For anyone who doesn’t know why I’m referencing glorious 1980s cartoons in relation to a major publisher of scholarly journals, here’s the quick rundown of today’s event that I wrote for the SLA Academic Division blog, presented here in its entirety because I freakin’ wrote it.
As a follow-up to our earlier post regarding the Elsevier boycott, the publisher released a statement today indicating that they have withdrawn their support for the Research Works Act.
The statement is worth reading in full; while Elsevier will no longer openly support the RWA, they still oppose government efforts to require the open release of research:
Therefore, while withdrawing support for the Research Works Act, we will continue to join with those many other nonprofit and commercial publishers and scholarly societies that oppose repeated efforts to extend mandates through legislation.
Long story short, this debate is far from over, and it remains to be seen whether those participating in the boycott will consider this policy change sufficient.
When I write under SLA Academic’s auspices, I try to be a bit reserved. But here, let me make it clear: in no way, shape, or form is this change in policy sufficient for anyone to change their minds about how truly terrible Elsevier is.
I mean, how much more blatant could they make it? “Our most recent attempt to quash efforts to undermine our extremely profitable racket of stolen labor and institutionalized extortion has failed, because seriously, y’all have made the letters ‘RWA’ completely toxic. But as soon as we come up with a slightly revised law under a different name and send it to our pet Senators and Representatives, we’ll be right back in the game, baby.”
They’re not giving up. They’ve told us that clearly.
We can’t give up either.