Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board

We regret the board’s decision to resign, but more so the misunderstandings that have accompanied it. We hope to clarify some of them here.

Editor's note

We first wrote: "The editor-in-chief of Lingua wanted to take ownership of the journal". This has been changed to: "The editors of Lingua wanted for Elsevier to transfer ownership of the journal to the collective of editors at no cost".

Recently, an editorial board from one of our linguistics journals, Lingua, decided to leave and launch a new, fully open access journal. The move triggered media coverage and social media commentary. Here are a few facts to clarify some misconceptions:

  • The editors of Lingua wanted for Elsevier to transfer ownership of the journal to the collective of editors at no cost. Elsevier cannot agree to this as we have invested considerable amount of time, money and other resources into making it a respected journal in its field. We founded Lingua 66 years ago.
  • Lingua is a hybrid open access journal which means that every author who wants to publish open access (i.e., free-of-charge for the reader), can do so. However, we have observed little uptake of the open access option in Lingua or elsewhere in linguistics at price points that would be economically viable.
  • The article publishing charge at Lingua for open access articles is $1,800 USD. The editors had requested a price of 400 euros, an APC that is not sustainable. Had we made the journal open access only and at the suggested price point, it would have rendered the journal no longer viable – something that would serve nobody, least of which  the linguistics community.

Elsevier, as the world’s third largest open access publisher, is fully committed to open access publishing. We currently publish 300+ fully open access journals, plus 1600+ hybrid open access journals. All of our around 2,500 journals provide open access options. We launch a new open access journal every other week. Our open access publishing options are competitively priced and we are working hard to maintain the publishing quality for which we are known.

Elsevier will receive 1.2 million article submissions this year, publish 400,000 of them into a database of 12 million articles, of which 750 million will be downloaded this year alone. We are managing the activities of 80,000 editors for 2,500 journals, and the peer review activities that all help to ensure the highest quality. Readers may also find a list of ways publishers add value on the Scholarly Kitchen blog.

Elsevier Connect Contributor

Tom  RellerAs VP and Head of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier, Tom Reller (@TomReller) leads a global team of  media, social and web communicators for the world's largest provider of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information products and services. Together, they work to build on Elsevier's reputation by promoting the company's numerous contributions to the health and science communities, many of which are brought to life in this online community  and information resource: Elsevier Connect.

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