Some really interesting stuff here. First off, the last "name that dinosaur" contest was a good one, Zach Armstrong won. It was indeed the La Invernada titanosaur, a relatively small species that doesn't have a name but is pasted all over South American paleontology websites. The reasonably complete foot allows us to place this animal at the hub of lithostrotia, close to Epachthosaurus.
Second, the bizarre derived titanosaur Yongjinglong datangi has been described in PLoS One. A crowning moment for both Chinese paleontology and open-access research. So long Cretaceous Research, Acta Geologica Sinica and other paywalled journals.This odd creature is from the Hekou Group, so it was probably in the same ecosystem as Huanghetitan and Daxiatitan. Details here.
But the craziest thing to come to my attention is from an old favorite.
I just realized while looking at revising my Giraffatitan skeletal that most previous restorations seem to have either botched the shape of some of the dorsals to look too generic or followed Dr. Werner Janensch's rather hasty full body skeletal instead of his far more detailed engravings of the actual fossil material of the primary specimen, HMN SII.
Here's my original reconstruction, which you can see on DeviantArt:
This uses SII as well as a number of other specimens to fill in the hindlimbs, shoulders, hips, head and tail. Lets take a look at the dorsals.
There's a bit of uncertainty as to which dorsal was truly the last. However, the last two shown in this reconstruction right before the sacrum (the ones whose neural spines seem to neatly interlock with each other) are fused at the centrum joint. HMN SII was a subadult individual (judging by the lack of fusion in the coracoid, and unfused scapula found in similar-sized individuals) that either was getting near puberty or had some unique pathologies such as DISH or ankylosing spondylitis (this pair of bones shows some ossified ligaments on the neural spines which may also have fused together given enough time). This pair of fused rear dorsals is labeled as D11 and D12 (the final two dorsals) by Taylor (2009), but if you follow Janensch (1950) they should actually be D10 and D11. D12 on the other hand, looks as illustrated on the left in the image below.
|Last 3 dorsals in Giraffatitan, from HMN SII and the even larger HMN fund no. (which also includes the caudal series that Janensch frankensteined onto the rear end of SII).|
However the main point to take note of isn't even this discrepancy, but rather the bone that sits in front of the fused pair in the SII specimen. Note the red box around this bone.
The dorsal vertebra in front of the fused pair has a long centrum. In fact, it looks freakishly long because of vertical crushing. I have "uncrushed" it a bit. The original is so bizarre it looks like it came from a totally different species, but it was found together with the rest of the same specimen.
Now even if you correct for crushing, that's still going to be a very long centrum compared to the vertebrae both before and behind this one. And its rear rim has a totally different angle from the other centra, meaning that between this bone and the next one down (the first on the fused pair) there is an odd dip in the spine, a sort of "lordosis" or "anti-hunchback" posture. And however you restore the end of the centrum (its upper portion is missing and represented by a dotted line here), there is still going to be a BIG gap between the neural spine of this vertebra and the next (even with the spine tilted the correct way, uncrushed). But the gap is often ignored in the schematic literature.
|Four different reconstructions of the Giraffatitan torso, primarily based on HMN SII. (A) Greg Paul, 1988; (B) Scott Hartman, 2012; (C) Asier Larramendi, 2013; (D) Nima Sassani, 2011.|
None of these have the order correct with the D12 based on Janensch (HMN fund no 8). One of the two speculative middle dorsals has to be removed to make room for D12 at the back end and still keep the count at 12 dorsal vertebrae, which is typical of basal titanosauriformes. But notice how some of these skeletals (notable mine and Asier's) do show the big gap and also the odd "return up" of the subsequent fused pair's neural spines. Greg Paul ignores this feature but does at least half-bake the gap, while Scott Hartman totally omits both of these very distinctive features. But they are natural and can't solely be attributed to crushing.
The point is that the dorsal column as a whole needs to be reworked. In fact the dorsals of HMN SII are a lot less complete than often believed.
|HMN SII + HMN fund no 8 (D12, scaled down by 10% to SII)|
This is even more bizarre than previously thought. With just the baseline amount of de-crushing necessary to make the vertebrae articulate, so that we avoid unnecessary artificial distortions, the spine is kinked at both ends of the by-now-notorious Dorsal 9. Even it you ignore the pathology argument (and you probably should, since D9, D10 and D11 are all very symmetrical, with no anomalies in lateral curvature), the odd shape and angle of D9 is even stranger than even myself and Asier Larramendi had restored it. While the gap between it and the fused pair is now smaller in the neural spines (which makes sense since the tips of the spines in D9 and D10 almost interlock at this angle), the gap below the zygapophyses (which the spinal cord would have run through) is still gigantic. Woe betide any young Giraffatitan that got bitten there.
