Assuming that at least some readers are following the boycott on Elsevier with interest, here are the latest developments:
- Apparently, the boycott has caused the Elsevier share price to fall. Clearly, at least some people are paying attention!
- A group of 34 prominent mathematicians has issued a detailed statement on why they believe a boycott on Elsevier is imperative at this point. While they refer to publishing in mathematics specifically, nothing that is said on the statement applies only to mathematics. The statement simply articulates in clear terms what goes on in academic publishing everywhere: everybody (editors, reviewers, authors) works for free, so there is no reason why publishers should be making exorbitant profit from all this volunteer work. They do comment on why Elsevier is being singled out, rather than e.g. Springer:
One reason for focusing on Elsevier rather than, say, Springer is that Springer has had a rich and productive history with the mathematical community. As well as journals, it has published important series of textbooks, monographs, and lecture notes; one could perhaps regard the prices of its journals as a means of subsidizing these other, less profitable, types of publications. Although all these types of publications have become less important with the advent of the internet and the resulting electronic distribution of texts, the long and continuing presence of Springer in the mathematical world has resulted in a store of goodwill being built up in the mathematical community towards them. This store is being rapidly depleted, but has not yet reached zero.