"The key to all these issues is the right of authors to achieve easily-accessible distribution of their work."
— The Cost of Knowledge
Last month, Elsevier made troubling changes to its sharing policy. Authors now have to wait up to 4 years before they can share an Elsevier-published manuscript through repositories; even then, the most restrictive Creative Commons license must be used.
Elsevier used to allow authors to share their manuscripts through repositories immediately upon publication. The new changes make the content published in thousands of journals even more inaccessible and set a dangerous precedent for ever-increasing embargoes.
What can The Cost of Knowledge community do? We can demonstrate that researchers and institutions oppose these new embargoes and encourage Elsevier to reconsider. Elsevier claims the new policy has only received "neutral-to-positive responses from research institutions and the wider research community." You can make your voice heard in a number of ways:
As always, your best contribution is the work you do every day — made available to anyone who might want to study it. To this end, you can publish and encourage others to publish in open access journals, such as those issued by PLOS or PeerJ. A comprehensive list of open access journals can be found at the Directory of Open Access Journals.
Thank you for helping us move toward a world where knowledge is free to all.