1. They charge exorbitantly high prices for subscriptions to individual journals.
  2. In the light of these high prices, the only realistic option for many libraries is to agree to buy very large “bundles”, which will include many journals that those libraries do not actually want. Elsevier thus makes huge profits by exploiting the fact that some of their journals are essential.
  3. They support measures such as SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act, that aim to restrict the free exchange of information.

La reacción de  Timothy Gowers, matemático de la Universidad de Cambridge, y medallista Fields, está organizando un boicot a Elsevier:

… What about coordination between academics? What is to stop all the other editorial boards of Elsevier journals following the example of the board of the Journal of Topology? I actually don’t know the answer to that: I can only assume that not enough people on those editorial boards care to make it worth it to them to go through what is likely to be a somewhat unpleasant and time-consuming process.

If top-down approaches to the problem don’t work, then what about bottom-up approaches? Why do any of us publish papers in Elsevier journals? …

La respuesta de Graham Taylor, Director of academic, educational and professional publishing at the UK Publishers Association, en The Guardian (Branding academic publishers ‘enemies of science’ is offensive and wrong).

Three Finnish researchers have created an online service that could eventually replace or supplement the current way journals get scientists to peer review submitted manuscripts. Already partnered with the ecology journal Ecographypublished by Wiley, Peerage of Scienceis an innovative social network of scientists to which researchers submit their manuscripts; other members with relevant expertise, alerted by keywords in the papers, will then provide reviews that scientific journals can use to decide whether to publish the work. University of Jyväskylä and the University of Eastern Finland, where the three creators of the service are based, have sponsored the company founded to further build up the service this year…

The avenues to evaluate citation tracking and journal ranking have greatly increased in the past six years. Bibliometrics, the applicon of mathematical and statistical analysis to books, journals, and other publications, allows us to choose journal collections, assist with applications for research funding, evaluate journal status, and find significant contributors in a subject area. Most importantly, the expertise librarians have in this area can be used to help our faculty prove their scholarly contribution and achieve success in their tenure process.

Any aggregator of citations could create its own bibliometric measures if they are willing to invest the time and expense. Elsevier and Thomson Reuters are the major players in creating citation and journal measures. Each vendor primarily uses its own unique data, journals, publications, authority files, indexes, and subject categories. Both companies have given their data to research labs to create new metrics that are freely available online from the labs and are also included in the company’s products for subscribers. One metric, the h-index, is vendor neutral but there is no overarching tool that exists across vendors. The bibliometrics field is an exciting one to watch and continues to produce beautiful data visualization projects…