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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2013

    I am the least important author on a proposed journal version of a 2011 conference paper. Coauthors have suggested AI Journal. I originally said no because of the Elsevier boycott. However there are some differences: this journal is published by them, but not owned. There is a special deal giving immediate access to the journal to anyone who wants it, as far as I can see: (left sidebar, Free Access). Elsevier does require copyright to articles.

    If all Elsevier journals had this option, would they have been boycotted? Your opinions will help me resolve an ethical dilemma.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2013

    Here’s something I really don’t like: “Delayed open access – Elsevier will ensure that all articles published in Artificial Intelligence today will be available to all, in perpetuity from 4 years after first publication.”

    Reality check: take a 1994 paper: and visit it from Anonymouse: zilch!

    I have not tried becoming an associate, but why should I trust that option if the simpler one doesn’t work?

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2013
    • (edited May 14th 2013)

    Maybe it works but it’s not retroactive (i.e., “articles published in Artificial Intelligence today” means from that date forwards, without necessarily including all back issues). It looks to me like the cut-off is 1995: anything from 1995 or later is free after four years, but nothing before. That’s around when Elsevier started publishing online, and they have used that date before as a cut-off. For example, the first iteration of free access to old math articles was only post-1994.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2013

    This ties in with what I heard from Alicia Wise: the free-in-perpetuity was a carrot to get people to submit to the journal, rather than an opening up of old issues. It looks like for maths journals they took the extra step and did open up all back-issues (I noticed this because Topology wasn’t on the list to begin with, and it is a discontinued title).

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2013

    All interesting. I will probably question Elsevier about opening up the archives.

    Any answers to the original question?

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2013

    Very interesting that no one ventured an answer to this. I decided to tell coauthors that I would prefer them to try another journal, and if it turns out later that AI is acceptable to us all, I undertake to do any extra editing and typesetting. Still, the original question stands. How much would Elsevier have to change for you not to boycott them?

  1. To answer your last question: for various reasons, I have not signed the pledge against Elsevier, but to regard them (or, for what matter, Springer) as the partner to research they claim to be, I would need them to leave the ownership of all titles and only act as service providers in condition that enable easy opt-outs (data available in standard format, etc.)

    Of course, this is the result of an hysteresis: had they not been so greedy, I would probably ask for much less.