Elsevier’s Ethics Problem Goes Way Deeper

Elsevier it appears, was even less ethical, if you can imagine it:

In a statement to The Scientist magazine, Elsevier at first said the company “does not today consider a compilation of reprinted articles a ‘journal’”. I would like to expand on this ¬≠statement: It was a collection of academic journal articles, published by the academic journal publisher Elsevier, in an academic ¬≠journal-shaped package. Perhaps if it wasn’t an academic journal they could have made this clearer in the title which, I should have mentioned, was named: The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine.

Things have deteriorated since. It turns out that Elsevier put out six such journals, sponsored by industry. The 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.

The pharmaceutical industry, and publishers, as we have repeatedly seen, have serious difficulties in living up to the high standards needed in this field, and bad information in the medical literature leads doctors to make irrational prescribing decisions, which ultimately can cost lives, and cause unnecessary suffering, not to mention the expense.

Wonder how much of a discount our Elsevier rep will give us if we threaten to cancel?

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