Monthly Archives: April 2012

Reed Elsevier funded ALEC — a climate-change denial group

Thanks to Michael Harris for the following dramatic example of Elsevier’s misuse of its profits, including those from scientific journals.

Reed Elsevier has just announced its resignation from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. But it has been giving money to ALEC for many years, and long served on its leadership body.

ALEC supports a long list of far-right legislative ideas — including efforts to require that denials of climate-change be included in high school science classes. Researchers who have published in Cell, The Lancet, and other Elsevier journals might be shocked to learn that profits from those publications have helped to block awareness and action on global warming. If you know people who would be interested in Reed Elsevier’s ALEC connections, you may want to point them to an exposé just published by the faculty union newspaper at City University of New York (CUNY), and another on how ALEC operates.

By the way, the ALEC website still lists Reed Elsevier as a member of its “Private Enterprise Board.” But here is a Reuters report on the company’s resignation.

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Why does the Elsevier boycott continue?

Shortly after the Elsevier boycott began, Elsevier withdrew its support from the Research Works Act, which immediately led to the act being shelved by its congressional sponsors. Elsevier also announced some new policies for its core mathematics journals.

Nevertheless, the Elsevier boycott continues, and continues to grow.

Henry Cohn and Doug Arnold have written a piece for Notices of the American Mathematical Society, now posted on the arXiv, that discusses several of the most important reasons for the boycott from the point of view of mathematics http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.1351.

If you haven’t yet taken a firm position on the boycott because you haven’t had time to get to grips with the issues of journal pricing and bundling, this article makes a good entry point.

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