Jeremy Hylton : weblog : 2003-11-05

Dumping Elsevier

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Werner Vogels reports that the Cornell CS department is dropping subscriptions to all Elsevier journals. The decision comes as the university library is planning to drop several hundred Elsevier journals; Elsevier journals represent 20% of the library's serials budget but only 2% of the number of serials.

Why do people bother submitting to Elsevier journals? Articles freely available online are more highly cited. I can't recall ever reading an article from an Elsevier journal.

Vogels commented on this post. (I revised the first paragraph to clarify the 20% issue.)

I wanted to follow-up on your posting about my Elsevier article; the 20% is not for Computer Science, as you suggest in your writing, but it is for the overall University. Mainly in Arts & Sciences, cognitive sciences, medical school, etc. Elsevier is pretty big. Actually I think there are only a few relevant Computer Science journal published by Elsevier.

I agree with your point about online publishing, and I believe CS is making good direction, the physics people have long ago decided that online review was the way to go with archivex. However it will take a lot of work to convert the 'traditional sciences' to accept a new model. Especially in areas where complete careers depend on a few publications in these journals. We need to think about other acceptable metrics there or maybe overhaul the reward for journal publications system (which would suit me well, as I think it is terribly outdated).