Machine learning has been at the forefront of the movement for free and open access to research. For example, in 2001 the Editorial Board of the Machine Learning Journal resigned en masse to form a new zero-cost open access journal, the Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR).
Quoting from the 2001 resignation letter:
"…journals should principally serve the needs of the intellectual community, in particular by providing the immediate and universal access to journal articles that modern technology supports, and doing so at a cost that excludes no one."
In addition to JMLR, virtually all of the major machine learning outlets including NIPS, ICML, ICLR, COLT, UAI, and AISTATS make no charge for access to or publication of papers.
In the light of this, and the recent announcement by Nature Publishing Group of a new closed-access journal, "Nature Machine Intelligence", the following list of researchers hereby state that they will not submit to, review, or edit for this new journal.
We see no role for closed access or author-fee publication in the future of machine learning research and believe the adoption of this new journal as an outlet of record for the machine learning community would be a retrograde step. In contrast, we would welcome new zero-cost open access journals and conferences in artificial intelligence and machine learning.