Another interesting feature is that there seems to be another dip between dorsals 3 and 4, (or rather an upcurve of the anterior dorsals at D3) which may mean that the tall neural spines in this region came out looking less hump-like than traditionally depicted, and the spine profile of the live animal may have actually been more of a straight incline. And this would clearly make the angle of the anterior dorsals steeper and the neck even higher and more vertical... without having to add an insane amount of upward kink at the base of the neck the way Research Casting International did for the updated Berlin mount of Giraffatitan. I suppose it was easier to alter one joint than redo four of them, but then again closer attention should have been paid to how they reconstructed those other anterior dorsals in the first place. Janensch wasn't making up the shape of the cotyles, and D3 and D4 show very little vertical crushing. There should actually be an upcurve at D3, not a downcurve or a hump.
Even Greg Paul's new 2010 version doesn't come close.
There is still a slight hump in the soft tissue there (which looks excessive anyway) and the tips of the neural spines definitely form a hump. But the centra form a straight line. If they were restored as per Janensch's engravings (and dorsals D3 and D4 are not crushed, so there's no need to "straighten" them out) then D3 and everything in front of it would form a steeper angle and less hump without needing such deep nuchal muscles.
Note that D3 and D4 show almost no crushing in the centrum so the articulation angle even at Osteological Neutral Pose still results in an upward tilt of D3, which makes it easier for D2 and D1 to arch up by fewer degrees and still support a vertical neck, with a minimum of strain or flexion on any one joint, far less than in either of Greg Paul's versions or the updated Berlin mount. Take that, Kent Stevens.
So yes, I will be revising my interpretation pretty heavily. Giraffatitan may turn out to be a bit of a sail-back... in the same sense as Acrocanthosaurus.
Stay tuned for more updates, Giraffatitan's dorsals aren't the only weird thing about this beast.
Janensch, W. 1950a. Die Skelettrekonstruktion von Brachiosaurus brancai. Palaeontographica, Supplement 7 (I, 3):97-103.
Janensch, W. 1950c. Die Wirbelsäule von Brachiosaurus brancai. Palaeontographica, Supplement 7 (I, 3):27-93.
Paul, G.S. (1988). "The brachiosaur giants of the Morrison and Tendaguru with a description of a new subgenus, Giraffatitan, and a comparison of the world's largest dinosaurs". Hunteria, 2(3): 1–14.
Paul, G.S. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Taylor, M.P. (2009). "A Re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1903 (Dinosauria, Sauropod) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janensh 1914)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29(3): 787-806.
They just don't seem believable to me.
While more Forgotten Giants articles are in progress, let's take a look at the odds and ends that often turn up in the more interesting corners of paleontology.
Every once in a while we see something that's mysterious, bizarre, or just unknown, and yet keeps popping up on the internet. And yet it's good enough to warrant a description, or at least a nickname. And many of you, I am in no doubt, fancy yourselves true experts on dinosaurs after having seen just a few episodes of Primeval or the "Walking With" series. But perhaps some of you, seeking earnestly after knowledge, truly are more than just fanboys or fangirls, and can truly call yourselves walking talking museums. Some of you have corrected Wikipedia's dinosaur pages, and been "de-corrected" - and you knew Wikipedia was wrong.
Think you can test your dino-knowledge against the Paleo King, and come out unscathed with not even one intellectual raptor slash to your mental encyclopedia?
Well then this series is for you.
So here's a real stumper (paleo-bucks on the line here): what do you think this is? Does it have a formal scientific name? What family does it belong in? Or is it still an undescribed curiosity - and what name is it known by anyway?... so without further ado... Name that dinosaur!
Well after a LONG time, the Andesaurus project is finally finished - for a while at least. While the open-access issue has been very important, it's time to get back to what this blog is all about - dinosaur art and the science behind it. And Andesaurus is one of the few titanosaurs often touted as being record-breakers which have never gotten a decent restoration until now. This dinosaur is still pretty obscure though it's been known longer than Argentinosaurus, Paralititan, Sauroposeidon, and most of the other new favorites among giant sauropods. Strange, that this animal is literally the demarcation line at the base of titanosauria, universally acknowledged (though not necessarily correctly) as the most basal true titanosaur, extensively used as a key phylogenetic reference taxon in all sorts of papers, every paleontologist studying sauropods knows about it, and yet it's so little known in the public.
