Monday, May 21, 2012

The problem with academic journals: An update

 A brief update on the status of the Elsevier boycott (described here): to date, more than 11 000 academics have pledged to not review, submit or do editorial work for any Elsevier journals. My previous post has already described why I oppose such a boycott of a single publisher, and I expect that this boycott is going to cause some unanticipated consequences.

I suspect that this boycott explains why the papers I have under review in Ecological Modelling and Ecological Informatics are taking so long to go through the review process: it's hard enough finding reviewers as it is, and with people refusing to review for Elsevier, it's going to get even harder. That's not punishing Elsevier, that's punishing the researchers who are trying to get their work published and advance their careers.

As I said before, the way real change will come about is by the top researchers supporting open-access journals. At least one of the people who could do this has just done so: Winston Hide, an associate editor at the highly-ranked Elsevier journal Genomics has just resigned from the editorial board, with the avowed intention of focusing his energies on open-access alternatives. I can only hope that some of the top researchers in computational intelligence will do the same.