Editorial board resigns from T&F journal to protest restrictive licensing

The entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration <http://goo.gl/fVdOR> just resigned to protest the restrictive licensing policy imposed by its publisher, Taylor & Francis. In negotiations, T&F offered a less restrictive license in exchange for a $2995 publication fee. The board found this unacceptable and resigned.

Here's the board's resignation statement, as quoted by Brian Matthews <http://goo.gl/UonnB>:

The Board believes that the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community. A large and growing number of current and potential authors to JLA have pushed back on the licensing terms included in the Taylor & Francis author agreement. Several authors have refused to publish with the journal under the current licensing terms. Authors find the author agreement unclear and too restrictive and have repeatedly requested some form of Creative Commons license in its place. After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the author. As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants. Thus, the Board came to the conclusion that it is not possible to produce a quality journal under the current licensing terms offered by Taylor & Francis and chose to collectively resign.

Jason Griffey <http://goo.gl/QWDWT> and Chris Bourg <http://goo.gl/aO1NY> have also written blog posts on the mass resignation.

It looks like the editorial board has not yet taken a further step, such as building on its experience and credibility to launch a new, OA or less-restrictive journal to cover the same research niche. I realize that would be a big step. But the board should know that 20 previous boards at other journals resigned en masse to protest restrictive publisher policies, and then took the next step of launching new journals with less restrictive policies. Here's the inspiring list of those 20 cases from the Open Access Directory. 

It appears that JLA's final offer was a hybrid OA option with a high fee. If true, and if the resigned board launches a new journal, it will be the first one ever to do so to protest restrictive policies at a hybrid OA journal, as opposed to restrictive policies at a full-TA journal.

#oa #openaccess #libre  
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