The press release on the Cornell Faculty Senate resolution on scholarly publishing, passed 11 May 2005:

Cornell University Faculty Senate Endorses Resolution on Open Access and Scholarly Communication

(Ithaca, NY, May 17, 2005)
The Cornell University Faculty Senate endorsed a resolution concerning scholarly publishing at its meeting on May 11, 2005.

The resolution, introduced by the University Faculty Library Board, responds to the increasingly excessive prices of some scholarly publications and encourages the open access publication of scholarship.

Sarah E. Thomas, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, thanked the University Faculty Library Board for their energetic engagement on behalf of increasing dissemination of scholarship through open access. “Cornell faculty have been leaders in speaking out on behalf of reasonably priced scholarly journals, and their efforts have had a world-wide impact,” she said.

The resolution urges tenured faculty to cease supporting publishers who engage in exorbitant pricing, by not submitting papers to, or refereeing for, the journals sold by those publishers, and by resigning from their editorial boards if more reasonable pricing policies are not forthcoming.

Examples of Cornell faculty and librarians who have already taken action include:

Eberhard Bodenschatz, professor of physics, who became the editor in chief of the New Journal of Physics, a successful open access journal. The journal is financed by author charges, is free for all readers through the world-wide web, and provides a less-expensive, high quality scholarly alternative.

W. Brutsaert, W.L. Lewis professor of civil and environmental engineering, publishes his work in society journals. He notes most commercial journals do not levy page charges and states “this is a seductive tactic for academic authors, who are invariably strapped for research funds. But it is definitely a poisoned gift. The pricing structure of many commercial journals has gotten so totally out of hand that many libraries can no longer afford to subscribe to them. As a result, authors who continue to give preference to commercial over society journals will go increasingly unread by their colleagues.”

Karen Calhoun, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services, recently resigned as assistant editor for the journal Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services because of publisher Elsevier’s pricing policies; she also chose to seek publication of a scholarly article in a different journal.

The resolution is available via Cornell University Library’s scholarly communication Website:

I like this: “…authors who continue to give preference to commercial… journals will go increasingly unread by their colleagues.” Now that’s a threat that hits an academic where we live.

The resolution itself is also interesting reading. Cornell did something clever that we did not; they provide further readings to support each specific resolution.