8,200+ Strong, Researchers Band Together To Force Science Journals To Open Access
Evolutionary biologist Michael Eisen made this t-shirt design in support of the Elsevier boycott. Academic research is behind bars and an online boycott by 8,209 researchers (and counting) is seeking to set it free…well, more free than it has been. The boycott targets Elsevier, the publisher of popular journals like Cell and The Lancet, for its aggressive business practices, but opposition was electrified by Elsevier’s backing of a Congressional bill titled the Research Works Act (RWA). Though lesser known than the other high-profile, privacy-related bills SOPA and PIPA, the act was slated to reverse the Open Access Policy enacted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008 that granted the public free access to any article derived from NIH-funded research. But the fight for open access is just getting started. Seem dramatic? Paying a high price for academic journals isn’t anything new, but the events that unfolded surrounding the RWA was the straw that broke the camel’s back.