Journal Declarations of Independence occur with
the resignation of editors from one journal to launch
a comparable journal with a friendlier publisher. The
process usually has two stages. First, an editor or
group of editors resigns from a journal in order to
protest its high subscription price or audience-limiting
access rules. This action is usually accompanied by a
public statement explaining "the causes which impel
them to the separation" (to quote Thomas Jefferson).
Second, some of the resigning editors create a new
free or affordable alternative journal to compete with
the first and to embody their vision of wide access.
The success rate of the new titles varies along
several measures ongoing library subscriptions to
old and new titles; metrics such as Impact Factors,
EigenfactorTM scores, and Article InfluenceTM
and subjective regard within the discipline.
Prepared by Denise Bennett for Open Access Week @ UF 2009
Text from: http://oad.simmons.edu/oadwiki/Journal_declarationsof independence
In June 1989, Editor Eddy van der Maarel and most of his editorial board resigned from
Vegetatio (W. Junk, then Nijhoff, then Kluwer) to launch the Journal of Vegetation Science
(Opulus Press and the International Association for Vegetation Science). JVS became a SPARC
partner in March 2002. JVS has a 2008 Impact Factor of 2.037 compared to 2.352 average for
plant science journals; Vegetatio is not calculated.
In November 1999, the entire 50-person editorial board of the Journal of Logic Programming
(Elsevier) resigned and formed a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming
(Cambridge). Its birth and early survival were assisted by SPARC. TPLP has 2008 Impact Factor
of 1.049 compared to an average of 1.255; JLP is not calculated.
Elsevier has published the European Economic Review since 1969. In 1986 the European
Economic Association (EEA) adopted it as its official journal. But the EEA grew increasingly
unhappy with Elsevier's subscription price and its requirement that the publisher, not the
association, hire the journal's editors. In 2001 the EEA started the process of declaring
independence from Elsevier. In March 2003 its new official journal, the Journal of the European
Economic Association, was launched by MIT Press at about one-third of the Elsevier
subscription price. Neither title has its Impact Factor calculated.
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In December 1996, Shu-Kun Lin resigned as editor of Molecules, then published by Springer-
Verlag, and relaunched the journal with Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI).
Springer sued to prevent Shu-Kun Lin from using the same title for the MDPI journal but
eventually dropped its suit.
In January 2000 (to take effect in July 2000), Henry Hagedorn resigned as editor of the Archives
of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology (Wiley-Liss) to form the Journal of Insect Science
(originally, University of Arizona library, now University of Wisconsin Library). JIS is a free online
journal with no print edition. It is now supported entirely by the University of Wisconsin Memorial
Library and charges no author-side fees. Its birth and early survival were assisted by SPARC.
AIBP has 2008 Impact Factor of 1.274 and JIS has 2008 Impact Factor of 0.963, compared to an
average of 1.158 for entomology journals.
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Impact Factor of .993 compai
On July 3, 2003, the entire 40+ person editorial board of Labor History (Taylor & Francis)
resigned in protest over the journal's high subscription price and lack of editorial independence.
The same editors then launched Labor with non-profit Duke University Press. Labor is a partner
of SPARC, which assisted in the transition and launch. Neither title has its Impact Factor
In November 1998, Michael Rosenzweig and the rest of his editorial board resigned from
Evolutionary Ecology (Chapman & Hall, then International Thomson, now Kluwer), which
Rosenzweig had launched in 1986, to create Evolutionary Ecology Research. Its birth and
early survival were assisted by SPARC. EE has 2008 Impact Factor of 3.448; EER has 2008
Impact Factor of 1.170.
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MICHAEL L. ROSENZWEIG EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Early in 2001, a handful of editors of Topology and Its Applications (Elsevier) resigned to
create Algebraic and Geometric Topology (University of Warwick and International Press), a
free online journal with an annual printed volume. Its birth and early survival were assisted by
SPARC. TAIA has 2008 Impact Factor of .362 and AGT has 2008 Impact Factor of .550.
On December 31, 2003, the (
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In 1998 most of the editorial board of the Journal of Academic Librarianship resigned to
protest the large hike in the subscription price imposed by Pergamon-Elsevier after it bought the
journal from JAI Press. Several of the editors who resigned then created Portal: Libraries and
the Academy at Johns Hopkins University Press.
On August 13, 2003, the Society for the Internet in Medicine named the open-access Journal of
Medical Internet Research as its new official journal, replacing the subscription-based Medical
Informatics & Internet in Medicine. (This is a decision by a scholarly society, not journal editors,
but it is included for the resemblance to a true declaration of independence.) JMIR has 2008
Impact Factor of 3.590 compared to an average of 1.779 for medical informatics journals.
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Over a nine month period in 2001, forty editors of Machine Learning (Kluwer) resigned from the
editorial board and published their reasons in a public letter dated October 8, 2001. One of those
resigning, Leslie Pack Kaelbling, created the Journal of Machine Learning Research as a free
online alternative with a quarterly print edition published by MIT Press. About two-thirds of the
Machine Learning editors joined her at the new journal. Machine Learning has 2008 Impact
Factor of 4.254 and JMLR has 2008 Impact Factor of 5.881.
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