Rofecoxib/ˌrɒfˈkɒksɪb/ is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has now been withdrawn over safety concerns. It was marketed by Merck & Co. to treat osteoarthritis, acute pain conditions, and dysmenorrhea. Rofecoxib was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 20, 1999, and was marketed under the brand namesVioxx, Ceoxx, and Ceeoxx.

Rofecoxib gained widespread acceptance among physicians treating patients with arthritis and other conditions causing chronic or acute pain. Worldwide, over 80 million people were prescribed rofecoxib at some time.[1]

On September 30, 2004, Merck withdrew rofecoxib from the market because of concerns about increased risk of heart attack and stroke associated with long-term, high-dosage use. Merck withdrew the drug after disclosures that it withheld information about rofecoxib’s risks from doctors and patients for over five years, resulting in between 88,000 and 140,000 cases of serious heart disease.[2] Rofecoxib was one of the most widely used drugs ever to be withdrawn from the market. In the year before withdrawal, Merck had sales revenue of US$2.5 billion from Vioxx.[3] Merck reserved $970 million to pay for its Vioxx-related legal expenses through 2007, and has set aside $4.85bn for legal claims from US citizens.

Rofecoxib was available on prescription in both tablet-form and as an oral suspension. It was available by injection for hospital use.

Mode of action[edit]

See also: Cyclooxygenase

Cyclooxygenase (COX) has two well-studied isoforms, called COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 mediates the synthesis ofprostaglandins responsible for protection of the stomach lining, while COX-2 mediates the synthesis of prostaglandins responsible for pain and inflammation. By creating “selective” NSAIDs that inhibit COX-2, but not COX-1, the same pain relief as traditional NSAIDs is offered, but with greatly reduced risk of fatal or debilitating peptic ulcers. Rofecoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor, or “coxib”.

Others include Merck’s etoricoxib (Arcoxia), Pfizer’s celecoxib (Celebrex) and valdecoxib (Bextra). Interestingly, at the time of its withdrawal, rofecoxib was the only coxib with clinical evidence of its superior gastrointestinal adverse effect profile over conventional NSAIDs. This was largely based on the VIGOR (Vioxx GI Outcomes Research) study, which compared the efficacy and adverse effect profiles of rofecoxib and naproxen.[4]

Pharmacokinetics[edit]

The therapeutic recommended dosages were 12.5, 25, and 50 mg with an approximate bioavailability of 93%.[5][6][7] Rofecoxib crossed the placenta and blood–brain barrier,[5][6][8] and took 1–3 hours to reach peak plasma concentration with an effective half-life (based on steady-state levels) of approximately 17 hours.[5][7][9] The metabolic products are cis-dihydro and trans-dihydro derivatives of rofecoxib[5][9] which are primarily excreted through urine.

Fabricated efficacy studies[edit]

On March 11, 2009, Scott S. Reuben, former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., revealed that data for 21 studies he had authored for the efficacy of the drug (along with others such as celecoxib) had been fabricated in order to augment the analgesic effects of the drugs. There is no evidence that Reuben colluded with Merck in falsifying his data. Reuben was also a former paid spokesperson for the drug company Pfizer (which owns the intellectual property rights for marketing celecoxib in the United States). The retracted studies were not submitted to either the FDA or the European Union’s regulatory agencies prior to the drug’s approval. Drug manufacturer Merck had no comment on the disclosure.[10]

Side effects[edit]

VIOXX sample blister pack.jpg

Aside from the reduced incidence of gastric ulceration, rofecoxib exhibits a similar adverse effect profile to other NSAIDs.

Prostaglandin is a large family of lipids. Prostaglandin I2/PGI2/prostacyclin is just one member of it. Prostaglandins other than PGI2 (such as PGE2) also play important roles in vascular tone regulation. Prostacyclin/thromboxane are produced by both COX-1 and COX-2, and rofecoxib suppresses just COX-2 enzyme, so there is no reason to believe that prostacyclin levels are significantly reduced by the drug. And there is no reason to believe that only the balance between quantities of prostacyclin and thromboxane is the determinant factor for vascular tone.[11] Indeed, Merck has stated that there was no effect on prostacyclin production in blood vessels in animal testing.[12] Other researchers have speculated that the cardiotoxicity may be associated with maleic anhydride metabolites formed when rofecoxib becomes ionized under physiological conditions. (Reddy & Corey, 2005)

Heart and blood vessels[edit]

VIGOR study and publishing controversy[edit]

The VIGOR (Vioxx GI Outcomes Research) study, conducted by Bombardier, et al., which compared the efficacy and adverse effect profiles of rofecoxib and naproxen, had indicated a significant 4-fold increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) in rofecoxib patients when compared with naproxen patients (0.4% vs 0.1%, RR 0.25) over the 12-month span of the study. The elevated risk began during the second month on rofecoxib. There was no significant difference in the mortality from cardiovascular events between the two groups, nor was there any significant difference in the rate of myocardial infarction between the rofecoxib and naproxen treatment groups in patients without high cardiovascular risk. The difference in overall risk was by the patients at higher risk of heart attack, i.e. those meeting the criteria for low-dose aspirin prophylaxis of secondary cardiovascular events (previous myocardial infarction, angina, cerebrovascular accident, transient ischemic attack, or coronary artery bypass).

Merck’s scientists interpreted the finding as a protective effect of naproxen, telling the FDA that the difference in heart attacks “is primarily due to” this protective effect.[13] Some commentators have noted that naproxen would have to be three times as effective as aspirin to account for all of the difference,[14] and some outside scientists warned Merck that this claim was implausible before VIGOR was published.[15] No evidence has since emerged for such a large cardioprotective effect of naproxen, although a number of studies have found protective effects similar in size to those of aspirin.[16][17] Though Dr. Topol’s 2004 paper criticized Merck’s naproxen hypothesis, he himself co-authored a 2001 JAMA article stating “because of the evidence for an antiplatelet effect of naproxen, it is difficult to assess whether the difference in cardiovascular event rates in VIGOR was due to a benefit from naproxen or to a prothrombotic effect from rofecoxib.” (Mukherjee, Nissen and Topol, 2001.)

The results of the VIGOR study were submitted to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2001. In September 2001, the FDA sent a warning letter to the CEO of Merck, stating, “Your promotional campaign discounts the fact that in the VIGOR study, patients on Vioxx were observed to have a four to five fold increase in myocardial infarctions (MIs) compared to patients on the comparator non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Naprosyn (naproxen).”[18] This led to the introduction, in April 2002, of warnings on Vioxx labeling concerning the increased risk of cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke).

