Sunday, May 3, 2009

Merck, Elsevier and Dishonesty in Science

The drug giant Merck and the publishing giant Elsevier apparently colluded to defraud the public by publishing a fake journal that only contained "articles" that were summaries of or full "papers" that cast Merck in a positive light.

I don't think there's much that can be said that hasn't already.

I'll be doing my best not to publish in any Elsevier journal from now on; I don't know if I can avoid it (they're everywhere), but...ugh. What disgusting behavior.


Grumpator said...

Open Access journals, baby!

I am Moses. said...

That's all fine and dandy to say, but when there are a total of one or two OA journals in my field, and nobody submits or subscribes to them, my career isn't likely to benefit from using them as my sole publication medium.

OA journals also suffer from a similar problem: who funds them? If it's the authors, then that means a much higher cost to publish. If it's an outside group, then the potential for fraud is higher.

As you should know, I'm very pro-OA, but it is extremely difficult to use them as a post-doc; I had the opportunity to publish my last journal article in an OA fashion, but the cost was five times that of going through a closed source publication. I don't have that kind of grant money. :(

Grumpator said...

It's true that OA has taken off more for some fields than others, but you might be surprised on how many journals there are. I checked the Directory of Open Access Journals for Astronomy and there are 16 titles. You can also check the SHERPA/RoMEO project by journal title.