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Academics boycott Elsevier

The current issue of the BMJ informs us that over 7000 academics have signed an online petition to say they will no longer edit or referee papers for Elsevier journals or have their own papers published in them. This bocott is in response to Elsevier's support for new legislation to end guarantees of free access to publicly funded medical research. As a result, Elevier has withdrawn its support for this legislation.

I'm delighted by this news. Elsevier has long had a restrictive attitude to its publications and has limited free access as much as it could. Its subscription charges are much too high. I accept that publishers have to make a living but their cupidity is often excessive. There is a widespread feeling, which I share, that publishers 'take advantage of the academic community's pursuit of knowledge and commitment to sharing what they discover broadly and free of charge.'

You can sign the petition at http://thecostofknowledge.com/.

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