Oh, and another thing. It's BIG.
Well maybe not that big. One of the first things you notice about Andesaurus (assuming one of those rare times when you do come across it) is that it's a titanosaur from Argentina. The second thing you notice is that like some other, far more famous titanosaurs from Argentina, its length is listed as over 30m or 100ft in those few books that actually bother to mention it (the only mass-published "layman's author" who seems to give it any attention is Dougal Dixon, in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs). Andesaurus should be famous, then, if for no other reason than its size - any titanosaur a hundred feet long is pretty high up in the running for both longest and heaviest dinosaur. But don't hold your breath - this is all WRONG.
That's right, you heard me. DEAD wrong. Andesaurus isn't 100 feet long. Not even close. That length has been repeated in many places, Wikipedia among them (at least a few months ago). I don't know how many people have actually read the scientific literature on Andesaurus (which now includes the description paper, Calvo & Bonaparte 1991; the titanosaur comparative anatomy paper Salgado et. al. 1997; and an extensive redescription, Mannion & Calvo, 2011). And the number of people who have actually seen and measured the fossils, I could probably count on my hand. The dorsal vertebrae (what's known of them anyway) are absolutely dwarfed by those of Argentinosaurus - a bit odd for two creatures that were supposedly around the same size. Even plain old Brachiosaurus has bigger dorsals. Andesaurus is a lot smaller than we've been led to believe.
The only photos of this beast that were available online were a couple of grainy mid-90s images...
Andesaurus delgadoi, posterior dorsal and two mid-caudal vertebrae.
Otherwise I had nothing to go on. Until 2010's SVP meeting in Pittsburgh, where by unexpected fortuitous circumstances I came to possess copies of both the description paper and Salgado et. al. 1997 (which actually has drawings of far more of the Andesaurus material). The resulting jumble of odd bone outlines was just enough to start piecing together this beast.
But inevitably some of the outlines were off. So it had to be redone.
Apparently despite all the negative attention and criticism of Elsevier's abuse of wealth and power to stifle scientific knowledge behind steep paywalls, the executives of the corporate academic publishing giant have no regrets and simply have not gotten the message, despite their precious RWA bill being D.O.A. in congress.
David Clark, the incurably arrogant and patronizing senior Vice-President of Elsevier's physical sciences division retorted contemptuously to his company's critics:
There is little merit in throwing away a system that works in favour of one that has not even been developed yet...
This is an outrage - the "system" Clark speaks of only "works" for him and his corporate cronies. For the scientist who is forced to sign away the rights to his research FOR FREE to Elsevier, only to have Elsevier turn around and charge 33% profits on the same article, the system is broken and insanely unfair. And you expect us to believe that access to journal content has never been better, Dave? Don't you mean to say that your shareholders' bottom line has never been better? It's certainly bounced back since 2009, though unless you're a billionaire owning untold scores of their class-A stock, the actual percent return on investment is pretty ho-hum and blue chip-ish.
Furthermore, there IS an alternative system to Elsevier, and it works just fine - plus it's been around for quite a while. Ever heard of PLoS, David? Of course you don't talk about it, because it's the vanguard of the new open-access academic publishing wave of the future. The wave which will bury Elsevier's outdated and feudalistic business model. This business model is indeed fantastically strange: 'Write, edit and review articles for us for free, and we will then sell them back to you at enormous cost'. It should make anyone with a shred of justice and ethics want to vomit all over Elsevier.
If you have not yet signed the petition to boycott and divest from Elsevier over at The Cost of Knowledge, please head on over and do so. I've done it already, and as of today over 8,000 scientists and concerned citizens have done so.
Also be sure to sign the Alliance for Taxpayer Access petition. You pay taxes, you deserve to have access to taxpayer funded research! It's only logical. Don't let corporate publishers steal science. And if you have any news on the hypocrisy of El Serpiente executives, feel free to post it in the comments here. If Elsevier wants to steal the fruits of our labor, lets make it a burning, painful theft they will sorely regret.
The entire world RELIES on science. More specifically, the world relies on science for the free exchange of knowledge and new discoveries, which are often vital to people's livelihoods and lives.