Months after the preliminary version of VIGOR was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the journal editors learned that certain data reported to the FDA were not included in the NEJM article. Several years later, when they were shown a Merck memo during the depositions for the first federal Vioxx trial, they realized that these data had been available to the authors months before publication. The editors wrote an editorial accusing the authors of deliberately withholding the data.[19] They released the editorial to the media on December 8, 2005, before giving the authors a chance to respond. NEJM editor Gregory Curfman explained that the quick release was due to the imminent presentation of his deposition testimony, which he feared would be misinterpreted in the media. He had earlier denied any relationship between the timing of the editorial and the trial. Although his testimony was not actually used in the December trial, Curfman had testified well before the publication of the editorial.[20]

The editors charged that “more than four months before the article was published, at least two of its authors were aware of critical data on an array of adverse cardiovascular events that were not included in the VIGOR article.” These additional data included three additional heart attacks, and raised the relative risk of Vioxx from 4.25-fold to 5-fold. All the additional heart attacks occurred in the group at low risk of heart attack (the “aspirin not indicated” group) and the editors noted that the omission “resulted in the misleading conclusion that there was a difference in the risk of myocardial infarction between the aspirin indicated and aspirin not indicated groups.” The relative risk for myocardial infarctions among the aspirin not indicated patients increased from 2.25 to 3 (although it remained statitistically insignificant). The editors also noted a statistically significant (2-fold) increase in risk for serious thromboembolic events for this group, an outcome that Merck had not reported in the NEJM, though it had disclosed that information publicly in March 2000, eight months before publication.[21]

The authors of the study, including the non-Merck authors, responded by claiming that the three additional heart attacks had occurred after the prespecified cutoff date for data collection and thus were appropriately not included. (Utilizing the prespecified cutoff date also meant that an additional stroke in the naproxen population was not reported.) Furthermore, they said that the additional data did not qualitatively change any of the conclusions of the study, and the results of the full analyses were disclosed to the FDA and reflected on the Vioxx warning label. They further noted that all of the data in the “omitted” table were printed in the text of the article. The authors stood by the original article.[22]

NEJM stood by its editorial, noting that the cutoff date was never mentioned in the article, nor did the authors report that the cutoff for cardiovascular adverse events was before that for gastrointestinal adverse events. The different cutoffs increased the reported benefits of Vioxx (reduced stomach problems) relative to the risks (increased heart attacks).[21]

Some scientists have accused the NEJM editorial board of making unfounded accusations.[23][24] Others have applauded the editorial. Renowned research cardiologist Eric Topol,[25] a prominent Merck critic, accused Merck of “manipulation of data” and said “I think now the scientific misconduct trial is really fully backed up”.[26] Phil Fontanarosa, executive editor of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, welcomed the editorial, saying “this is another in the long list of recent examples that have generated real concerns about trust and confidence in industry-sponsored studies”.[27]

On May 15, 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that a late night email, written by an outside public relations specialist and sent to Journal staffers hours before the Expression of Concern was released, predicted that “the rebuke would divert attention to Merck and induce the media to ignore the New England Journal of Medicines own role in aiding Vioxx sales.”[28]

“Internal emails show the New England Journal’s expression of concern was timed to divert attention from a deposition in which Executive Editor Gregory Curfman made potentially damaging admissions about the journal’s handling of the Vioxx study. In the deposition, part of the Vioxx litigation, Dr. Curfman acknowledged that lax editing might have helped the authors make misleading claims in the article.” The Journal stated that NEJMs “ambiguous” language misled reporters into incorrectly believing that Merck had deleted data regarding the three additional heart attacks, rather than a blank table that contained no statistical information; “the New England Journal says it didn’t attempt to have these mistakes corrected.”[28]

Alzheimer’s disease[edit]

In 2000 and 2001, Merck conducted several studies of rofecoxib aimed at determining if the drug slowed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Merck has placed great emphasis on these studies on the grounds that they are relatively large (almost 3000 patients) and compared rofecoxib to a placebo rather than to another pain reliever. These studies found an elevated death rate among rofecoxib patients, although the deaths were not generally heart-related. However, they did not find any elevated cardiovascular risk due to rofecoxib.[29] Before 2004, Merck cited these studies as providing evidence, contrary to VIGOR, of rofecoxib’s safety.

APPROVe study[edit]

In 2001, Merck commenced the APPROVe (Adenomatous Polyp PRevention On Vioxx) study, a three-year trial with the primary aim of evaluating the efficacy of rofecoxib for the prophylaxis of colorectal polyps. Celecoxib had already been approved for this indication, and it was hoped to add this to the indications for rofecoxib as well. An additional aim of the study was to further evaluate the cardiovascular safety of rofecoxib.

The APPROVe study was terminated early when the preliminary data from the study showed an increased relative risk of adverse thrombotic cardiovascular events (including heart attack and stroke), beginning after 18 months of rofecoxib therapy. In patients taking rofecoxib, versus placebo, the relative risk of these events was 1.92 (rofecoxib 1.50 events vs placebo 0.78 events per 100 patient years). The results from the first 18 months of the APPROVe study did not show an increased relative risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Moreover, overall and cardiovascular mortality rates were similar between the rofecoxib and placebo populations.[30]

In summary, the APPROVe study suggested that long-term use of rofecoxib resulted in nearly twice the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke compared to patients receiving a placebo.

Other studies[edit]

Pre-approval Phase III clinical trials, like the APPROVe study, showed no increased relative risk of adverse cardiovascular events for the first eighteen months of rofecoxib usage (Merck, 2004). Others have pointed out that “study 090,” a pre-approval trial, showed a 3-fold increase in cardiovascular events compared to placebo, a 7-fold increase compared to nabumetone (another [NSAID]), and an 8-fold increase in heart attacks and strokes combined compared to both control groups.[13][31] Although this was a relatively small study and only the last result was statistically significant, critics have charged that this early finding should have prompted Merck to quickly conduct larger studies of rofecoxib’s cardiovascular safety. Merck notes that it had already begun VIGOR at the time Study 090 was completed. Although VIGOR was primarily designed to demonstrate new uses for rofecoxib, it also collected data on adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Several very large observational studies have also found elevated risk of heart attack from rofecoxib. For example, a recent retrospective study of 113,000 elderly Canadians suggested a borderline statistically significant increased relative risk of heart attacks of 1.24 from Vioxx usage, with a relative risk of 1.73 for higher-dose Vioxx usage. (Levesque, 2005). Another study, using Kaiser Permanente data, found a 1.47 relative risk for low-dose Vioxx usage and 3.58 for high-dose Vioxx usage compared to current use of celecoxib, though the smaller number was not statistically significant, and relative risk compared to other populations was not statistically significant. (Graham, 2005).

