Mathematician Timothy Gowers recently started a project to allow academics to publicly pledge that they will not publish in Elsevier journals, serve as referees, or do editorial work for Elsevier publications. The list of signatures has grown quickly, including a number of individuals affiliated with the University of Michigan. Gowers explains his reasoning for the project in a detailed blog post. The boycott has also received coverage in Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and notable scholarly communication blogs.
The attention on Elsevier has highlighted a number of issues important to MPublishing, and to the world of scholarly communication at large, including the increasing cost of journals, Open Access alternatives, and changes to traditional models of peer review and publication. We hope this represents both a teachable moment and a turning point in the conversation surrounding the future of academic publishing, bringing faculty into a deeper, more nuanced conversation about the role authors, publishers, and libraries can play as we move forward.