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Thirty-eight editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs, a Wiley-owned journal, announced their resignations en masse Wednesday, including the entire editorial board, all the associate editors and both executive editors. They announced they’re forming a new, free, nonprofit journal that will begin accepting submissions in September.

“For three decades now, academic journals have suffered from their ownership by for-profit publishers, who have exploited their monopoly position to sharply raise prices, unduly burdening subscribing libraries and shutting out other institutions and individuals from access to research,” the editors wrote in a resignation letter Wednesday. It was reported earlier by the Daily Nous philosophy blog.

“The recent rise of the author-funded ‘open access’ model has only reinforced academic inequality, since scholars with access to fewer resources are unable to pay the fees that make their work freely accessible [to readers],” the editors wrote. “It has also incentivized commercial publishers to try to publish as many articles as possible and so to pressure rigorous journals to weaken or abandon their quality controls.”

The departing editors said the new, yet-unnamed journal will be “diamond” open-access, meaning it will be free for readers to read and for authors to publish in. The Open Library of Humanities—which is funded by more than 340 libraries and based at Birkbeck, part of the University of London—plans to publish it.

Arash Abizadeh, one of the resigning associate editors, told Inside Higher Ed that the diamond open-access model “is much better for our field, it’s just that it’s very difficult to get there.” Abizadeh, the R.B. Angus Professor of Political Science and an associate member of the philosophy department at Canada’s McGill University, said change requires “collective action” by leading actors in the field.

In an email Wednesday, a Wiley spokesperson wrote that the publisher is “surprised and disappointed” by the resignations. “We have not asked the editors to increase the amount of articles published, and note that the annual article volume for this journal has not changed in recent years, with 14 articles being published in both 2022 and 2023,” the Wiley spokesperson said.

Anna Stilz, a Princeton University professor and the journal’s editor-in-chief, who did not sign the resignation letter, said in an email that she’s “not able to comment at this time.” The Daily Nous reported that Stilz criticized Wiley when she resigned earlier from the editorial board of the Journal of Political Philosophy, another Wiley publication that saw its own resignation controversy a year ago.

According to the blog, Stilz said that Wiley had, in fact, pressured Philosophy & Public Affairs to increase article publications. “Where editors refuse to do that, they exert all the pressure they can, up to and including dismissal … A few years back we only succeeded in getting them to back down by threatening to file a lawsuit,” Stilz wrote, according to the blog.