If scientists can't get access to papers without giving up an arm and a leg, they will not have the most current information available to publish their own research, and this will hamper their ability to get grants and other funding in the future. Science itself will become stifled by the restriction of access to information by non-scientist corporate bureaucrats who run most of the for-profit journal publishers.
And for a while now, a wave of rage has been roiling the professional blogs of scientists regarding the emergence of the vile, disgusting Research Works Act, a congressional bill written by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) and sponsored by the likes of Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, and other corporate academic publishing goliaths. The RWA is a bill that virtually calls for the death knell of all independent and unbiased science research available to the public. Up until now, any research papers that were funded by government grants (translation: YOUR taxpayer dollars) have to be made available as free open-access papers to the public that funded them! That's only fair, and that only makes sense. RWA would remove the federal requirement of making all publicly funded research accessible to the public, and force the public to pay up to thousands of dollars per person just to access the articles that were funded with their own tax money! Talk about privatizing profits and socializing losses...
P.S. If she were younger I guess she could probably get away with that half-hearted Dr. Blight hairdo.
But those of you in the Paleo-Sphere may ask, "I know that if this bill passes I won't be able to access my favorite titanosaur ontogeny papers, but how does this affect the wider world beyond dinosaur researchers"? Well it affects EVERYTHING. Consider medical journals. These days the medical journals of America (many of which are controlled by the same publishing conglomerates - Wiley, Elsevier, GSW, BioOne, and Bentham - that own most of the paleo-journals) are becoming ever more restricted in terms of access. If doctors already chafing under years of student debts have to cough up even more money just to access the latest research on life-saving new medical procedures for their patients, the prohibitively high costs of doing do for every relevant journal will mean that patients' lives are literally being profiteered to death. Today there are so many journals in which someone, somewhere in Iceland or Croatia, has pioneered a radical new natural cancer treatment or a highly effective remedy for slowing the progression of MS or Alzheimer's, but thanks to the absolute and often INTERNATIONAL chokehold that big corporate publishers have over peer-reviewed journals, the vast majority of top doctors in the relevant fields have NO KNOWLEDGE of this new research, since the prohibitively high costs of subscription mean that fewer doctors can buy this information, and fewer still circulate it among their colleagues! The patient who could have been saved by open-access which his own taxes helped fund, is killed by unavailability of information which his doctor could have used to save his life. That's right, die taxpayer die!
To put is simply, the old pay-out-the-nose racketeering business model of science publishing is not merely unjust and apathetic, it's actually KILLING people. It's not just Big Pharma that's suppressing the research and getting involved in some very corrupt and dangerous dealings with suspicious lobbies - it's the publishers themselves. Elsevier (formally known as Reed Elsevier) is just one prime example.
Elsevier is the giant of the scientific publishing world, with a history reaching back centuries and a truly international reach. Based in the Netherlands, they have a literal galaxy of journals and publishing interest all over the planet. They are also very influential in international politics and steering the environmental and foreign policies of both the United States and many European governments through supposedly "independent" think tanks.
If you can name even one corrupt or inhumane sort of political business dealing, chances are Elsevier has plenty of fingers in that pie.
* Sponsoring secret Arms Dealer Conventions for some of the most brutal human rights violating regimes in the world:
"It can feel like a sick joke to connect each kind of weapon of death and injury displayed at an Reed Elsevier arms fair to a journal, book or article published by Reed Elsevier which describes how to treat it. But it is important to realise that it is not us making the joke. The sick joke – and it is sick – is being played on us by Reed Elsevier and the punchline is the unknowing complicity of medical professionals in the system of death and injury which they have dedicated their lives to opposing."
-Tom Stafford, Journal for Peace, Fall 2006 Bulletin (September 20, 2006)
* Producing FAKE ad-laden "journals" sponsored by Big Pharma corporations and falsely marketing them as unbiased peer-reviewed journals, despite REFUSING to disclose the sources of funding:
"It has recently come to my attention that from 2000 to 2005, our Australia office published a series of sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures."