Furthermore, a more recent meta-study of 114 randomized trials with a total of 116,000+ participants, published in JAMA, showed that Vioxx uniquely increased risk of renal (kidney) disease, and heart arrhythmia.[32]

Other COX-2 inhibitors[edit]

Any increased risk of renal and arrhythmia pathologies associated with the class of COX-2 inhibitors, e.g. celecoxib (Celebrex), valdecoxib (Bextra), parecoxib(Dynastat), lumiracoxib, and etoricoxib is not evident,[32] although smaller studies[33][34] had demonstrated such effects earlier with the use of celecoxib, valdecoxib and parecoxib.

Nevertheless, it is likely that trials of newer drugs in the category will be extended in order to supply additional evidence of cardiovascular safety. Examples are some more specific COX-2 inhibitors, including etoricoxib (Arcoxia) and lumiracoxib (Prexige), which are currently (circa 2005) undergoing Phase III/IV clinical trials.

Besides, regulatory authorities worldwide now require warnings about cardiovascular risk of COX-2 inhibitors still on the market. For example, in 2005, EU regulators required the following changes to the product information and/or packaging of all COX-2 inhibitors:[35]

  • Contraindications stating that COX-2 inhibitors must not be used in patients with established ischaemic heart disease and/or cerebrovascular disease (stroke), and also in patients with peripheral arterial disease
  • Reinforced warnings to healthcare professionals to exercise caution when prescribing COX-2 inhibitors to patients with risk factors for heart disease, such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol levels), diabetes and smoking
  • Given the association between cardiovascular risk and exposure to COX-2 inhibitors, doctors are advised to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration of treatment

Other NSAIDs[edit]

Since the withdrawal of Vioxx it has come to light that there may be negative cardiovascular effects with not only other COX-2 inhibitiors, but even the majority of other NSAIDs. It is only with the recent development of drugs like Vioxx that drug companies have carried out the kind of well executed trials that could establish such effects and these sort of trials have never been carried out in older “trusted” NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac and others. The possible exceptions may beaspirin and naproxen due to their anti-platelet aggregation properties.

Withdrawal[edit]

Due to the findings of its own APPROVe study, Merck publicly announced its voluntary withdrawal of the drug from the market worldwide on September 30, 2004.[36]

In addition to its own studies, on September 23, 2004, Merck apparently received information about new research by the FDA that supported previous findings of increased risk of heart attack among rofecoxib users (Grassley, 2004). FDA analysts estimated that Vioxx caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, 30 to 40 percent of which were probably fatal, in the five years the drug was on the market.[37]

On November 5, the medical journal The Lancet published a meta-analysis of the available studies on the safety of rofecoxib (Jüni et al., 2004). The authors concluded that, owing to the known cardiovascular risk, rofecoxib should have been withdrawn several years earlier. The Lancet published an editorial which condemned both Merck and the FDA for the continued availability of rofecoxib from 2000 until the recall.[38] Merck responded by issuing a rebuttal of the Jüni et al.meta-analysis that noted that Jüni omitted several studies that showed no increased cardiovascular risk. (Merck & Co., 2004).

In 2005, advisory panels in both the U.S. and Canada encouraged the return of rofecoxib to the market, stating that rofecoxib’s benefits outweighed the risks for some patients. The FDA advisory panel voted 17-15 to allow the drug to return to the market despite being found to increase heart risk. The vote in Canada was 12-1, and the Canadian panel noted that the cardiovascular risks from rofecoxib seemed to be no worse than those from ibuprofen—though the panel stated that further study was needed for all NSAIDs to fully understand their risk profiles. Notwithstanding these recommendations, Merck has not returned rofecoxib to the market.[39]

In 2005, Merck retained Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate Vioxx study results and communications conducted by Merck. Through the report, it was found that Merck’s senior management acted in good faith, and that the confusion over the clinical safety of Vioxx was due to the sales team’s overzealous behavior. The report that was filed gave a timeline of the events surrounding Vioxx and showed that Merck intended to operate honestly throughout the process. Any mistakes that were made regarding the mishandling of clinical trial results and withholding of information was the result of oversight, not malicious behavior. The Martin Report did conclude that the Merck’s marketing team exaggerated the safety of Vioxx and replaced truthful information with sales tactics.[citation needed] The report was published in February 2006, and Merck was satisfied with the findings of the report and promised to consider the recommendations contained in the Martin Report.

Litigation[edit]

As of March 2006, there had been over 10,000 cases and 190 class actions filed against Merck[citation needed] over adverse cardiovascular events associated with rofecoxib and the adequacy of Merck’s warnings. The first wrongful death trial, Rogers v. Merck, was scheduled in Alabama in the spring of 2005, but was postponed after Merck argued that the plaintiff had falsified evidence of rofecoxib use.[40]

On August 19, 2005, a jury in Texas voted 10-2 to hold Merck liable for the death of Robert Ernst, a 59-year-old man who allegedly died of a rofecoxib-induced heart attack. The plaintiff’s lead attorney was Mark Lanier. Merck argued that the death was due to cardiac arrhythmia, which had not been shown to be associated with rofecoxib use. The jury awarded Carol Ernst, widow of Robert Ernst, $253.4 million in damages. This award will almost certainly be capped at no more than US$26.1 million because of punitive damages limits under Texas law.[41] As of March 2006, the plaintiff had yet to ask the court to enter a judgment on the verdict; Merck has stated that it would appeal.

On November 3, 2005, Merck won the second case Humeston v. Merck, a personal injury case, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The plaintiff experienced a mild myocardial infarction and claimed that rofecoxib was responsible, after having taken it for two months. Merck argued that there was no evidence that rofecoxib was the cause of Humeston’s injury and that there is no scientific evidence linking rofecoxib to cardiac events with short durations of use. The jury ruled that Merck had adequately warned doctors and patients of the drug’s risk.[42]

The first federal trial on rofecoxib, Plunkett v. Merck, began on November 29, 2005 in Houston. The trial ended in a hung jury and a mistrial was declared on December 12, 2005. According to the Wall Street Journal, the jury hung by an eight to one majority, favoring the defense. Upon retrial in February 2006 in New Orleans, where the Vioxx multidistrict litigation (MDL) is based, a jury found Merck not liable, even though the plaintiffs had the NEJM editor testify as to his objections to the VIGOR study.

On January 30, 2006, a New Jersey state court dismissed a case brought by Edgar Lee Boyd, who blamed Vioxx for gastrointestinal bleeding that he experienced after taking the drug. The judge said that Boyd failed to prove the drug caused his stomach pain and internal bleeding.

