Tag Archives: Elsevier

Edwin Mellen Press to join forces with the Lancet and the Discovery Institute

In a recent press release, Edwin Mellen Press said that they will jump head-first into the Open Access bandwagon.  The publisher will work with the Discovery Institute and the editors of the Elsevier journal, The Lancet, to learn more about Open Access publishing.  A source close to the press, Richard Herbertson, noted:

“For crying out loud, will you librarians please get off our backs?  Ok, what if we start publishing some OA monographs, will that finally make you all happy and whatnot?”

73 Wiley & Springer staff sign pledge not to support Elsevier

The editor of the Radish recently learned that many staff members from the publishing houses of John Wiley and Springer signed a declaration concerning Elsevier.  The Cost of Knowledge declaration states that they “will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate.”  This appears to be a reaction to the fact that Elsevier supports the Research Works Act.

At this moment, there are 73 staff members from both publishers consisting of assistant editors, copy editors, layout editors, marketing specialists, sales representatives and janitors.  The list of signers from Springer and John Wiley is growing.

One of the assistant editors from John Wiley said “well, no shit Sherlock.  Elsevier made over a billion dollars in profits last year for a rate that exceeds well over 35% of their revenue.  The less money they suck from libraries means those libraries can hand over more money to John Wiley.  I can’t speak for Elsevier, but it’s like we are just printing money over here.”  John Wiley had a profit margin of only 42% for 2011.

A janitor from Springer said that he “was not planning on submitting any scholarly articles to Elsevier at any point in the near future” so it was not that difficult for him to make the pledge.  Because he support the Open Access publishing system, he usually submits his articles on high energy physics to the arXiv, PLoS ONE or the IOP Journal of High Energy Physics. He noted that he is familiar with the Springer based OA journals, but they did not have a good outlet for his research on Chern-Simons-matter theories and M2-branes.  He also noted that “the author-paid OA fees were often too much with my meager janitor wages.”

Elsevier reverses direction, becomes nonprofit

The Chairman of Reed-Elsevier, Jan Hommen, sent out a press release today announcing a completely new direction for the corporation. As of Monday, July 20, 2009, Reed-Elsevier will buy back all of the stock from their current shareholders, and they will become a private not-for-profit Open Access publisher.  This change in corporate direction will effect Elsevier, LexisNexis, and Reed Business Information.  Reed Exhibitions will be sold off.

In fact, the corporation will be giving back ALL of the profits they had garnered over the last 23 years.  How was 23 years arrived at?  He explained that the ARL started their in-depth analysis of the rise of journal prices in 1986, so 23 years seemed to be a good number.

Starting January 1, 2010, thousands of libraries and thousands of individuals will be given a large windfall from the Billions of dollars (with 7% compounded interest) Reed-Elsevier had made off the backs of libraries and other subscribers.  One very large midwestern public university plans to give $32,451,488.07 back to citizens of the state.  A medium sized east coast private university plans to reduce tuition by 21.7% starting with the Fall 2010 enrollment.  A small liberal arts college library will complete their expansion in 2011, and they plan to name the new wing after either Elsevier or Mr. Hommen.  The student body will take a vote later this summer.

Jane Michaelson, a librarian from one of the institutions noted above, said “Well thank God, it is about time they came to their senses.  During this hard economic time, this is very welcome news, indeed.  Now, I will look forward to meeting with their reps at the next library conference.”

To explain this complete reversal, the Chairman explained that he recently finished reading two books, the Starfish and the Spider: the Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations and Here Comes Everybody: the Power of Organizing Without Organizations.  He realized that the company was just too big and centralized. He then compared the journal publishing industry to the music industry that currently has just five big companies.  As we all know, the music industry is in disarray, and he did not want Reed-Elsevier to go through the same shakeup and turmoil.

As of August 1, 2009, many of their websites will be changed to .org’s. In fact, some of these may currently work — reed-elsevier.org, elsevier.org, sciencedirect.org.  He also stated, “I Can’t believe how self-centered we had become; we now want to promote scholarship and scientific research instead of focusing on profits, stock prices, mergers, share holders, etc.  F*ck the share holders.”

Annoyed Librarian — New Editor of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals

Nature recently announced that after 17 years of successfully editing the Elsevier Journal, Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, M. S. El Naschie will retire at the end of the year. 

The Library Radish learned from an inside source that the “Annoyed Librarian” will be the new Editor of the journal, effective January 1, 2009.  The source noted that “because of his/her great understanding of chaotic events, he/she will be a great asset to the editorial team of the journal.”   While the Annoyed Librarian was initially surprised by the offer, he/she was pleased to accept the new position at Elsevier.  Unfortunately, his/her time blogging for the Library Journal will have to be greatly reduced, but he/she will continue to post new entries on the “Annoyed Librarian” web log from time to time.  He/she claimed to understand chaos to a great extent, but he/she noted that he/she still needed to firm up on the basics of solitons and fractals.  Through the month of December, he/she said that he/she “will be reading about fractal theory and solitons like the dickens!”