I’ve been tired of the current journal system for quite some time. I started a page about alternatives to Elsevier back in 2004, but I’m glad to see the issue gaining some (NPR) coverage recently. It helps when hard hitting, award winning scientists take up the fight too. I’ve added my name to the growing list of researchers taking a stand against Elsevier at The Cost of Knowledge. I would encourage you to do the same.
The public pledge at The Cost of Knowledge has three levels of commitment: refusing to submit papers, refusing to referee manuscripts, and refusing to serve in editorial roles. I’ve opted for all three because there are several viable open access journals in my field. If this is not true for you, then please at least consider some level of commitment to this cause. If you’re looking for a place to publish, please check out the Directory of Open Access Journals for more options.
At a small college, with a small library budget, I am even more sensitive to the cost of journal subscriptions. If students and faculty at American colleges and universities struggle to afford Elsevier journal packages, imagine what that does to science in emerging nations.
As another benefit, if open access journals replace large corporate publishers, we will be much less vulnerable to industry pressure like the recent threats surrounding the diesel exhaust study. For many reasons, open access is the way forward. You can choose when and how to participate but we need all the help we can get right now.