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The researchers themselves should take more action, plainly refuse to cooperate with publishing companies and establish an independent publication system on universities' or grant agencies' websites. Sadly, most researchers, with exceptions, seem to not care that they contribute perpetuating this absurd money redirection scheme that hurts the society and its benefit from public-funded research. This is probably also because similarly to the publishers, they are benefiting from the scheme as well - a publication with the right journal is "the way" to make researchers' career, get higher social status and earn more money. The most successful then end up in the editorial boards of those journals :(

I think there are two challenges here. First, opting out of major publication venues is essentially sacrificing your career (no funding/tenure). Second, researchers simply don't have free time to start up an alternative publication system. I think the funding agencies can do a lot more here though...

OTOH, if everyone who had tenure already cooperated then they would wield considerable power at low risk.

Tenure isn't the last step of promotion for faculty. There's still full professorships, salary increases, named professorships, the chance to advance to administration (if so inclined). So, while tenured faculty have more job security, there are still substantial incentives to publish in prestigious journals.

You know that tenure depends on publications, don't you? At Cornell or Dartmouth "publications" means JACS, Angewandte or suchlike, but at Tumbleweed State College they don't care. The problem is now reduced to reforming the tenure system at non-top-25 colleges.

I'm not surprised that researchers aren't eager to commit career suicide for the admittedly noble cause of open access publishing. They should unionise, because if they don't, it'll always seem like it's each individual researcher taking the stand on their own, risking their career. Academia is a cut-throat environment, there are hundreds of people vying for that one tenure position, so it's not so simple to just "decide to boycott evil publishers".

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