If you’re in academia and haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to sign this online petition organized by Tyler Neylon, and pledge that you won’t publish, referee, or do editorial work for any Elsevier journals. I’ve been boycotting Elsevier (and most other commercial journal publishers—Elsevier is merely the worst) since 2004, when I first learned about their rapacious pricing policies. I couldn’t possibly be happier with my choice: unlike most idealistic principles, this one gets you out of onerous work rather than committing you to it! Sure, Elsevier is huge and we’re tiny, but the fight against them is finally gathering steam (possibly because of Elsevier’s support for the “Research Works Act”), years after the case against them became inarguable. Since their entire business model depends on our donating free labor to them, all it will take to bring them down is for enough of us to decide we’re through being had. We can actually win this one … Yes We Can.
For more information, see this wonderful recent post by Fields medalist and Shtetl-Optimized commenter Timothy Gowers, entitled “Elsevier — my part in its downfall.” (Added: also check out this great post by Aram Harrow.) You might also enjoy a parody piece I wrote years ago, trying to imagine how Elsevier’s “squeeze those dupes for all they’ve got” business model would work in any other industry.