Nearly 3,000 researchers, including several winners of the Fields Medal, have signed a petition to boycott scientific publisher Elsevier because of its stance on open-access publishing and journal pricing model, reports ScienceInsider's Jop de Vrieze. The petitioners have pledged not to publish papers in any Elsevier journals, nor do any editorial work or peer review for the company. "The petition, which has created a buzz on researchers' blogs and Twitter, isn't just an attack on Elsevier, its organizers say, but also an attempt to show the scientific community that it can help change the publishing business themselves to increase access to their studies," de Vrieze says. "Many scientists and librarians consider Amsterdam-based Elsevier … one of the villains in the scientific publishing industry; its journals can cost up to $20,000 a year, while the company's profit margin in 2010 was 36%." The company has also received a lot of heat from the scientific community over its support of the Research Works Act, which seeks to limit public access to scientific research.
In a statement to ScienceInsider, Elsevier says its price increases over the past decade have been "among the industry's lowest," and that it has made several attempts to increase access to the studies in its journals.