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Union group targets Elsevier in open-access campaign

An international association of education unions is asking its members to consider campaigning against Elsevier, over what it says is the publisher’s attempt to stifle open access.

Education International describes Elsevier—the world’s largest academic publisher—as “one of the greatest barriers towards public access to research and education” in a set of unpublished recommendations for members that it sent to Research Europe. “Through a combination of aggressive pricing strategies and political lobbying [Elsevier] is doing all that it can to stifle the advances of sustainable open access,” the paper said. 

That phrasing is taken from a report written for EI by Jon Tennant, a palaeontologist and open-research advocate, published on the association’s website in November. Tennant is one of two researchers that have asked the European Commission to investigate whether Elsevier is breaching competition rules and abusing “a dominant position” in the academic publishing market. The EI paper recommends that its members consider lodging similar complaints.

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