Since November 2016, more than 2700 members of the academic community in Finland have signed tiedonhinta.fi online petition which called for fair pricing for academic journal subscriptions and increased open access in the ongoing negotiation with international publishers. More than two thirds of those who signed the petition were prepared to abstain from editorial and reviewer duties in journals whose publishers are unwilling to meet the demands of the Finnish negotiators. It’s time to stand by that commitment: no deal, no editing and reviews.
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No deal, no review – Finnish researchers launch boycott against Elsevier

The group behind Tiedonhinta.fi statement urges researchers to refrain from peer review and editorial duties for journals owned by publishing giant Elsevier.

The boycott is launched on a new website nodealnoreview.org. The site welcomes also signatures from international colleagues all around the world, who are worried about cost of and access to research literature in their own countries.

Tiedonhinta.fi statement, published in November 2016, quickly gained over 2700 signatures. It’s aim was to support library consortium FinELib while it negotiated with publishers to stop the unsustainable rise of subscription fees and mainstream open access publishing.

Finnish research libraries paid about 27 million euros in subscription fees in 2015, and the fees have been increasing at a 10 % yearly rate.

With the No deal, no review boycott, the organisers wish to both continue the show of support and extend it to negotiators beyond Finland, who are facing similar difficulties with so called big deals, especially with Elsevier.

Two thirds, or about 1800 of the Tiedonhinta.fi signatories were prepared to boycott the publishers if negotiations failed and led to the termination of subscriptions. In December 2016, FinELib stated that negotiations with three publishers, Elsevier, Wiley and ACS would not come to a satisfactory conclusion before the end of the current subscription period. The current contracts were extended by a year to ensure Finnish researchers’ access to literature while the negotiations continue in 2017.

While the negotiators have been able to make progress with the other two publishers, Elsevier has continued to profess lack of regard for FinELibs and Finnish research community’s wishes and interests. Instead of moving forward the negotiations have actually taken steps back, with Elsevier pulling back on what few concessions on prices and open access it has made during previous stages of the process.

As it stands it looks increasingly likely, that at least with Elsevier, 2017 will end similarly to 2016: with no deal.

– The statement has already shown that our research community wants to stop the unjustified rise of subscription fees and increase the accessibility and societal impact of research. By launching the boycott, we are moving from words to deeds, campaign contact person Heidi Laine says.

You can subscribe to the campaign newsletter at http://eepurl.com/cSPMlT

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