High publication fees are to blame for the resignation of more than 40 members of the editorial boards of two neuroimaging journals, according to a recent Twitter announcement.
All NeuroImage and NeuroImage: Reports editors have officially resigned in the wake of their publisher, Elsevier, denying their request to reduce the journals’ article processing fees. Elsevier responded to the journals’ request in April, stating that the market forces justify the fees.
The NeuroImage charge was set at $3,450; the editorial boards were requesting the fees be decreased to $2,000. In comparison, direct article costs at similar journals are around $1,000, the editors noted.
Authors and reviewers are increasingly dissuaded from working with for-profit journals due to the fees associated with them—fees that do not fund the original research, article writing or payment to reviewers, the group noted.
In the same statement announcing their resignation, the editorial board also offered details on what’s next for them. They are starting a new nonprofit, open access journal—Imaging Neuroscience. The new journal is “intended to replace NeuroImage as our field’s leading journal,” the group noted. They're working with MIT Press to develop the new journal, for which they intend to keep fees “as low as possible," even waiving charges for researchers working in low- and middle-income countries.
Resignations were submitted by a total of 42 editors. To assist authors with papers already under consideration by NeuroImage journals, the group has pledged to continue handling those duties for 12 months.
The statement alludes to regret the editors feel in having to make this decision, despite them believing it to be the right one.
“Our editorial teams wish to be clear that we take this action with great regret,” the statement reads. “We were torn between wanting NeuroImage to continue as our top journal vs. our conviction that we need to take a stand on the extreme-[article processing fees] question. We believe that journals like NeuroImage cannot succeed in the long-term, as researchers increasingly object to unreasonably high costs of publication and access.”
The full statement can be viewed here.