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May 16, 2012
Elsevier Loses a Big Name, Publicly
Elsevier took another shot to the face
today, with the very public resignation of an associate editor of its journal Genomics
Winston Hide, the now-former editor, is a teacher at Harvard School of Public Health, and his resignation reasoning centered around his feeling that Elsevier's high-priced model was not compatible with the needs of people in developing countries. Hide, who is South African, has some direct experience with trying to do research on the continent where, he says:
The vast majority of biomedical scientists in Africa attempt to perform globally competitive research without up-to-date access to the wealth of biomedical literature taken for granted at western institutions.
Hide now plans to devote his time to promotion of open-access journals. He also notes that being on the editorial board of a prestigious journal is an important career position and resigning may in fact impede his career advancement. I still believe that the one true way to break the lock that for-profit publishers have on this business is for the tenure- and promotion-review boards of major institutions to change their processes, and I'm not seeing any movement yet in that direction. But it's still early, and academe is slow to change.
P.S. The Cost of Knowledge petition is up over 11,500 signatories now. Just sayin'...
(h/t Donna Wentworth and Peter Suber of the Harvard Open Access Project for the original pointer. The Berkman Center hosts the HOAP as well as this blog but there is no direct affiliation.)
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