University of California vs. Nature Publishing Group

Have you heard about the confrontation between Nature Publishing Group and the University of California faculty and library? If not, or if you want more information, read on! In short, The Nature Publishing Group (NPG) (which publishes Nature along with many other journals) wanted to renegotiate its contract with the University of California system, with a price increase amounting to about 400% (or over one million dollars). The University not only resisted such an increase, but some faculty there have organized a boycott of Nature journals (PDF): no submitting papers, no peer review, no editorial boards, and so on. In other words, withholding their mostly-free labor in the face of this price increase. Since then, NPG has responded and UC/California Digital Library has responded to that response (PDF). (Text borrowed from Steve Lawson, with his permission.) This is a topic that touches on a lot of different aspects of scholarly communication — faculty as authors, the peer review process, journal prices… I welcome discussion, and will post updates as they come. More reading on the subject: Bidwell, Allie. 14 June 2010. UC Librarians Urge Professors To Boycott Publishing Company. The Daily Californian. Howard, Jennifer. 8 June 2010. U. of California Tries Just Saying No to Rising Journal Costs. Chronicle of Higher Education. Oder, Norman. 24 June 2010. UC Libraries, Nature Publishing Group in Heated Dispute Over Pricing; Boycott Possible. Library Journal. Smith, Richard. 10 June 2010. University of California takes on Nature Publishing Group. BMJ Group Blogs.