In January 2006, Garza v. Merck began trial in Rio Grande City, Texas. The plaintiff, a 71-year-old smoker with heart disease, had a fatal heart attack three weeks after finishing a one-week sample of rofecoxib. On April 21, 2006 the jury awarded the plaintiff $7 million compensatory and $25 million punitive. The Texas state court of appeals in San Antonio later ruled Garza’s fatal heart attack probably resulted from pre-existing health conditions unrelated to his taking of Vioxx, thus reversing the $32 million jury award.[43]

On April 5, 2006, the jury held Merck liable for the heart attack of 77-year-old John McDarby, and awarded Mr McDarby $4.5 million in compensatory damages based on Merck’s failure to properly warn of Vioxx safety risks. After a hearing on April 11, 2006, the jury also awarded Mr McDarby an additional $9 million in punitive damages. The same jury found Merck not liable for the heart attack of 60-year-old Thomas Cona, a second plaintiff in the trial, but was liable for fraud in the sale of the drug to Cona.

In March 2010, an Australian class-action lawsuit against Merck ruled that Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attacks, and that Merck had breached the Trade Practices Act by selling a drug which was unfit for sale.[44]

In 2010, the national US case against Vioxx and Merck was resolved with a $4.85 billion settlement.[45] After the settlement, the lawyers for the case disputed the $315 million awarded in legal fees.[45][46] Ultimately, the judge determined how the fees would be awarded to the plaintiff’s attorneys.[47] The judge additionally ordered the plaintiff lawyers to cap their fees at 32% of the settlement amount.[48]

The above dispute over lawyer fees has caused scholars and observers to consider tort reform throughout the country. Articles on the subject include The Vioxx Litigation: A Critical Look at Trial Tactics, the Tort System, and the Roles of Lawyers in Mass Tort Litigation[49] and 10 Years of Tort Reform in Texas Bring Fewer Suits, Lower Payouts.[50]

In November 2011, Merck announced a civil settlement with the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and individually with 43 US states and the District of Columbia, to resolve civil claims relating to Vioxx.[51] Under the terms of the settlement, Merck agreed to pay two-thirds of a previously recorded $950 million reserve charge in exchange for release from civil liability. Litigation with seven additional states remains outstanding. Under separate criminal proceedings, Merck pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge relating to the marketing of the drug across state lines, incurring a fine of $321.6 million.[52]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsevier#Sponsored_journals

[edit]

At a 2009 court case in Australia where Merck & Co. was being sued by a user of Vioxx, the plaintiff alleged that Merck had paid Elsevier to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewedacademic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs.[48][49][50][51] Merck described the journal as a “complimentary publication,” denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck, and stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.[52] In May 2009, Elsevier Health Sciences CEO Hansen released a statement regarding Australia-based sponsored journals, conceding that they were “sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures.” The statement acknowledged that it “was an unacceptable practice.”[53]The Scientist reported that, according to an Elsevier spokesperson, six sponsored publications “were put out by their Australia office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint from 2000 to 2005,” namely theAustralasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (Australas. J. Bone Joint Med.), the Australasian Journal of General Practice (Australas. J. Gen. Pract.), theAustralasian Journal of Neurology (Australas. J. Neurol.), the Australasian Journal of Cardiology (Australas. J. Cardiol.), the Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (Australas. J. Clin. Pharm.), and the Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (Australas. J. Cardiovasc. Med.).[54] Excerpta Medica was a “strategic medical communications agency” run by Elsevier, according to the imprint’s web page.[55] In October 2010, Excerpta Medica was acquired by Adelphi Worldwide.[56]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australasian_Journal_of_Bone_%26_Joint_Medicine

The Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine (originally titled the Australasian Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine[1]) was a periodical presented in the style of a scientific journal, published by Elsevier but established and funded by pharmaceutical company Merck. Publication began in 2002,[1] and the last issue appeared in 2005.[2][3]According to The Scientist:

Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of [Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine], 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.[4][5]

The publication was not included in the MEDLINE literature database and did not have its own website.[6]

In May 2009, Elsevier admitted that a series of similar industry sponsored publications had been produced, and that “high standards for disclosure were not followed in this instance”.[3] In a formal statement, the CEO of Elsevier’s Health Sciences Division, Michael Hansen, admitted that the practice was “unacceptable”, and expressed regret for the publications.[7] Merck has denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck and has stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewedmedical journals.[8]

Several medical experts stated that their names were included in the Honorary Editorial Board of the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine without their knowledge and consent.[9][10]

There were six such “industry-sponsored” publications brought out by Elsevier without proper disclosure of their nature, and which had the superficial appearance of a legitimate independent journal.[11][12] The six publications involved were

  • Australasian Journal of General Practice
  • Australasian Journal of Neurology
  • Australasian Journal of Cardiology
  • Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine.”. Catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  2. Jump up^ “Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine.”. Catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Salamander Davoudi; Andrew Jack (May 6, 2009). “Elsevier admits journal error”. Financial Times (London). ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  4. Jump up^ Lamb, Tom (Apr 30, 2009). “The Tale Of Merck’s Fake Medical Journal As Told At A Vioxx Trial In Australia”. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  5. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (Apr 30, 2009). “Merck published fake journal”. The Scientist.Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  6. Jump up^ Johnson, Summer (May 1, 2009). “Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal”. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  7. Jump up^ “Statement From Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier’s Health Sciences Division, Regarding Australia Based Sponsored Journal Practices Between 2000 And 2005” (Press release). Elsevier. May 7, 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009. It has recently come to my attention that from 2000 to 2005, our Australia office published a series of sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures. This was an unacceptable practice, and we regret that it took place.
  8. Jump up^ “Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal” (PDF) (Press release). Merck & Co. Apr 30, 2009.Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 December 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  9. Jump up^ Aussie Civil Suit Uncovers Fake Medical Journals. ABCNews, May 14, 2009. Accessed January 5, 2010
  10. Jump up^ Doctor not told about Vioxx ‘role’. The Australian, May 9, 2009. Accessed January 5, 2010
  11. Jump up^ Goldacre, Ben (May 9, 2009). “The danger of drugs … and data”. The Guardian (London). ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved Nov 20, 2009.
  12. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (May 7, 2009). “Elsevier published 6 fake journals”. The Scientist. Retrieved Nov

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who%27s_Afraid_of_Peer_Review%3F

