As a sequel to my piece earlier today about the new UC-Elsevier deal, I want to recommend this opinion piece by Shaun Khoo, whose study on the hyperinflation of APCs added empirical heft to my intuitions about whether APCs can drive change in academic publishing. This morning, I argued that changing Elsevier into a pay-to-publish operation is not really the kind of change we need. In his piece, Khoo argues that boycotting Elsevier is also not really a useful tactic, other than perhaps for consciousness raising. What’s needed is investment in alternatives, and more importantly, culture change that makes it attractive for authors to choose those alternatives.
A fair and equitable system is possible if scientists push to change our system of science publishing and career advancement. But if we just boycott one publisher without changing the systemic roots of the problem, in six or seven years, all of this will happen again.
Read the whole thing, and have a great weekend.