- Michael Hansen, CEO of Elsevier's Health Sciences Division
* Bribing college professors to give Elsevier's textbooks 5-star reviews on Amazon.com
"Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the book is published, we need your help to get some 5 star reviews posted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help support and promote it.... For your time, we would like to compensate you with a copy of the book under review as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. If you have colleagues or students who would be willing to post positive reviews, please feel free to forward this e-mail to them to participate... "
- Chain letter email send by Elsevier to professors who contributed to the textbook. [Clearly they are trying to bias science to line - nay - flood their own pockets, by handing out little brownies to adults]
* Suing their own customers (in this case libraries!) for disseminating information from Elsevier journals they had ALREADY paid for!
"The publishers that have filed the lawsuit [Elsevier, Springer, and Thiele] want to prohibit this service on the grounds that they themselves offer these articles online, although usually for about 30 euros per article, several time what access through the ETH library costs. By their suit, the science publishers want to subvert a provision of Swiss copyright law that explicitly allows the copying of excerpts from periodicals."
- Neue Zurcher Zeitung (the New Zurich Newspaper), Jan. 25, 2012
*Turning American Congressmen into PAID PUPPETS in order to restrict your access to research which was funded with your own tax dollars, through the fascist "Research Works Act":
"So, given the history of their campaign contributions to Rep Maloney, I’m not really surprised to find that Elsevier’s fingers would be all over this bill and Rep Maloney’s defense of it.
We (my colleagues at PLoS and many others) have spent over a decade fighting to secure public access to publicly funded research. We finally start to make some progress – imperfect as the NIH Public Access Policy is, it is an important step in the right direction. And what happens? A member of Congress who faces no threat of defeat in the upcoming election disgracefully sells out the public good in exchange for some measly campaign contributions, and then doesn’t even have the decency to defend her actions with her own thoughts and words."
- Dr. Michael Eisen, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
If the RWA passes, you can say goodbye to science as we know it. Everything will be at the behest of the publishing corporations and their cohorts in big pharma and big oil. And the profits there publishers gouge from their subscribers are ridiculous, considering that scientists who publish in big corporate journals are forced to give up the publishing rights to their written papers essentially for free and don't get to see a dime of that money!
Look at these outrageous profits as a percentage of revenue for commercial STM publishers in 2010 or early 2011:
- Elsevier: £724m on revenue of £2b — 36%
- Springer's Science+Business Media: £294m on revenue of £866m — 33.9%
- John Wiley & Sons: $106m on revenue of $253m — 42%
- Academic division of Informa plc: £47m on revenue of £145m — 32.4%
Dr. Mike Taylor of SV-POW explains: I wanted to be sure that I was assessing this fairly, so I looked through Elsevier’s annual reports for the last nine years — happily, they make them available, if not particularly easy to find. What I found is that they have been consistently bringing in profits in the region of 33% throughout the last decade. Specifically:
- 2002: £429m profit on £1295m revenue – 33.18%
- 2003: £467m profit on £1381m revenue – 33.82%
- 2004: £460m profit on £1363m revenue – 33.75%
- 2005: £449m profit on £1436m revenue – 31.25%
- 2006: £465m profit on £1521m revenue – 30.57%
- 2007: £477m profit on £1507m revenue – 31.65%
- 2008: £568m profit on £1700m revenue – 33.41%
- 2009: £693m profit on £1985m revenue – 34.91%
- 2010: £724m profit on £2026m revenue – 35.74%
- When you pay $37.95 to download a PDF from an Elsevier journal, $13.56 of that goes straight into the pockets of Elsevier shareholders.
- When you pay $3000 to have your submission to an Elsevier journal appear as open access, $1072.20 of that goes straight into the pockets of Elsevier shareholders.
- When your library pays $1.7m for a bundle of Elsevier-journal subscriptions, $607,580 of that goes straight into the pockets of Elsevier shareholders.
- When you or your library pays Elsevier $23783 for any reason, that is enough for them fund Representative Caroline Maloney’s $8500 bribe to co-sponsor the evil Research Works Act, out of their profits alone.
The good folks at Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week have already exposed the massive corrupt conspiracy behind RWA, that infects both sides of the artificial "this or that" political spectrum in America. Read about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Ooooh, the outrage!
Of course this is all harsh, but it's meant to be a real wake-up call. I'm not sure the average researcher on a graduate stipend really has much time to worry whether their subscription fees are being funneled towards international terrorism, but I'm sure they do care that their professor's hard work is being expropriated and then hoarded for 30-40% profits by powerful international publishing cartels. Some of the copyright terms the big publishers impose on scientists are downright Orwellian. Losing any and all rights to reprint your own work in a different journals, or even to pass out free copies to colleagues from other universities. If they catch you doing this with a journal you ALREADY paid for, you will still be sued, and probably end up in prison for a few years. Remember, these publishers are worth billions of dollars and the average professor makes nothing from giving them all the rights to his own work - plus they can sue you for so much as making a copy of your own paper and giving it to a friend for free. Greg Paul only wishes he had that kind of legal muscle.