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?” is an article written by Science correspondent John Bohannon that describes his investigation ofpeer review among fee-charging open access journals. Between January and August 2013, Bohannon submitted fake scientific papers to 304 journals owned by as many fee-charging open access publishers. The papers were designed with such grave and obvious scientific flaws that they should have been rapidly rejected by editors and peer reviewers, but 60% of the journals accepted them. The article and all of the associated data were published in the 4 October 2013 issue of Science as open access.[2][3]

Background[edit]

The first fee-charging open access scientific journals began appearing in 2000 with the creation of BioMed Central and then the Public Library of Science. Rather than deriving their revenue from subscription fees, fee-charging open access journals charge the authors (or their funders) a publication fee. The published papers are then freely available on the internet. This business model, gold open access, is one of several solutions devised to make open access publishing sustainable.[4]The number of articles published open access, or made freely available after some time behind a paywall (delayed open access), has grown rapidly. In 2013 more than half of the scientific papers published in 2011 were available for free.[5]

In part because of the low barrier to entry into this market, as well as the fast and potentially large return on investment, many so-called “predatory publishers” have created low-quality journals that provide little to no peer review or editorial control, essentially publishing every submitted article as long as the publication fee is paid. Some of these publishers additionally deceive authors about publication fees, use the names of scientists as editors and reviewers without their knowledge, and/or obfuscate the true location and identity of the publishers.[6] The prevalence of these deceptive publishers, and what the scientific community should do about them, has been hotly debated.[7]

Methods[edit]

Fake papers[edit]

Bohannon used Python to create a “scientific version of Mad Libs.”[2][8] The paper’s template is “Molecule X from lichen species Y inhibits the growth of cancer cell Z.” He created a database of molecules, lichens, and cancer cells to substitute for X, Y, and Z. The data and conclusions were identical in every paper. The authors and their affiliations were also unique, and fake. The papers all described the discovery of a new cancer drug extracted from a lichen, but the data did not support that conclusion and the papers purposely had obvious flaws.[9][10]

Publisher targets[edit]

To build a comprehensive list of fee-charging open access publishers, Bohannon relied on two sources: Beall’s List of predatory publishers and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). After filtering both lists for open access journals published in English, that charge authors a publication fee, and that have at least one medical, biological, or chemical journal, the list of targets included 304 publishers: 167 from the DOAJ, 121 from Beall’s list, and 16 that were listed by both. The investigation focused entirely on fee-charging open access journals. Bohannon did not include other types of open access journals or subscription journals for comparison because the turnaround time for reviews in traditional journals is too long. The study consequently makes no claim about the relative quality of the different types of journals.[11]

Results[edit]

Acceptance versus rejection[edit]

In total, 157 of the journals accepted the paper and 98 rejected it, with the rest not having completed their evaluation by the time Bohannon wrote his article.[2] Of the 255 papers that underwent the entire peer review process to acceptance or rejection, about 60% of the final decisions occurred with no sign of actual peer review. Only 36 submissions generated review comments recognizing any of the paper’s scientific problems. 16 of those 36 papers were nonetheless accepted, in spite of poor to damning reviews. Many of the journals that accepted the paper are published by prestigious institutions and publishing companies, including Elsevier, Sage,Wolters Kluwer (through its subsidiary Medknow), and several universities.[2]

Among those that rejected the paper are journals published by PLOS, BioMed Central, and Hindawi. The peer review provided by PLOS ONE was reported to be the most rigorous of all, and it was the only journal that identified the paper’s ethical problems, for example the lack of documentation of how animals were treated in the creation of the cancer cell lines.[2]

DOAJ versus Beall’s List[edit]

Among the publishers on Beall’s List that completed the review process, 82% accepted the paper. Bohannon stated “the results show that Beall is good at spotting publishers with poor quality control.” According to Jeffrey Beall, who created the list, this supports his claim to be identifying “predatory” publishers.[12] However the remaining 18% of publishers identified by Beall as predatory rejected the fake paper, leading science communicator Phil Davis to state “That means that Beall is falsely accusing nearly one in five”.[13] Poor quality control, however, is just one of several potential motives for inclusion in Beall’s list.[14]

Among the DOAJ publishers that completed the review process, 45% accepted the paper.[13] According to a statement published on the DOAJ website, new criteria for inclusion in the DOAJ are being implemented.[15]

Global map of journal fraud[edit]

Along with the report, Science published a map that shows the location of publishers, editors, and their bank accounts, color-coded by acceptance or rejection of the paper. The locations were derived from IP address traces within the raw headers of e-mails, WHOIS registrations, and bank invoices for publication fees. India emerged as the world’s largest base for fee-charging open access publishing (64 publishers), and over 90% of them accepted the paper. The United States is the next largest base, with 29 publishers accepting the paper and 26 rejecting it. In Africa, Nigeria has the largest number, of which 100% accepted the paper.[16]

Responses[edit]

Responses from the open access academic publishing industry[edit]

Since the story was released, publishers of three journals have stated that they are shutting them down.[17] The DOAJ is reviewing its list and instituting tighter criteria for inclusion.[18] The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) formed a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the acceptance of the fake paper by three of its members.[19] On 11 November 2013, OASPA terminated the membership of two publishers (Dove Medical Press and Hikari Ltd.) who accepted the fake paper. Sage Publications, which also accepted a fake paper, was put “under review” for 6 months.[20] Sage announced in a statement that it was reviewing the journal that accepted the fake paper, but that it would not shut it down.[21] Sage’s membership was reinstated at the end of the review period following changes to the journal’s editorial processes.[22]

Responses from the scientific community[edit]

Within hours of its publication, the Science investigation came under intense criticism by some supporters of the open access movement.[23][24]

The first substantial critique was posted by PLOS cofounder Michael Eisen on his blog. “To suggest – as Science (though not Bohannon) are trying to do – that the problem with scientific publishing is that open access enables internet scamming is like saying that the problem with the international finance system is that it enables Nigerian wire transfer scams. There are deep problems with science publishing. But the way to fix this is not to curtail open access publishing. It is to fix peer review.”[25] Eisen pointed out the irony of a subscription-based journal like Science publishing this report when its own peer review has failed so badly before, as in the 2010 publication of the arsenic DNA paper. The failings of that paper, however, did not come close to the obviousness level of the lichen cancer cure manuscript(s)[citation needed].

In an exchange between Eisen and Bohannon in a discussion hosted by Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Eisen criticized the investigation for the bad publicity it generated for the open access movement.[26] “Your study exclusively targeted open access journals – [which] strongly suggested, whether you meant to suggest this or not, that open access journals are more likely to engage in shoddy peer review and therefore more deserving of scrutiny.” Bohannon responded that this critique was equivalent to “shooting the messenger“.

