Editors quit diamond journal over author fees | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Dozens of editors and peer reviewers at a “diamond” journal have quit after the independent publication began charging author fees of £2,500…

In a LinkedIn post, Chris Glass, professor of practice in higher education at Boston College, announced his resignation as JIS’ editor-in-chief, warning that the introduction of article processing charges (APCs) meant that “our journal and community will be forever changed”.

Professor Glass said he was “not involved in the decision to transfer oversight of the journal” to a “new team overseeing editorial management”, which, he claimed, “does not share our journal’s historic commitment to open access”.

Numerous other editors have also quit, with the journal’s website no longer listing any of its four former section editors, 17 associate editors or its senior and special issues editors. Its list of peer reviewers is also reduced, while its editorial advisory board is not listed at all.”

The Retraction Watch Mass Resignations List – Retraction Watch

“In 2023 alone, editors of five journals on topics ranging from mathematics to biogeography all quit at once because of disputes with their publishing companies. 

Mass resignations of editors from scholarly journals aren’t new – the Open Access Directory has a list of some such actions going back to 1989. But the frequency appears to have picked up in recent years, as well as the attention some mass resignation events draw. 

The following is a list of journals that have seen editors resign en masse since 2015, for various reasons: …”

2023 ACRL/SPARC Forum: Editorial Board Resignations to Align Journals with Community over Commercialization – SPARC

“The past year has seen a resurgence of journal editorial boards resigning in protest over commercial publisher policies. With a track record stretching back over a decade, these collective resignations are an effective strategy for creating immediate change and empowering researchers to take back control of their publication.

As in years past, many resignations center on objections to high publishing fees, but an increasing number are also driven by pressure to vastly expand publication volume and a dismissive attitude toward scholars’ visions for their journals. The common thread through each is the prioritization of commercialization over the best interests of the communities each journal seeks to serve.”

Interview with Robert ‘Bob’ E. Goodin

“The Open Access beat-up has, inadvertently, been the death knell of quality academic publishing, driving a fatal wedge between the incentives of publishers and those of journal editors. There are various different models that publishers are employing to come to grips with the Open Access world, and each of those models has its own implications for what pressures publishers are incentivized to put on the editors of their journals.

Abstracting from particularities, one fact seems to dominate almost all of those approaches, directly or indirectly. That fact is just this. The profits of commercial publishers are increasingly a function of ridiculously large Open Access fees, whether paid by the author, the grant-giver or (nowadays most typically) the author’s home institution or national government through ‘Read and Publish Transformative Agreements’. The way to maximize those profits is to maximize the number of articles a journal publishes – and to do so without regard to quality. (As I have said, given bundling and consortia, no library can unsubscribe to an individual journal of diminishing quality anyway, so a journal’s quality is no longer a commercial concern to publishers seeking to maximize profits.)…”

Flukt fra tidsskrift: Redaktører og flertall i redaksjonsråd trekker seg

From Google’s English:  This is not a problematic journal, it is not a rogue journal, but a journal that is about publishing cannot be suspected of doing anything wrong.

The words come from university librarian Jan Erik Frantsvåg at UiT Norway’s Arctic University.

They come after key people have resigned from the journal Publications, which is published by the publisher MDPI, the world’s largest in open publishing, also known as open access.

The university librarian is one of those who has resigned as a member of the journal’s editorial board. Senior advisor Craig Aaen-Stockdale at BI and Professor Oscar Westlund at OsloMet have the same opinion.

They are not alone.

“When seemingly insurmountable conflicts arise between publishers and academics over the direction of a journal, withdrawing support is often the only course of action we are left with,” says a letter from 23 of those who have resigned from the editorial board, including the three Norwegians.” …

So what’s behind it?

According to Frantsvåg, it is about the editors feeling that they were not heard when they raised problems, on behalf of the editorial board. In an article in Khrono today, the three Norwegians on the editorial board write that, among other things, it is about ensuring that the reputation of the journal should not depend on what happens in other MDPI journals.

They further write that the editors experienced being measured by “simple measures of success, such as the Journal Impact Factor and other bibliometric measures”. The editorial board must have repeatedly stated that the use of such measures was contrary to the so-called Dora declaration, which already ten years ago pointed the finger at the use of quantitative measures, not least the journals’ impact factor (Journal Impact Factor)….”

All Things Must Pass | Research Information

“Andrew Barker and Elaine Sykes reflect on Lancaster University’s shift to an open research culture

We begin this opinion piece with a statement of confidence, ambition and intent: this is the best and most exciting time to be a librarian; universities are progressing towards a new research culture, a culture that puts openness and equity at its centre – and librarians are using our knowledge, skills, relationships and our ambitions to be at the centre of that progressive shift. That shift includes, but is not limited to, the future of scholarly outputs, data, digital scholarship and citizen science engagement opportunities. This piece will outline thoughts from Lancaster University on what we are going to do to support the move to an open research culture, but it also make it clear that the status quo has to change, and we are explicit that now is the time to accept that change and for the sector to work together on a range of activities that cut across the different parts of our sector….”

Wiley journal board resigns en masse after monthlong strike

“At least two-thirds of the editorial board of Wiley’s Journal of Biogeography has resigned, citing the publisher’s push toward “exorbitant” open-access fees and what they claimed was a policy to steer rejected manuscripts to other titles.

Former editor in chief Mike Dawson announced his resignation in June, and 64 of his associate editors have been refusing to handle new manuscripts since then, a move that is part of an increasing trend of journal editorial boards deciding to take action en masse.

The editors who resigned objected to the publisher flipping the journal to open access, having to deal with an increase in papers and the automatic referral of rejected manuscripts to other Wiley journals.”

Is the Tide Turing in Favour of Universal and Equitable Open Access? – International Science Council

“The current scientific publishing system is not prepared to evolve accordingly. With so many advancements in digital technologies, why stick to an outmoded system which is hindering the progress of science? The International Science Council (ISC) recognized the urgency of reforming the entire publishing system. Based on an analysis in the ISC position paper: Opening the Record of Science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital Era, the ISC steering group established 8-core principles as guiding concepts to maintain integrity and ensure an equitable and universally accessible system.”

“Preprints present an opportunity for a fairer, more transparent, and streamlined approach to disseminating research. As the concept of preprints continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly evident that they could become the way forward for academic publishing if the research community takes on the responsibility of ensuring rigorous validation and is credited in the research assessment process as the legitimate output.”


Wiley journal editors resign en masse, fired chief editor speaks – Retraction Watch

“Two-thirds of the associate editors of the Journal of Biogeography, a Wiley title, have resigned in a dispute with the publisher, and more resignations are likely, according to those involved. 

Most of the resignations, reported first by Times Higher Education, were effective immediately, but a portion of the associate editors set August 28 as their effective date in hopes Wiley may negotiate with them about their concerns….

The Journal of Biogeography is not fully open access, but charges APCs of $4,800 for authors who wish to make their articles freely available.

Such fees are “excessive,” and “not affordable,” said Krystal Tolley, one of the associate editors who put in her resignation for the end of the month. Tolley is based in South Africa, and said she and other researchers in the Global South “just don’t have those kinds of funds.” 

Wiley and other major publishers often waive fees for authors in low-income countries, and “transformative agreements” in which funding agencies or universities pay publication fees rather than authors….”

Transformative Zombies | By Every Means Necessary

by Dave Ghamandi


“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” – Antonio Gramsci



The maligned “transformative agreement” is racking up a body count. Or, more accurately, it’s helping to create zombies…zombie journals. There has been a cluster of editors and editorial boards resigning (or getting fired!) from oligopoly-owned journals this year. And even though I once referred to “transformative agreements” (TAs) as “a new monster [vomited up by the publishing oligopoly] to haunt us,” I didn’t see this connection developing. I love seeing defections because they speak to a level of consciousness, disgust, refusal, and collective action that’s all too rare.[1] In this post, I will explore who’s defecting, why, where they’re headed, and, of course, an analysis of the contradictions in motion.



Another Wiley journal loses editorial board | Times Higher Education (THE)

“At least two-thirds of the editorial board of Wiley’s Journal of Biogeography have resigned, citing the publisher’s push towards “exorbitant” open access fees and what they claimed was a policy to steer rejected manuscripts to other titles.

Former editor-in-chief Mike Dawson announced his resignation in June and 64 of his associate editors have been refusing to handle new manuscripts since then, part of an increasing trend of journal editorial boards deciding to take action en masse.

They objected to the publisher flipping the journal to open access, having to deal with an increase in papers and the automatic referral of rejected manuscripts to other Wiley journals….”

An editor resigned in protest. Now, Wiley is firing him four months earlier than he planned to leave. – Retraction Watch

“The publisher Wiley has fired the chief editor of the Journal of Biogeography after he resigned over conflicts with the company.  

Michael Dawson, a professor at the University of California, Merced, submitted his resignation on June 21, tweeting that he made the decision “because journal management declined to explore productive solutions to a suite of challenges facing the journal.”…

In an accompanying blog post, Dawson listed several concerns from his resignation letter, including proposed growth targets for the journal, equity issues in adopting an open access model in which authors pay fees to publish their work, and compensation for the editors. He tweeted that the journal’s December issue would be his last….”

#BetterPublishing @jbiogeography: I – Journal of Biogeography

“In response to the #Workstoppage by #AssociateEditors of @jbiogeography, the journal’s management at Wiley rapidly issued a largely dismissive reply that resulted in the resignation of deputy editor-in-chief Ceridwen Fraser. We invited Wiley to provide a revised response, but received none. As a consequence, the editorial board has compiled our concerns and called for a dozen issues to be addressed, as described in our answer to Wiley, below….”

Journal editors resign, strike in dispute with Wiley over ‘business model that maximises profit’ | Retraction Watch

The editor in chief of a Wiley journal has resigned, saying the publisher recently has “seemed to emphasize cost-cutting and margins over good editorial practice.” 

Most of the journal’s associate editors are in the midst of a work stoppage protesting the same issues. After Wiley responded to the associate editors in a way they found “troubling,” the editors replied with a list of 12 demands, and a deputy editor in chief tendered her resignation.



Dispute over who runs an Elsevier journal

“Board members at an Elsevier journal are threatening to walk out over the publisher’s push to dramatically increase acceptances and its replacement of the editor in chief.

Peter Lloyd, professor of design methodology at the Delft University of Technology, was told in an email sent last month that his term as editor in chief of Design Studies was ending.

The change came without warning, although the executive publisher assigned to the journal said in a February message that the journal’s slow editorial and financial growth was “a recipe for closure.” …

It gets about 600 submissions a year, typically publishing around 35, a similar number to journals in the field of comparable quality.

But in the February email, executive publisher Lily Khidr set a target of publishing 250 papers in 2023. At the time, Lloyd pushed back on the target as “unrealistic” and said he wanted to grow acceptances to a more modest 50 a year….

“This focus on the quantity of published articles rather than their quality appears to be purely motivated by a desire for large profits,” he [Linden Ball] said….

The pushback follows mass resignations in April at the Elsevier journal NeuroImage, which was triggered by the publisher’s decision to raise article processing fees from $3,000 to $3,450. More than 40 editors announced in an open letter that they would leave and work with MIT Press to establish new nonprofit journal.

Lloyd told Times Higher Education that if Elsevier did not reverse its decision he would likely try to set up an alternative journal. “The shocking thing is the lack of consultation, the disrespect, the assumption that it’s just about numbers of papers,” he said….”