Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls

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March 20, 2005

University of Haifa Library Takes a Stance on Expensive Publishers of Journals

"Commercial publishers take advantage of their control (monopoly) of knowledge created mainly in universities, and sell their journals at high prices. In order to get online access to the required journals, academic libraries are forced to acquire bundled packages which include all the publisher's journals, and they are not allowed to cancel any journal. This is a heavy burden on library budgets.

Top universities have started a campaign against Elsevier, the publisher leading the above process. Cornell University Library has decided demonstratively not to acquire the Elsevier bundled package, although the price of individual journals is higher, and as a result, the saving is small and the bibliographic loss is significant. Other universities, including the Israeli university library consortium, Malmad, have conducted a long and insistent negotiation with Elsevier without much success. The commercial publishers are determined to keep prices high, and the universities cannot give up the need for information.

Academic staff members abroad, who are aware of this situation, suggested taking steps against expensive publishers, such as not publishing with them, not refereeing, refusing participation in editorial boards of their journals. It was also suggested to take an active public stance against expensive publishers and publicize the steps taken against them. Another solution which is in development now is the creation of new electronic journals which will not be dependent on commercial publishers."

This announcement was initiated by the Technion library committee. Comments and suggestions can be email to Nurit Roitberg: roitberg[at]tx.technion.ac.il

Source: Taking a stance on expensive publishers of journals. University of Haifa, The library (updated 15 March 2005) [FullText]

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