I will write this post in English because it affects an international audience.
People who know me, also know I have been complaining for a while about certain issues taking place in the WAC. One of them was the agreement with Springer for the publication of its journal and book series, as I believed an organization like the WAC should offer more accessible and ethical products, in accordance to its principles.
Today I start a boycott to Springer. This means I will have to take some important decisions like withdrawing a good paper from a book, not sending more articles to its journals, not reviewing for its journals and probably loose a great opportunity to improve my academic career. I do not care, because I believe what I am doing has sense, as I could not talk about ethics while I fail my own ethical standards. I am a small editor, tiny actually, but still growing enough to compete with the big ones. I think that if I can do certain things, other big companies should be able to do them too.
As editor, I understand how difficult is the market right now, but I also see how other big companies are not crossing certain lines. Springer did and this is why I start this boycott. Let me explain a couple of examples:
1. Prices policy:
Production costs are high, but today they have decreased a lot, and you do not even need to produce big stocks. I am able to keep books under 20€ with a similar quality to Springer's. Why do they always charge over 50€ (normally over 100€) for materials that are not worth that much?. Same happens with journals. I will not delve into the topic, as it has been widely treated by others (Nobel's Sheckman yesterday, for example). I will just say it is not fair.
2. Review copies:
The straw that broke the camel was my attempt to get a review copy of one of their books for my journal (AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology). They sent me a link to an online resource available for 180 days. Is that how they expect people to review their books? Until now, the paper copy of a book (specially with those prices) was the only compensation we had for reviewers, but was also a kind of rule in the sector. They crossed the line.
This is mainly, but not only, why this boycott starts today. It is a shame because they are publishing very interesting works lately, but as I said before, I rather miss all that than my ethics. I do not expect anyone to join me, but I cannot hide I would like it. Because if we all demand a different way of publishing and dealing with editorial policies, we will get them. We are the consumers, the authors, the reviewers... We have the power to achieve it. I will try. Hope you follow me.
*NOTE: This is not a matter to write down a petition in Change or Avaaz, it is action.