To: The Editorial Team at Cognition

Support Fair Open Access at Cognition

By signing this petition you will be signing two letters: One to the Editor and Associate Editors at Cognition and one to the Editorial Board. The text of these letters appears below, and will be sent on Wednesday, January 27. Whether you are a faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, undergraduate, or consumer of research in the cognitive sciences, we ask you to sign this letter if you believe that the time is right for discussing the future of Open Access in the cognitive sciences.


Recently the editorial team of the journal Lingua, led by Johan Rooryck, petitioned Elsevier to support a transition to a Fair Open Access model of publishing. When Elsevier rejected their proposal, the 6 Editors of Lingua resigned en masse, and created a new Fair Open Access journal, Glossa. The 31 members of the Lingua editorial board followed suit, joining the editorial board of Glossa. This turn of events has captured the interest of researchers throughout academia, including in the cognitive sciences, and has brought attention to the high fees we currently pay to make our work available to the public. We hope that Cognition will benefit from this episode and use the opportunity to transition to a Fair Open Access model, making knowledge available to all researchers, and to the public that funds it.

We believe that Fair Open Access is the future of publishing not only in linguistics, but also in cognitive science and academia more generally. Whereas most research in the cognitive sciences is funded by public money, almost none of this research is available to the general public, nor to researchers at many international institutions. Currently, the cost of openly sharing the research that we have created and collectively funded is $2150 / article at Cognition, whereas fees at Glossa are now approximately $400 USD (waived for those who lack access to funds). This is a full $1400 less than at Lingua. While there may be reasons why costs at a larger journal like Cognition would be higher, we would like to request that this value equation be investigated by the Cognition Editorial team, and that significantly lower fees be pursued. More generally, we ask the Editorial team at Cognition to pursue a transition to Fair Open Access in collaboration with Elsevier.

This request naturally raises a number of important challenges, both logistic and financial. But we now know that these challenges are not insurmountable. We hope that together we can capitalize on the current excitement regarding Fair Open Access to renew the legacy of Cognition. Most important, we support Cognition, its mission, and its editorial team, which together have made Cognition a premier journal in the cognitive sciences and a model for the field as a whole.

[Version for the editors: We ask you to consider this proposal, as an editorial team, to determine whether it is in the best interests of the Cognition community. If you find that it is, we ask that you present your requests - whatever form they take - to Elsevier for formal consideration.]

[Version for the editorial board: If you believe that these concerns are valid and a discussion of Open Access would benefit the Cognition community, we ask you to send a note to the Editor or Associate Editor that you work with most, expressing your views.]

Sincere regards,

Jesse Snedeker
David Barner

Lila Gleitman, University of Pennsylvania
Tania Lombrozo, University of California, Berkeley
LouAnn Gerken, University of Arizona
Amy Perfors, Adelaide University
Sarah Creel, University of California, San Diego
Susan Carey, Harvard University
Lisa Feigenson, Johns Hopkins University
Jenny Saffran, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University
Laurie Santos, Yale University
Johan Rooryck, Leiden University
Noam Chomsky, MIT
Randy Gallistel, Rutgers University
Rochel Gelman Rutgers University
Stan Dehaene, INSERM
Dorothy Bishop, University of Oxford
Roger Levy, University of California, San Diego
Adele E. Goldberg, Princeton
Josh McDermott, MIT
Michael Tanenhaus, Rochester University
Tom Bever, University of Arizona
Alison Gopnik, University of California, Berkeley
Gary Marcus, NYU
Simon Fisher, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Hilary Barth, Wesleyan University
Ben Bergen, University of California, San Diego
Hal Pashler, University of California, San Diego
Daniel Ansari, University of Western Ontario
Florian Jaeger, Rochester University
Cristine Legare, UT Austin
Noah Goodman, Stanford University
Lera Boroditsky, University of California, San Diego
Kristen Syrett, Rutgers University
Franck Ramus, Ecole Normale Supérieure
Ed Vul, University of California, San Diego
Hyowon Gweon, Stanford University
Gergely Csibra, Central European University
Rebecca Saxe, MIT
Steve Piantadosi, Rochester
Tim Brady, University of California, San Diego
Yarrow Dunham, Yale University
Charles Kemp, Carnegie Mellon University
Linda Smith, Indiana University
Marlene Behrmann, Ca...

Why is this important?

We support Fair Open Access in the cognitive sciences.