Gavia Libraria

What can we do? Strike. When should we do it? Now.

A previous commenter didn’t hold out much hope about librarians doing anything about the house of chicanery that is scholarly publishing.

Chicanery? Too strong a word? The Loon thinks not. Consider Elsevier, for instance. They are on record supporting SOPA, and if that sufficeth not, they bought and paid for the Research Works Act.

There’s at least one thing we can do. Strike, even as the University of California threatened to Nature Publishing Group. Without our articles, our review labor, our editorial work, what price Elsevier’s information journals?

So the Loon went trolling about Ulrich’s to find out what library and information journals Elsevier publishes. Her first list turned out suspiciously short; she then learned that Ulrich’s (for reasons unclear) considers Pergamon a separate publisher. There may well be others. Academic Press is one. More? The Loon offers her final search string for general edification:

+(publisher:(elsevier) publisher:(pergamon) publisher:(academic press)) +(title:(inform*) title:(librar*)) status:(“A”)

A couple of regular expressions, a dedupe, and a line sort produced the list following:

  • Advanced Engineering Informatics
  • Alexandria
  • AMS Studies in Library and Information Science
  • Analytical Spectroscopy Library
  • Applied Computing and Informatics
  • Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services
  • Books in Library and Information Science Series
  • Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science
  • Computer Physics Communications Program Library
  • Ecological Informatics
  • Egyptian Informatics Journal
  • Fuzzy Sets and Systems
  • Gekkan Mikusu
  • Giornale del Medico
  • Government Information Quarterly
  • Human Factors in Information Technology
  • Industrial Chemistry Library
  • Information & Management
  • Information and Organization
  • Information and Software Technology
  • Information Economics and Policy
  • Information Fusion
  • Information Processing & Management
  • Information Processing Letters
  • Information Sciences
  • Information Security Technical Report
  • Information Systems
  • International Information and Library Review
  • International Journal of Accounting Information Systems
  • International Journal of Information Management
  • International Journal of Medical Informatics
  • Iryo Keiei Joho
  • Jiaoyu Ziliao yu Tushuguanxue
  • The Journal of Academic Librarianship
  • Journal of Chromatography Library
  • Journal of Government Information
  • Journal of Informetrics
  • The Journal of Strategic Information Systems
  • L’Informatore Farmaceutico
  • L’Informatore Farmaceutico di Veterinaria e Zootecnia
  • L’Informatore Farmaceutico. Edimed
  • Library & Information Science Research
  • Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services
  • Library Connect
  • North-Holland Mathematical Library
  • North-Holland Personal Library
  • Pharmacochemistry Library
  • Polymer Science Library
  • Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science
  • Serials Review
  • Space Research Today
  • Studies in Visual Information Processing
  • Sustainable Computing
  • Telecommunications Policy
  • Telematics and Informatics
  • World Patent Information

Speaking plainly: This is war. Any information professional publishing in or otherwise aiding an Elsevier journal is collaborating (in the Vidkun Quisling sense of that word) with an enemy of librarianship, an enemy of the Internet, an enemy of human knowledge.

Perhaps the Loon’s readers would help flesh out this list, and provide approved (open-access, where possible) alternatives to the journals on it. The Loon will revise or repost as necessary. For those in other disciplines who wish to join the strike, SHERPA/RoMEO has a substantial list of their journals. The Loon doesn’t fancy tangling with Ulrich’s again.

13 thoughts on “What can we do? Strike. When should we do it? Now.

    1. LibraryLoon Post author

      It is not fully OA, but it does at least post OA preprints. Now, if only they’d give them an RSS feed…

  1. David

    Academic Press is another Elsevier imprint now, and Ulrich’s probably still lists it separately.

  2. Chris Rusbridge

    Would a next step be to collect the names of those on editorial boards, and publish those names as supporting Elsevier? Maybe these folk should get an email campaign from those who think this RWA/SOPA a bad idea (;-)

    1. LibraryLoon Post author

      Yes, this thought had occurred. It’s a substantial effort for one Loon, though. Crowdsource?

    1. LibraryLoon Post author

      Even so. Unpaid labor is the cornerstone of toll-access publishing.

      With all the complaints out there about how hard it is to find peer reviewers these days, the Loon wonders whether it might be possible to show that it’s easier for open-access journals? That would certainly throw a spoke into Certain Arguments made by toll-access publishers.

    1. LibraryLoon Post author

      Thanks! The Loon will check Ulrich’s to see what got missed alongside it.

  3. Dances With Books

    I like the strike idea. Just one thing: how do we get faculty to actually hop on board? As long as the tenure system remains in place where getting published in Fancypants Expensive Journal A is favored over getting published in Lessfancypants OA Journal B…I am sure you get the picture. I am not trying to just remain cynical, but this is something that does require serious structural reforms and commitments from people, besides us librarians. Anyhow, what you have done is very good work. And I will quit while I am ahead. I am sure others have better things coming along.

    1. LibraryLoon Post author

      The Loon is starting specifically with information journals because this is the realm in which information professionals can have the greatest impact. Not all editorial board members are LIS faculty; quite a few are themselves librarians!

      Should this campaign succeed, we are then a solid example to demonstrate to other disciplines. This has been a successful approach in other open-access contexts.

      Calling folk out to explain themselves is a start, but only a start, the Loon agrees. One step at a time, however! Flooding folk with immediate opprobrium is unlikely to change their ways. Peer pressure, however, stands as good a chance of working as anything the Loon can dream up, so she hopes she’s creating some.