The boycott Elsevier movement

Many of you have asked me about this recent movement.  A few points:

1. I largely agree with the goals and views of the perpetrators.

2. If I never published again in an Elsevier journal, it would not hurt my career (I have been tenured for twenty-six years).  It would be a cheap endorsement for me personally.

3. In the past my career has benefited from publishing in Elsevier journals.  They have provided useful outlets for some of my pieces and for some of the pieces of my friends and colleagues.  Although I would prefer to move to a new and more open publishing model, I do count this past relationship for something.

4. In the future I likely will wish to help my students publish, including in Elsevier journals.

5. If I were to pick three boycotts to see through, would this be one of them?

My current conclusion is that I should not join this boycott in any formal sense, again while expressing support for the final vision.  I do contribute to the open science idea in a number of ways, including through this blog.

In my forthcoming An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies you will find a more extensive discussion of the economics and ethics of boycotts.

Addendum: Via Claire Morgan, here is an interesting discussion of metrics for on-line influence.


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