Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Elsevier Dilemma

The Cornell University Library has announced it will drop a substantial number of their Elsevier subscriptions, part of a general problem Cornell and other libraries are facing with higher costs and different pricing models from commercial academic publishers.

I have wanted to write a post on this topic for a while but I find it difficult to truly understand the problems or the potential solutions. Elsevier does a nice job with their portal and their publishing, but because of consolidation and cheap distribution via the internet, they have changed their pricing model in ways that make it difficult for many libraries to afford all of the journals that they need.

This poses some moral questions: Should we avoid submitting our papers to Elsevier journals? Is it wrong for me to serve on the editorial board of the Elsevier-published Information and Computation? I just don't know.

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