics, many disciplines have only recently adopted preprint servers (like bioRxiv) and there's still some bias against posting preprints within the community.
There's been a number of times where I've been researching niche topics and found "peer reviewed" publications where the math was incorrect, the code examples were invalid syntax, and had results/analysis that I couldn't recreate.
Sometimes I wonder if the authors submit to journals until they find one that sticks.
That's not to say "good" journals don't have "bad" publications. Some have various levels of peer review, like full text/abstract only/not reviewed at all. Sometimes you wind up with content that deserves a tech blog post, not a journal article. But different strokes for different folks, it's not hard to filter out mentally once you're familiar with the literature.
See Inside the Fake Science Factory
So what is the reasoning?
Pure institutional inertia.