The Purdue professors and researchers who signed the petition to stop using Elsevier did the right thing.
Elsevier is a company that provides the services needed to get university-based research out into the world of academia. These companies receive research papers from universities all over and then have them peer edited. After that, they are bundled with other research topics and sold back to the universities.
This seems like a decent system until you look at the finer details. Purdue must publish its research in these journals to be considered credible and useful. If a researcher publishes on a free, journal-sharing website, it isn’t considered credible.
These publishing companies understand that they are the only ones available, therefore the University is at the mercy of these companies in terms of pricing.
Additionally, volunteers from universities all over are selected to peer edit the research papers. It seems as if these companies have a serious monopoly in the world of academic journal publishing.
It is honorable that these professors and researchers are taking a strong stance against these companies, but they’re not the only ones that are affected. Students are also affected by the rising cost of buying and publishing academic journals.
When the price of the journals goes up, the money has to come from somewhere. With state appropriations declining nationally, it is obvious that universities like Purdue are probably using tuition dollars to fund this necessary expense.
Both professors and students should come together in protest of this ridiculous business. The knowledge of the academic world should be spread freely and without the threat of exorbitant prices.