There have also been many statements of support for the investigation,[27][28][29] and statements of concern about the publishing fraud that it revealed.[30][31][32] TheCommittee on Publication Ethics has responded that “There is no doubt that this ‘sting’ raises a number of issues … though I’d argue they are not necessarily the ones that Science thinks are top priorities.”[33]

Implications[edit]

Some scientists have discussed a number of options for making peer review more transparent.[34] Doing so would make it harder to maintain a predatory journal that does no peer review, because the record of peer review would be lacking or would need to be faked.[35] Another option is to more rigorously vet journals, for example by further empowering DOAJ or OASPA. DOAJ has recently tightened up its inclusion criteria, with the purpose of serving as a whitelist, very much like Beall’s has been a blacklist.[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Paper 1 in the data supplement for Bohannon 2013.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”. Science 342(6154): 60–65. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60. PMID 24092725. Retrieved20 October 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review: Data and Documents”.Science 342 (6154): 60–5. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60.PMID 24092725.
  4. Jump up^ Suber, Peter. “Open Access Overview”. Earlham College. Retrieved21 October 2013.
  5. Jump up^ Van Noorden, Richard (20 August 2013). “Half of 2011 papers now free to read”. Nature 500 (7463): 386–387. doi:10.1038/500386a. ISSN 0028-0836.PMID 23969438.
  6. Jump up^ Knox, Richard (3 October 2013). “Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee”. NPR. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  7. Jump up^ Butler, Declan (27 March 2013). “Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing”. Nature 495 (7442): 433–435. doi:10.1038/495433a. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 23538810.
  8. Jump up^ Koebler, Jason. “Inside Science Magazine’s ‘Sting’ of Open Access Journals”. Motherboard. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  9. Jump up^ “Science’s Sokal moment”. The Economist. 5 October 2013. Retrieved20 October 2013.
  10. Jump up^ Vergano, Dan (3 October 2013). “Fake Cancer Study Spotlights Bogus Science Journals”. National Geographic. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  11. Jump up^ Oransky, Ivan. “Science reporter spoofs hundreds of open access journals with fake papers”. Retraction Watch. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  12. Jump up^ Beall, Jeffrey. “Science Magazine Conducts Sting Operation on OA Publishers”. Scholarly Open Access. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b Davis, Phil. “Open Access “Sting” Reveals Deception, Missed Opportunities”. The Scholarly Kitchen.
  14. Jump up^ “Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers” (PDF).
  15. Jump up^ “DOAJ’s response to the recent article in Science entitled “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?””. Directory of Open Access Journals. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  16. Jump up^ “Peer review map”. Science. AAAS. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Oransky, Ivan (17 October 2013). “Fallout from Science’s publisher sting: Journal closes in Croatia”. Retraction Watch.
  18. Jump up^ “Second response to the Bohannon article”. Directory of Open Access Journals. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 21 October2013.
  19. Jump up^ Redhead, Claire. “OASPA’s response to the recent article in Science entitled “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?””. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  20. Jump up^ “OASPA’s second statement following the article in Science entitled “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?””. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  21. Jump up^ Gamboa, Camille. “Statement by SAGE on the Journal of International Medical Research”. Sage. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  22. Jump up^ Shaffi, Sarah (29 April 2014). “OASPA reinstates Sage membership”. The Bookseller. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  23. Jump up^ Basken, Paul (4 October 2013). “Critics Say Sting on Open-Access Journals Misses Larger Point”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 20 October2013.
  24. Jump up^ Davis, Philip. “Post Open Access Sting: An Interview With John Bohannon”. The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  25. Jump up^ Eisen, Michael. “I confess, I wrote the Arsenic DNA paper to expose flaws in peer-review at subscription based journals”. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  26. Jump up^ Peter Suber. “New “sting” of weak open-access journals.”.
  27. Jump up^ Yirka, Bob. “Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards of many open-access journals”. Phys.org. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  28. Jump up^ Klimas, Liz. “Science ‘Sting Operation’: The Stunning Percentage of Science Journals That Accepted a Completely Bogus Study”. The Blaze. Retrieved20 October 2013.
  29. Jump up^ Davis, Phil. “Open Access “Sting” Reveals Deception, Missed Opportunities”. The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  30. Jump up^ Tatalović, Mićo. “Sting exposes ‘wild west’ of open-access publishing”. Scidev.net. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  31. Jump up^ Mudur, G S (3 October 2013). “Dubious journal fear stalks India”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  32. Jump up^ Shieber, Stuart. “Lessons from the faux journal investigation”. Harvard Law School. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  33. Jump up^ “COPE response to Science paper submission of fake paper, by Virginia Barbour, on behalf of COPE council”.
  34. Jump up^ “Transparency in peer review”. Nature Materials (Nature) 10 (2): 81. 2011.doi:10.1038/nmat2952. PMID 21258345. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  35. Jump up^ “Is this peer reviewed? Predatory journals and the transparency of peer review.”.
  36. Jump up^ Van Noorden, R. (2014). “Open-access website gets tough”. Nature 512 (7512): 17. doi:10.1038/512017a. PMID 25100463.

External links[edit]

Shill review offer[edit]

According to the BBC, “the firm [Elsevier] offered a £17.25 Amazon voucher to academics who contributed to the textbook Clinical Psychology if they would go onAmazon.com and Barnes & Noble (a large US books retailer) and give it five stars.” Elsevier said that “encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn’t outside the norm in scholarly publishing, nor is it wrong to offer to nominally compensate people for their time. But in all instances the request should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that’s where this particular e-mail went too far”, and that it was a mistake by a marketing employee.[57]

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review[edit]

One of Elsevier’s journals was caught in the sting set-up by John Bohannon, published in Science, called Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?[58] The journal Drug Invention Today accepted an obviously bogus paper made-up by Bohannon that should have been rejected by any good peer review system.[59] Instead, Drug Invention Todaywas among many open access journals that accepted the fake paper for publication. As of 2014, this journal had been transferred to a different publisher.[60]

“The Cost of Knowledge” boycott[edit]

Main article: The Cost of Knowledge

In 2003 various university librarians began coordinating with each other to complain about Elsevier’s “big deal” journal bundling packages, in which the company offered a group of journal subscriptions to libraries at a certain rate, but in which librarians claimed there was no economical option to subscribe to only the popular journals at a rate comparable to the bundled rate.[61] Librarians continued to discuss the implications of the pricing schemes, many feeling pressured into buying the Elsevier packages without other options.[62]

On 21 January 2012, mathematician Timothy Gowers publicly announced he would boycott Elsevier, noting that others in the field have been doing so privately. The three reasons for the boycott are high subscription prices for individual journals, bundling subscriptions to journals of different value and importance, and Elsevier’s support for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act.[63][64][65]

