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My lab:
As I just learned (and now many others chime in), the University of California, cash-strapped due to the budget crisis of the once golden state, is considering a boycott of Nature Publishing Group:
On Tuesday, a letter went out to all of the university's faculty members from the California Digital Library, which negotiates the system's deals with publishers, and the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication. The letter said that Nature proposed to raise the cost of California's license for its journals by 400 percent next year. If the publisher won't negotiate, the letter said, the system may have to take "more drastic actions" with the help of the faculty. Those actions could include suspending subscriptions to all of the Nature Group journals the California system buys access to—67 in all, including Nature. The pressure does not stop there. The letter said that faculty would also organize "a systemwide boycott" of Nature's journals if the publisher does not relent. The voluntary boycott would "strongly encourage" researchers not to contribute papers to those journals or review manuscripts for them. It would urge them to resign from Nature's editorial boards and to encourage similar "sympathy actions" among colleagues outside the University of California system.
In defence of NPG: they're hardly the only price gougers around. All publishers in the scholarly publishing business hike prices orders of magnitude beyond inflation:

I think it's only consequential to ask for a boycott of all for-profit publishers who siphon off taxpayer funds in this obviously strategic way. I've heard there is a European budget crisis, why don't the EU member states start to save money by eliminating subscription funds to for-profit publishers and establish a modern, library-based publication system instead? Two birds with the same stone?
Posted on Wednesday 09 June 2010 - 22:42:27 comment: 0

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