The editorial board for the Journal of Library Administration (JLA) has resigned due to the restrictive licensing policy dictated by its publisher, Taylor & Francis.
JLA board member Chris Bourg stated in a blog post:
The best Taylor & Francis could come up with was a less restrictive license that would cost authors nearly $3000 per article. The Board agreed that this alternative was simply not tenable, so we collectively resigned.
Brian Mathews, who was set to guest an issue of JLA, has written a post for the Chronicle of Higher Education about the situation. He quotes from the resignation notice, which highlights the need for potential authors to have more control over their work:
A large and growing number of current and potential authors to JLA have pushed back on the licensing terms included in the Taylor & Francis author agreement. Several authors have refused to publish with the journal under the current licensing terms.
Authors find the author agreement unclear and too restrictive and have repeatedly requested some form of Creative Commons license in its place.
Peter Suber notes that similar mass resignations have often been followed by the creation of an Open Access journal by the board members:
It looks like the editorial board has not yet taken a further step, such as building on its experience and credibility to launch a new, OA or less-restrictive journal to cover the same research niche. I realize that would be a big step. But the board should know that 20 previous boards at other journals resigned en masse to protest restrictive publisher policies, and then took the next step of launching new journals with less restrictive policies. Here’s the inspiring list of those 20 cases from the Open Access Directory.
Suber also wrote that this may be the first editorial board to resign “to protest restrictive policies at a hybrid OA journal, as opposed to restrictive policies at a full-TA journal”.
Danny Kingsley, Executive Officer of the Australian Open Access Support Group, has written about the mass resignation, highlighting the power that journal editors hold – and outlining ways that subscription journals can be moved to an OA platform.