Elsevier, which says it disseminated about 18 percent of Earth’s scientific articles last year, declined editors’ requests to lower the $3,450 publishing fee at one of its journals.

NeuroImage editors said they formally asked Elsevier in June to drop the charge below $2,000. Early last month, they warned they would resign.

“We believe that the current slow decrease in submissions/publications is primarily due to the APC [article publishing charge]—we hear a lot on this from researchers in our field, no longer willing to submit papers or review,” they wrote. “We appreciate that you do not accept that, but it’s not helpful to argue further in the absence of definitive proof. Nevertheless, NeuroImage remains the largest and ‘top’ journal in our field, and we would like to keep it this way.”

On Monday, every editor at NeuroImage and the NeuroImage: Reports companion journal—over 40 people—resigned.

“It’s a pretty big exodus,” said Cindy Lustig, a University of Michigan at Ann Arbor psychology professor and one of the eight now former senior editors of the open-access NeuroImage. The departures also include editors in chief and handling editors.

“Getting 40-plus high-powered academics to agree on anything, much less keeping it quiet until we made the official announcement, I think is slightly miraculous on its own,” she said.

Read the complete article in Inside Higher Ed