On his blog Tim Gowers recently petitioned for a general boycott by scientists of Elsevier´s scientific journals.
His reasons I find excellent, as do many others, which has resulted in over 3,000 scientists now signing their intent to boycott Elsevier on www.thecostofknowledge.com.
Let´s hope this initiative really takes off. I wrote on this subject on my visual arts blog earlier, and I find it truly heartening to see people taking a stand. Open access and open source can be (in my not so humble opinion) a way to reduce the poverty and the technology gap between rich and poor in this world.
Since society most often has already paid well for the research, it is extremely unfair that important knowledge should not be available to the public unless they can pay exorbitant prices.
We might think that mathematics is an important example (ok, I think so too, a little biasedly…) but consider important medical research, which can directly save lives…!
So open access is the first step, really. And money should not be a dominating force in the dissemination of human knowledge. Please also read Mike Taylor’s article in the Guardian.