Saturday, March 03, 2012

BPN 1595 Elsevier bows for scientists

Elsevier has retracted its support for the Research Works Act, the US legal proposal which was to impede access to scientific publications. The publishing company does so after protests of almost 8000 scientists. They signed a petition on internet indicating that they would not cooperate with lsevier any longer in providing articles, editing and peer reviewing as long as Elsevier would support the Act and reduce the subscriptions. The massive boycott of the largest publisher of academic journals in the world was launched by a Cambridge, MA mathematician in a blog post and followed by several other blogs like Buziaulane.

Elsevier says in a statement on its site: “Elsevier is withdrawing support for the Research Work Act itself. We hope this will address some of the concerns expressed and help create a less heated and more productive climate for our ongoing discussions with research funders,”

Cameron Neylon analyses the retreat of Elsevier’s support for the RWA and sees this move as an important advantage for the Open Access movement. He concludes:
1. The bill is dead;
2. This is a backdown, not a change of heart;
3. Shifting from a negative campaign against something towards something positive will be hard.

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