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Off Their Boards

More than two dozen researchers at various University of California campuses have stepped back from their positions on the editorial boards of Elsevier journals, ScienceInsider reports.

The University of California and Elsevier have been at odds over subscriptions and open-access costs during their contract renewal negotiations. UC wanted a "read-and-publish" contract in which journal subscription and open-access publishing fees are combined, while Elsevier preferred to keep the current model. This led UC in March to announce it was not going to renew its contract with Elsevier. ScienceInsider notes that UC's access to Elsevier journals was cut off in July.

According to ScienceInsider, about 30 UC researchers, including CRISPR researcher Jennifer Doudna and Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, are taking hiatuses from the editorial boards of a range of Elsevier journal, such as CellMolecular Cell, and Current Biology. "We … wish to express our concern at the current lack of a contract between UC and Elsevier, and the decision to deny our UC colleagues access to research published in Cell Press and other Elsevier journals," the researchers write in a letter.

Berkeley's Matthew Welch says in a statement that this move will not affect the journals much, but that it "sends a message."