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Price of journals: Academic protest

forsdyke forsdyke at post.queensu.ca
Thu Jun 24 15:04:21 EST 1999

The following posting which is taken from
another newsgroup is an interesting example
of a (some kind of) "academic protest".

Alex Berezin


Florida State University Professor Resigns from
Editorial List to Protest Pricing Policies

During the last 10 years, Elsevier Science has
driven the costs of its journals up at a rate so
high that it has damaged the ability of FSU's
libraries and other research libraries throughout
the nation to meet the needs of their faculty and
students.  However, Elsevier continues to hold a
prominent place in the academic publishing industry.

What follows is a letter sent by Prof. Mark Riley,
who is an international leader in the area of
nuclear structure physics and a member of our
Physics Department, to the editors of Nuclear
Physics A, an Elsevier journal that costs $15,000 per
year.  Prof. Riley is taking a courageous stand on
this issue.

Dear Editor,

Although I have been a referee for Nuclear Physics A
(and Physics Letters B) for many years I request that
my name be removed from your list of referees.
I therefore will be unable to referee the manuscript
NUCPHA 2480.

As a faculty member at a state university (where
resources are finite) I have become deeply aware of
the spiraling cost of journal subscriptions over the
last few years. These increases are having a dramatic,
and negative, effect on our library materials budget
and thus our educational institution. I am dismayed
by the pricing and inflation policies of Elsevier and
the significant part they have played, and are playing,
in the present journal budget crisis. So while I respect
the quality of Nuclear Physics A as a scientific journal,
I feel honor bound to minimize my involvement with
Elsevier Publishing at this time.

Yours sincerely,

Mark A. Riley
Professor of Physics
The Florida State University

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