I’m still considering whether to sign on to the Elsevier boycott. But, in preparation, I’ve started thinking about which Elsevier journals would be hard to find replacements for. This is tricky for me because I really don’t know much about different journals. My algorithm for choosing a place to submit is (1) see if one of my co-authors has an opinion (2) ask someone more senior (3) look at the papers I cite and see who published them.
I thought I’d start a comment thread for people to recommend journals, or to describe niches which they don’t know of a good non-Elsevier journal for. Eventually, this data would probably do better in a wiki, but I think it will be easier to get the discussion going beneath the fold.
Let me repeat the above disclaimer that I really don’t know much about journals, so some of my impressions of what journals are comparable may be quite off base. If so, I hope people will correct me below.
These are the Elsevier journals in which I have published:
Advances in Mathematics A journal for very good general interest papers which are not quite at the top level. In my opinion, there are many good alternatives: Duke, JEMS, Transactions, Compositio, Amer. Jour. of Math. all seem roughly comparable to me. Of course, getting into any of these journals is a challenge, and they are not simply interchangeable, but I think that there are several good options in this niche.
Journal of Combinatorial Theory: Series A This is one of the two journals where I would send a good paper in algebraic combinatorics — the other being Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics. In the past, I’ve alternated between them; I can switch all those submissions to JACO in the future. (Of course, JACO is owned by Springer, which many are arguing is not much better than Elsevier.) If JACO isn’t interested, I’m not sure where else to go. The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics has wonderful editorial policies and is a joy to work with, both as an author and a referee, but I don’t think it is as prestigious. I might submit to it anyway, but I would never recommend that someone without tenure choose the less prestigious journal. Is there a good journal in this niche which I am missing? Am I underestimating EJC?
Discrete Math The only paper I have sent to them was a long time ago. My impression is that they are a top journal for Hungarian-style combinatorics, particularly graph theory. Tim Gowers discusses some alternatives here.
Journal of Algebra This one seems hard to replace to me. They take a lot of papers on standard monomial theory and combinatorial representation theory which aren’t big enough to make it to a general interest journal. If a paper like this is sufficiently combinatorial, it can go to some of the journals which I discussed in the JCTA section. If it is sufficiently representation theoretic, it can go to Transformation Groups, and it might also be possible to shoe-horn it into Linear Algebra and its Applications. But those journals are, I think, not as prestigious and, in any case, there is a gap between JCTA and Transformation Groups which I thought Journal of Algebra filled very well. If it helps focus the discussion, here is the paper I put there.