In a dramatic show of support for the open access movement, the editor-in-chief and entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration announced their resignation last week. In a letter to contributors, the board singled out a conflict with owners over the journal's licensing terms, which stripped authors of almost all claim to ownership of their work.
"The math just didn't add up."
In a blog post after the resignation, board member Chris Bourg cited her experience of "a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access" in the days after the death of Aaron Swartz. The board had worked with publisher Taylor & Francis on an open-access compromise in the months since, which would allow the journal to release articles without paywall, but Taylor & Francis' final terms asked contributors to pay $2,995 for each open-access article. As more and more contributors began to object, the board ultimately found the terms unworkable.
The ultimate future of the journal is still undetermined, but the next issue appears to be dead in the water. In a statement to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the journal's editor-in-chief said he did not wish to vilify the publishers, but for the journal's authors, the "math just didn't add up." The result, at least for now, is a journal with a well protected paywall and no editors.