Following this, a petition advocating non-cooperation with Elsevier (that is, not submitting papers to Elsevier journals, not refereeing articles in Elsevier journals, and not participating in journal editorial boards), appeared on the site “The Cost of Knowledge”. By February 2012 this petition had been signed by over 5,000 academics.,[63][64] growing to over 13,000 by January 2013.[66]

Elsevier disputed the claims, arguing that their prices are below the industry average, and stating that bundling is only one of several different options available to buy access to Elsevier journals.[63] The company also claimed that its profit margins are “simply a consequence of the firm’s efficient operation”.[65]

On 27 February 2012, Elsevier issued a statement on its website that declared that it has withdrawn support from the Research Works Act.[67] Although the Cost of Knowledge movement was not mentioned, the statement indicated the hope that the move would “help create a less heated and more productive climate” for ongoing discussions with research funders. Hours after Elsevier’s statement, the sponsors of the bill, US House RepresentativesDarrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney, issued a joint statement saying that they would not push the bill in Congress.[68]

Selling open access articles[edit]

In 2014 Elsevier was found to be selling some articles which should have been open access, but had been put behind a paywall.[69] A related case occurred in 2015, when Elsevier charged for downloading an open access article from a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. However, it was not clear whether Elsevier was in violation of the license under which the article was made available on their website.[70]

Blocking text mining research[edit]

In November 2015 Elsevier blocked a scientist from performing text mining research at scale on Elsevier papers, even though his institution already pays for access to Elsevier journal content.[71][72] Elsevier allows text mining via their corresponding API, but not by the screenscraping method the scientist used.[73]

Imprints[edit]

Imprints are brand names in publishing. Elsevier uses its imprints to market to different consumer segments. Many of them have previously been the company names of publishers that were purchased by Reed Elsevier.

See also[edit]

  • List of Elsevier periodicals
  • 2collab, a free researcher collaboration tool launched by Elsevier in 2007 and discontinued in 2011
  • Sci-Hub, an open-access website providing free access to paywalled academic papers on a massive scale that’s involved in a legal case with Elsevier

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g “2015 RELX Group Annual Report” (PDF). RELX Group Company Reports. RELX Group. March 2016.
  2. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “RELX Group homepage”.
  3. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “Science Direct”.
  4. Jump up^ Lin, Thomas (13 February 2012). “Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher”. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Groen 2007, p. 217.
  6. Jump up^ Gerry van der List, Meer dan een weekblad. De geschiedenis van Elsevier
  7. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Timeline”. http://www.ulib.niu.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Amirtha, Tina. “THE OPEN PUBLISHING REVOLUTION, NOW BEHIND A BILLION-DOLLAR PAYWALL”. Fast Company. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. Jump up^ “When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out”, David Dobbs, The New Yorker, 12 April 2013
  10. Jump up^ “University College London and Elsevier launch UCL Big Data Institute | Elsevier Connect”. Elsevier.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier announces knowledge partnership with University College, London”. The Independent. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.(subscription required (help)).
  12. Jump up^ [1]“. Elsevier.
  13. Jump up^ Health Advance. Elsevier.
  14. Jump up^ “Elsevier Global Conferences”. elsevier.com.
  15. Jump up^ Monbiot, George (29 August 2011). “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”. Guardian.
  16. Jump up^ “Elsevier journals — some facts”. Gowers’s Weblog. 24 April 2014. Retrieved27 July 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Faculty Senate minutes February 19 meeting Stanford Report, 25 February 2004
  18. Jump up^ “Fac Sen addresses costly journals”. The Stanford Daily. 20 February 2004.
  19. Jump up^ Danny Kingsley Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer?, University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication
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  21. Jump up^ EffeDesign. “The EEA’s journal: a brief history”. Eeassoc.org. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  22. Jump up^ “Changes at the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  23. Jump up^ Donald Knuth (25 October 2003). “Letter to the editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 18 February 2008.
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  25. Jump up^ “Journal declarations of independence”. Open Access Directory. Simmons College. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Kyriakides, Stelios; Hills, David A. (1 January 2006). “Editorial”. International Journal of Solids and Structures 43 (1): 1. doi:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2005.11.001.Charles R. Steele succeeded Herrmann as editor in chief in 1985 and served in that capacity until June 2005. During his 20-year tenure the journal grew both in size and in reputation, becoming one of the premier journals in the field. We have accepted an invitation to serve as editors of the journal as of October 1, 2005, being cognizant of the immense contributions, leadership, and high standards exercised by our two predecessors on the way to making IJSS the forum it is today.
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  48. Jump up^ Rout, Milanda (9 April 2009). “Doctors signed Merck’s Vioxx studies”. The Australian. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  49. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (30 April 2009). “Merck published fake journal”. The Scientist. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  50. Jump up^ Hagan, Kate (23 April 2009). “Merck accused of ‘ghost writing’ medical article”. The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  51. Jump up^ Ben Goldacre, “The danger of drugs … and data”, The Guardian, 9 May 2009
  52. Jump up^ “Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal” (PDF) (Press release). Merck & Co. 30 April 2009.
  53. Jump up^ “Statement from Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier’s Health Sciences Division, regarding Australia based sponsored journal practices between 2000 and 2005”(Press release). Elsevier.
  54. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (7 May 2009). “Elsevier published 6 fake journals”. The Scientist.
  55. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica”, official webpage”. Elsevier.
  56. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica Joins Adelphi Worldwide”, press release”. Elsevier.
  57. Jump up^ Finlo Rohrer, “The perils of five-star reviews“, BBC News Magazine, 25 June 2009.
  58. Jump up^ Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”. Science 342 (6154): 60–65. Bibcode:2013Sci…342…60B. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60.PMID 24092725.
  59. Jump up^ Claire Shaw. “Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper”. Theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  60. Jump up^ “Drug Invention Today”. sciencedirect.com.
  61. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 177.
  62. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 180.
  63. ^ Jump up to:a b c Flood, Alison (2 February 2012). “Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  64. ^ Jump up to:a b Fischman, Josh (30 January 2012). “Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
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  66. Jump up^ “thecostofknowledge.com”. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  67. Jump up^ “Elsevier Backs Down as Boycott Grows”. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  68. Jump up^ “Sponsors and Supporters Back Away from Research Works Act”. Retrieved25 August 2014.
  69. Jump up^ Jump, Paul (27 March 2014). “Elsevier: bumps on road to open access”.Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  70. Jump up^ Vollmer, Timothy (13 March 2015). “Are commercial publishers wrongly selling access to openly licensed scholarly articles?”. Creative Commons News. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  71. Jump up^ Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie (20 November 2015). “Text-mining block prompts online response”. Nature 527 (7579): 413–413. doi:10.1038/527413f.
  72. Jump up^ Moody, Glyn. “Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers ‘Could Be Considered’ Stealing”. TechDirt. Retrieved21 November 2015.
  73. Jump up^ A. Wise, 2015-11-17, Elsevier stopped me doing my research – Comment by Dr Alicia Wise