Mike Taylor and the others at SV-POW make a great point when they urge people to write to their congressman. But with all the junk mail that those dismally unpopular politicians are flooded with every week, I doubt it's a very effective strategy. Especially when the issue at hand is something that barely gets any media attention, and thus probably is not the subject generating the most mail. I suggest a more direct approach, to cut off the head of the Snake. Write to the scientists themselves.
Every time I talk to paleontologists at SVP, I know that a good number of them will either be people who regularly publish in closed-access FOR PROFIT journals, or donate their time for free as peer-reviewers for those same said price-gouging journals. While I personally consider such a gift of time to such monstrous corporate thieves to be little more intelligent than giving away extra money to the government as a charitable gift on top of your compulsory taxes, in the vain hope of helping pay down the national debt.... that doesn't mean that we shouldn't express our dismay at those who continue to contribute to such corrupt journals and publishing houses. Even if Taylor and Francis has bought out part of the SVP, and its flagship publication, the JVP, we can still hit them where it hurts: the reputations of their "scientific" collaborators.
Forget writing to your congressman - write to your favorite scientists! Write to all the people whose papers you have wanted to read, but couldn't because they are kept under lock and key by greedy publishers who demand a subscription whose price is shooting up far faster than silver. Write to Jack Horner, whether you agree with 'Toroceratops" or not, urging him not to publish in JVP any longer. Write to Jose Bonaparte and Bernardo Gonzalez-Riga urging them NOT to publish any more papers in Elsevier-owned journals like Cretaceous Research (as was sadly the case with Ligabuesaurus). Write to Octavio Mateus not to publish in Systematic Palaeontology, another locked-access Elsevier journal. Write to Jeffrey Wilson not to publish in Paleobiology, which is now the property of the Saudi-funded GSW. Write to Greg Paul telling him to stop publishing in GAIA, Paleobiology, or other locked-access journals that don't contribute to the free flow of scientific knowledge across borders and campus walls. Let your scientists know that you won't stand for them giving away their rights to their own research only to have it locked away from the public to line some greedy publishing bureaucrat's pockets. Tell them they must publish in open access journals like PLoS One, Palaeo-Electronica, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, etc. to retain any credibility as ethical scientists. Let the membership and the board of directors of the SVP know that RWA and the big corporate journals are hurting science and often hurting people, in ways that fossil-poachers simply can't.
Write to your scientists. If you're in a different field like physics, chemistry or medicine, so much the better. They don't have to be just paleontologists. Write to ANY scientists who publish in closed-access journals owned by Elsevier or any of the other academic publishing conglomerates backing the vile RWA bill. And if they don't listen or give a bad response to your emails, then write them up. I will personally list the names of those who are willing and unrepentant collaborators with ElSerpiente or any of the other gougers. Nothing is more damaging to scientists in academia than a loss of reputation - and the threat of this may finally get them to abandon the very publishing houses that are so used to abusing and enslaving the researcher. Forget a mere toothless boycott, we need nothing short of a show trial. Scientists who continue to allow unscrupulous non-scientist bureaucrats to steal and hoard up their research for sky-high profits are just as bad as the corporations they are supporting, enemies of science, and deserve to be exposed and denounced as such. If they can't afford the publication fee for open-access journals, there is always Acta Paleontologica Polonica, which can do it for free, or they can also use research grants to cover open-access publishing fees. There is no victory without intentional planning and sacrifice. If we really expect to bring Elsevier and its ilk to their knees, or even to their sense, then the scientists have to stop publishing papers in their journals, PERIOD. To really get the house of cards to fall, you have to remove the struggling exploited academics at the bottom of the pyramid. And for those that sell us out, heads will roll at the next SVP.
Wake up, O people of science and learning. Raise yourselves out of your deathly torpor, break your shackles, cast off your chains! Now is the time to reject the cruel coercion of the Serpent in scientists' clothing. I say once again, wake up!
Together we can drive the point clear to the Robber Barons ruining the free progress of science and ideas: Wer Beim Elsevier Kauft ist ein Verrater!