May 2009 Archives

I love Seed Magazine's Science Blogs. But today I really love it:

"A new channel makes its debut today on ScienceBlogs: Information Science. Through feedback from the approximately 10,000 librarians who regularly visit ScienceBlogs, we came to realize that information and library scientists are positioned to offer a unique perspective on subjects that are pertinent to all working scientists: Open access and open science; digital and print publishing; information property and ownership, and more. Check out the newest bloggers on ScienceBlogs, John Dupuis of Confessions of a Science Librarian and Christina Pikas of Christina's LIS Rant, to get a taste of what the new Information Science channel will be like, or just visit it directly. "

For more on my love of Science Blogs, see my earlier post on Science Blog Aggregators

Elsevier's Publishing Ethics

A few links on the recent Elsevier publishing scandal. Although I have no original comments, I didn't want to let this this ethical issue go unnoticed. Instead, here's the news story coverage that I've been following.

Reporting on an Australian court case involving the health risks of a Merck product, Bob Grant reports the connection to Elsevier:

"Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles--most of which presented data favorable to Merck products--that appeared to act solely as marketing tools with no disclosure of company sponsorship. (see Bob Grant, “Merck published fake journal,” The Scientist 30th April 2009.)

On May 7th, Grant reports 6 journals produced by Elsevier were fake:

"Scientific publishing giant Elsevier put out a total of six publications between 2000 and 2005 that were sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies and looked like peer reviewed medical journals, but did not disclose sponsorship, the company has admitted."(see full story Bob Grant, “Elsevier Published 6 Fake Journals.” The Scientist, May 7, 2009).

Further coverage in The Guardian includes this comment:

"Elsevier chief executive, Michael Hansen, has now admitted that they were made to look like journals, and lacked proper disclosure. "This was an unacceptable practice and we regret that it took place," he said." (see full story Ben Goldacre, "The danger of drugs … and data" The Guardian, Saturday 9 May 2009 )

Finally, here is Elsevier's posted press release in response, saying:

"We are currently conducting an internal review but believe this was an isolated practice from a past period in time. It does not reflect the way we operate today. The individuals involved in the project have long since left the company. I have affirmed our business practices as they relate to what defines a journal and the proper use of disclosure language with our employees to ensure this does not happen again."

Publishing Contracts Workshop

"Case studies in publishing: Your choices in journal contracts"

In this 1-hour workshop, designated by OVPR to satisfy the
Awareness/Discussion component of the RCR continuing education
requirement, participants will work through two common decision points
raised by journal article contracts. Relevant context will be provided
on academic publishing issues such as copyright and author's rights,
cultural and economic norms, and promotion & tenure implications.
Practical strategies and helpful tools will be discussed.

Offered at

  • 3:30pm, May 13 in Walter Library First Floor, and
  • 9:00am, May 26 in Bio-Medical Library, Room 555.

Register at