Editors of Lingua take a stand for open access

Posted November 10, 2015

Not long ago, the editorial board of the journal Lingua decided that it was time to end business as usual–and they resigned in protest in order to cut ties with Elsevier and establish Glossa, a new open access journal. Lingua, a respected linguistics journal with a distinguished 60-year history, was acquired by Elsevier in the 1980s. Even as publication costs were reduced by technology, Elsevier followed a publishing model that served owners rather than readers, which has driven up the price of access to the journal for individuals and for institutions. Faced with falling budgets and skyrocketing fees, a university library may find itself in the position of losing access to content provided by its own faculty, or forced into a “bundle” subscription that includes unwanted titles—not unlike a cable TV package that imposes a dozen unwatched channels for every one that a viewer actually wants.

Just as so-called “cord cutters” are moving away from cable packages thanks to shifts in technology, access, and public opinion, so too are researchers and scholars taking a stand against long-dominant business models that are falling out of favor as open access publishing gains ground in the academic community. Authors in many scholarly fields are pressing for open access options so that scholarly works in their fields can be more broadly accessible. We at Authors Alliance believe that empowered authors can contribute to innovative and sustainable publishing models that expand our opportunities to share knowledge with readers. We applaud the courageous decision of the Lingua editors to do just that by striking out on their own to to create Glossa. We wish them great success in this new venture, which could well point the way for other academic journals to follow suit.

Our new handbook, Understanding Open Access, will be released this month. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, or wish to share your own experiences with open access publishing, get in touch and let us know!