What You Can Do:
Wield Your Influence
As a University of California faculty member (as both an author and consumer of scholarly information), you have a great deal of influence. Here at the University of California, we are particularly influential as, according to data compiled by the University of California Office of the President, UC faculty serve on editorial boards of about 15 percent of the top-tier journals.
Here's what you can do:
- Boycott unreasonably expensive journals
Examine the pricing and licensing agreements of journals you contribute to as an author, reviewer, or editor. If possible, refuse to contribute to or edit for journals from publishers who practice "predatory pricing." For more data on publishers and journals consult:
Journal Cost Effectiveness: Developed by Ted Bergstrom, Professor, Economics, UC Santa Barbara. Internationally-published journals are ranked by price per article or citation. (The site is under development and not yet fully proofed.)
Ulrich's Periodical Directory: Gives price, publisher, indexing, and other information on thousands of periodicals (UC access only).
- Contribute to journals with reasonable business models
Support open-access publishers and reasonably priced non-profit publishers by submitting papers to them instead of to costly commercial journals. If you are an editor of an expensive journal, consider moving your journal to a different publisher.
- Talk about publishing issues with your society
Encourage your scholarly society to follow publishing best practices including maintaining reasonable prices for its journals. If your association contracts its publications to commercial publishers, suggest alternatives such as moving to a non-profit publisher. Discuss ways to support society activities from creative sources other than escalating subscription prices, which become unsustainable for library budgets.
A number of faculty groups around the country have issued resolutions on topics related to high journal prices and scholarly communication.
- Statement of Principles (PDF): Endorsed by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate in March 2005, these principles, among other things, urge faculty to retain their intellectual property rights and support efforts to curtail unsustainable publication prices.
- Resolution G: Digital Library Journal Collecting Principles: Issued by the University of California Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee, April 2003.
- Resolution I: The University's Role in Fostering Positive Change in Scholarly Communication: Approved by the UC Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee, March 2005.
- Resolution on Ties with Elsevier Journals (PDF): Endorsed by the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate, October 2003.
- Resolution Concerning "Open Access": From the Committee on Libraries and Academic Computing passed by the Columbia University,University Senate, April 2005.
Making Change Work For You
From Create Change. Discusses how scholars can encourage change through their roles as authors, editors, and members of scholarly societies.