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August 14, 2006

Elsevier Journal Editorial Board Resigns in Protest

Another journal declaration of independence is in progress. The entire editorial board of Topology has resigned to protest Elsevier's refusal to lower the subscription price. Excerpt from the letter:

Dear Mr [Robert] Ross [of Elsevier Science],

We regret to have to tell you that we, the Editorial Board of Topology, are resigning with effect from 31 December 2006.

As you are well aware, the Editors have been concerned about the price of Topology since Elsevier gained control of the journal in 1994. We believe that the price, in combination with Elsevier's policies for pricing mathematics journals more generally, has had a significant and damaging effect on Topology's reputation in the mathematical research community, and that this is likely to become increasingly serious and difficult, indeed impossible, to reverse in the future.

As you know, we have made efforts over the last five to ten years to negate this effect....

The journal Topology has an illustrious history with which we, on becoming editors, were extremely proud to be associated. It owd its foundation to the inspiration and vision of the great Oxford topologist JHC Whitehead in the late 1950s, and the Honorary Advisory Editorial Board and also our predecessors on the Editorial Board have included some of the greatest names in 20th century mathematics. We believe that the journal's ethos and structure, based around a group of editors making editorial decisions jointly in Oxford with the expert assistance and advice of highly eminent editors elsewhere around the world, has many strengths and has provided a great service to the mathematical community in the past. However we feel that Elsevier's policies toward the publication of mathematics research have undermined that legacy.

Therefore, with great reluctance and sadness, we have made the difficult decision to resign.

[signed] Martin Bridson, Ralph Cohen, Nigel Hitchin, Frances Kirwan, Marc Lackenby, Jean Lannes, Wolfgang Lück, John Roe, and Ulrike Tillmann.

Open Access News 8/11/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at August 14, 2006 10:54 AM