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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2013
    • (edited Feb 26th 2013)

    Opinion by Moshe Vardi in March 2013 Communications of the ACM http://m.cacm.acm.org/magazines/2013/3/161207-to-boycott-or-not-to-boycott/fulltext. I doubt I will have time to respond, but given the discussion here on ACM copyright policies, I thought it worth mentioning.

    It does seem odd to say that publicly committing to not working for free for Elsevier is somehow ethically suspect just because one is not boycotting Springer also. IF it were done privately without telling anyone, would that be better? How exactly is it “political” to advertise that one intends to adopt a different publishing practice?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013

    Shouldn’t that logic also force one to spread one’s publications across the publishing house landscape in a uniformly random way? Sorry, but I don’t see anything immoral about zeroing in on the worst offender (and Elsevier was the worst offender in mathematics at the time the boycott started; by now it’s probably not).

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorScott Morrison
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013

    @darij, What do you have in mind when saying that Elsevier is no longer the worst offender? I feel like very little has changed.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013

    YMMV. Judging by the most obvious metric – the percentage of articles paywalled – Elsevier is now far behind Springer, IOP, WS and Taylor and Francis, and I think our dear friends the CUP and OUP. Of course I’m talking about mathematics.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorScott Morrison
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013

    I guess I don’t have a particularly good sense of these percentages. Is there a summary somewhere (or can we construct one here)? What is the exact status of non pay-walled stuff? Are we allowed to download it all?

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013

    I’m speaking out of my own experience. Most of the Elsevier content relevant to myself (and that’s pretty much exclusively mathematics) is freely avaliable at Sciencedirect (though the quality of the scans and sometimes of the OCR is varying, to say the least). Downloading “it all” probably conflicts with the “robots” part of http://www.elsevier.com/legal/elsevier-website-terms-and-conditions . This isn’t exactly utopia, but it’s still better than the access options at most other places I have seen, barring explicitly open journals and repositories like arXiv and hal. Springerlink is mostly by subscription; I have no idea about World Scientific (all I know is I don’t have access to their stuff). All I’ve ever looked for in Taylor and Francis was subscription as well. IOP seems to be the same, though the only thing I need from them are the translated Russian journals; I’m wondering how many of the Russian authors actually agree with their policies…

    Yes, some statistics would be a very good thing.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013

    I agree that the free access to old math papers is very convenient, and I wish it were easier to convince other publishers to take this up. (You’d think that the experience of the AMS and Elsevier would be reassuring, but there’s a surprising degree of reluctance.) However, I’m not convinced that this is a big change in Elsevier’s impact on the community. For example, they are still extracting unsustainable amounts of money from universities.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorzar
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2013
    Apparently, following the boycott Elsevier announced through 3 open letters to the mathematics community that they allowed Free access to over 155,000 archived articles.
    See http://www.elsevier.com/physical-sciences/mathematics/letters-to-the-community
    For the list of journals see: http://www.elsevier.com/physical-sciences/mathematics/archived-articles
    On the journals homepages you can find Open Archive ScienceDirect saying that "All articles published after 48 months have unrestricted access and will remain permanently free to read and download."