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Elsevier one year on: “essentially nothing has changed”

A new post on Gowers’s Weblog gives, with permission, a letter of resignation from the editorial board of Elsevier’s Journal of Number Theory sent by Greg Martin. Gowers promises that the letter makes “interesting reading”, and he’s right.

Martin points out that it has been over a year since the Elsevier boycott began (covered on this site in the Open Access Update of 25th of May). The boycott currently claims 13,656 researchers have signed up. Martin says that the boycott caused “a flurry of communication back and forth between Elsevier and our editorial board (and those of other journals, I’m sure)”, but, he says “now the dust has settled, and I must conclude that essentially nothing has changed”.

In an interesting letter, Martin reflects on the original Gowers blog post, and on the Elsevier reaction to it, including a proposal to pay a fee to editors for processing articles (Martin says, “we want access to be less expensive; we’re not looking for extra dough in our pockets”).

Read the letter: Elsevier journals: has anything changed?

First papers in Forum of Mathematics Pi and Sigma

I had hoped that The Future of Scholarly Mathematical Intercourse would arrive chaperoned by The Future of Publishing.

The first papers in Cambridge University Press’s new journals, Forum of Mathematics Pi and Forum of Mathematics Sigma, have been published — $p$-adic Hodge theory for rigid-analytic varieties by Peter Scholze in FoM Pi, and Generic mixing theory via vanishing Hodge models by Minhea Popa and Christian Schnell in FoM Sigma. But since the journals are more interesting for the medium they’re delivered by than their message, I’d like to take a look at the experience I had when accessing them.

Elsevier has made lots more maths articles free to access

Elsevier has just announced in its third open letter to the mathematics community (how much does that sound like a Papal Bull?) that all of the archived material from its “primary mathematics journals” is now free to access.

This completes the process begun in April, when they made everything published after 1995 and before 2008 free. From now on, all articles in the affected journals will be made free to access four years after publication ((Sadly, because this is Elsevier, the articles are only available through the user-contemptuous ScienceDirect, so the incidence of heads being banged on desks is likely to go up once people start trying to access it and encountering the site’s maddeningly hyperactive sliding toolbars)). The journals involved include Advances in Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, and the Journal of Algebra. It looks like each journal now has a prominent “Open Archive” section on its homepage, containing a list of recently dispaywalled articles.

Open Access Round Up

The march of the righteous towards victory over the rent-seeking publishers continues apace, so here’s another Open Access round up. I’m not even going to bother trying to remain impartial any more, for the following reasons: