Thank you for your invitation to review this manuscript for your journal. Unfortunately, I must decline the invitation given that, as a matter of principle, I do not support or endorse the activities of for-profit scientific journals.
The scientific community has previously offered this industry, free of charge:
- Conducting all scientific research.
- Writing all scientific manuscripts.
- Acting voluntarily in editorial roles.
- Performing all refereeing.
- (i.e the entire workload of your organisation, other than hosting the website on which you serve the PDFs).
In exchange, we receive:
- Massive journal subscription fees.
- Article download fees.
- Article publication fees.
- Intimidation tactics employed against us when we prefer not to be a part of it.
- Anti-competitive and financially predatory distribution tactics.
- Institutionalised mandates for the above.
This is not a symbiotic relationship, but a parasitic one, for the larger part financed by the taxpayer, who should rather be financing our research. I can no longer endorse this one-sided relationship, in which for-profit journals effectively tax scientific research, to the tune of billions of dollars annually, often using coercive and intimidatory sales tactics, whilst providing very little or no value in return. This capital is best spent on what it was intended for — scientific research for the benefit of humankind — training students, hiring research staff, financing equipment, travel and infrastructure — to which your organisation contributes nothing whatsoever other than to extort value.
In addition to declining this offer, please for future reference:
- Remove my name from your referee database.
- Immediately cease and desist from using intimidatory tactics when I decline to volunteer my labour (which is of very high value) to your pursuit of profit (in exchange for nothing).
- Hassling me for failing to voluntarily contribute my labour to your revenue-raising is tantamount to harassment and extortion.
- Do not request that I voluntarily act as your journal editor.
- Do not work in cahoots with national scientific funding agencies to enforce your own vendor lock in, thereby effectively mandating your own services, which are in fact of very little or no value whatsoever. This in an indirect form of taxation upon scientific research, which I have no interest in paying, and which we should be expected or forced to.
- I do not intend personally to submit any further manuscripts to your journal for consideration (if my co-authors do, I won’t stand in their way).
Personal note to the Editor: this should not be construed as a personal attack against you, who I absolutely respect, but rather against the industry which is exploiting you in a slave-like work relationship, whilst using you as a conduit to engage me for the same purpose. I write this as an act of solidarity with you, not as a personal attack against you.
We advance human knowledge for the benefit of humanity, and provide it as a gift for all.
(This post may be freely linked to, reused, or modified without acknowledgement)