Sources[edit]

  • Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-8108-52723.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123672510903888207.html?mod=loomia&loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r1:c0.0270612:b22894832

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  28. ^ Jump up to:a b David Armstrong (2006-05-15). “How the New England Journal Missed Warning Signs on Vioxx”. Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  29. Jump up^ Konstam, M. A.; Weir, M. R.; Reicin, A.; Shapiro, D.; Sperling, R. S.; Barr, E.; Gertz, B. J. (2001). “Cardiovascular thrombotic events in controlled, clinical trials of rofecoxib”. Circulation 104 (19): 2280–2288. doi:10.1161/hc4401.100078.PMID 11696466.
  30. Jump up^ Bresalier, R.; Sandler, R.; Quan, H.; Bolognese, J.; Oxenius, B.; Horgan, K.; Lines, C.; Riddell, R.; Morton, D.; Lanas, A.; Konstam, M. A.; Baron, J. A.; Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on Vioxx (APPROVe) Trial Investigators (2005). “Cardiovascular events associated with rofecoxib in a colorectal adenoma chemoprevention trial”. The New England Journal of Medicine 352 (11): 1092–1102. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa050493. PMID 15713943.
  31. Jump up^ Wolfe, M. M. (2004). “Rofecoxib, Merck, and the FDA”. The New England Journal of Medicine 351 (27): 2875–2878; author 2878 2875–2878.doi:10.1056/NEJM200412303512719. PMID 15625749.
  32. ^ Jump up to:a b Zhang, J.; Ding, E.; Song, Y. (2006). “Adverse effects of cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors on renal and arrhythmia events: meta-analysis of randomized trials”.Journal of the American Medical Association 296 (13): 1619–1632.doi:10.1001/jama.296.13.jrv60015. PMID 16968832.
  33. Jump up^ Solomon, S.; McMurray, J.; Pfeffer, M.; Wittes, J.; Fowler, R.; Finn, P.; Anderson, W.; Zauber, A.; Hawk, E.; Bertagnolli, M.; Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) Study Investigators (2005). “Cardiovascular risk associated with celecoxib in a clinical trial for colorectal adenoma prevention”. The New England Journal of Medicine 352 (11): 1071–1080. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa050405.PMID 15713944.
  34. Jump up^ Nussmeier, N.; Whelton, A.; Brown, M.; Langford, R.; Hoeft, A.; Parlow, J.; Boyce, S.; Verburg, K. (2005). “Complications of the COX-2 inhibitors parecoxib and valdecoxib after cardiac surgery”. The New England Journal of Medicine 352(11): 1081–1091. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa050330. PMID 15713945.
  35. Jump up^ “European Medicines Agency concludes action on COX-2 inhibitors” (pdf). European Medicines Agency. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  36. Jump up^ “Merck Announces Voluntary Worldwide Withdrawal of VIOXX” (pdf). Merck.com. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  37. Jump up^ “Congress Questions Vioxx, FDA”. PBS NewsHour. 2004-11-18. Retrieved2013-06-03.
  38. Jump up^ [9][dead link]
  39. Jump up^ “SUMMARY: Report of the Expert Advisory Panel on the Safety of Cox-2 Selective Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)”. Health Canada. 2005-07-06. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  40. Jump up^ Berenson, Alex (13 April 2005). “Merck Asks for a Dismissal in First of Suits Over Vioxx”. The New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  41. Jump up^ “Jury finds Merck liable in landmark Vioxx case”. msnbc.com. Retrieved4 January 2015.
  42. Jump up^ [10] Archived September 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  43. Jump up^ “Merck Wins Reversal of Jury’s $32 Million Vioxx Award (Update3)”. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  44. Jump up^ “Drug unfit for sale, says judge in compo case”. The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  45. ^ Jump up to:a b “$315M FEE ALLOCATION DISPUTE IN VIOXX CLASS ACTION – The NALFA”. Thenalfa.org. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  46. Jump up^ Dionne Searcey (3 March 2011). “The Vioxx Endgame: It’s All About the Fees”. WSJ. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  47. Jump up^ “Vioxx judge steps in to split $350 ml plaintiffs lawyer pie”. Reuters. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  48. Jump up^ “Vioxx Product Liability”. Laed.uscourts.gov. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  49. Jump up^ “The Vioxx Litigation: A Critical Look at Trial Tactics, the Tort System, and the Roles of Lawyers in Mass Tort Litigation”. Papers.ssrn.com. Retrieved4 January 2015.
  50. Jump up^ “10 Years of Tort Reform in Texas Bring Fewer Suits, Lower Payouts”. Insurancejournal.com. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  51. Jump up^ [11] Archived November 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  52. Jump up^ “Merck to pay $950 million to settle U.S. Vioxx charge”. Reuters. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  53. Jump up^ [12][dead link]

References[edit]

  • FDA (2005). “Summary minutes for the February 16, 17 and 18, 2005, Joint meeting of the Arthritis Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.” Published on the internet, March 2005. Link
  • Fitzgerald GA, Coxibs and Cardiovascular Disease, N Engl J Med 2004;351(17): 1709–1711. PMID 15470192.
  • Grassley CE (15 Oct 2004). Grassley questions Merck about communication with the FDA on Vioxx. Press Release.
  • Jüni P, Nartey L, Reichenbach S, Sterchi R, Dieppe PA, Egger M (2004). Risk of cardiovascular events and rofecoxib: cumulative meta-analysis.Lancet(published online; see also Merck response below)
  • Karha J and Topol EJ. The sad story of Vioxx, and what we should learn from itCleve Clin J Med 2004; 71(12):933-939. PMID 15641522
  • Michaels, D. (June 2005) DOUBT Is Their Product, Scientific American, 292 (6).
  • Merck & Co., (5 Nov 2004). Response to Article by Juni et al. Published in The Lancet on Nov. 5. Press Release.
  • Merck & Co (30 Sep 2004) Merck Announces Voluntary Worldwide Withdrawal of VIOXX. Press release [13].
  • D. M. Mukherjee, S. E. Nissen, and E. J. Topol, “Risk of Cardiovascular Events Associated with Selective COX-2 Inhibitors,” Journal of the American Medical Association 186 (2001): 954–959.
  • Nussmeier NA, