I will no longer do referee work for journals that don't apply a true open access policy

April 2016

In brief

Publicly funded mathematicians submit ready-to-print articles to journals, the papers are peer-reviewed for free by publicly funded colleagues, and then the journals are sold to publicly funded libraries... Who gets the money?

I only became gradually aware of the absurdity of this system. At first I had only in mind a distinction between private publishers (Springer, Elsevier...) vs academic publishers (very vague notion), as reflected in my 2012 «Sergio Leone post» that I reproduce below, just for fun.

I finally came to realize that the relevant distinction is between open-access or not. And then again, we have to be careful with words, so let me give you the only definition of open-access that will be considered here.

Minimal definition of a true open access policy

The A-list

Examples of journals that apply a true open access policy (the following lists are by no mean complete, even in my fields of interest: algebraic geometry, group theory and geometric topology).

The B-list

Others journals that apply a similar policy, except for recent articles (1 to 5 years), and whose subscription seems to be at a fair price (I will also accept to act as a referee for such journals):

A few links

CIMPA list of Mathematical Journals that apply a Diamond Open Access policy

Scientific Publishing: A Mathematician's Viewpoint, by Joan S. Birman

Similar statement by two Ecologists

A recent answer on stackexchange by B. Klockner

the PolyMath journal publishing reform page (2012).

Roads to Open Access: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, by Karim Ramdani

Archives: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly among Mathematical Journals

(Posted on January 2012)

Here follows a list of (almost?) all math journals where I acted as author or referee. You will notice a slight bias towards academic journals... In my early years I was not aware of these subtle distinctions (I published the results of my phD as notes to the CRAS and a paper in the Journal of Algebra), but since then I carefully avoided the Dutch publisher Elsevier.

Academics have protested against Elsevier's business practices for years with little effect. The main objections are :
(i) They charge exorbitantly high prices for their journals;
(ii) They sell journals in huge "bundles";
(iii) They support measures that aim to restrict the free exchange of information.

If you would like to declare publicly that you will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate, then you can do so by going on this website

... If you first want more information a good place to start might be this page by J. Baez. See also the PolyMath journal publishing reform page.

Academic Journals

The Good

Springer Journals

The Ugly

Elsevier Journals

The Bad

Screenshot from my computer

27th January 2012, 10:47pm Toulouse time, already One Thousand and One researchers taking a stand against Elsevier: