The journal NeuroImage published by Elsevier has been hit by a mass walkout in protest of what has been described as "unethical" open access fees. The entire editorial board of the journal resigned due to concerns about the publisher's high open access fees, which limit the sharing of research to only those who can afford to pay.
In their announcement, the more than 40 academic editors of NeuroImage expressed their frustration at Elsevier’s unwillingness to reduce the fees charged by the journal. In a response published by Elsevier on the NeuroImage website, Elsevier expressed disappointment with the editors’ decision and pointed out that the fee NeuroImage charges authors for their articles to be fully open access remains below that of the nearest comparable journal in the field. However, the fee was still not low enough for the editorial board members.
Interestingly, the editorial board members who resigned from NeuroImage will not find themselves with more free time. The editors have decided to launch their own open access journal entitled Imaging Neuroscience, which they expect to be fully operational by mid-July 2023.
This walkout highlights the need for publishers to address the concerns of scientists by ensuring that scientific research remains accessible to all. Furthermore, since the digital tools used to establish and run online journals are available to anyone, publishers must consider the risk of scientists establishing their own journals based on their own standards in regard to costs and transparency.
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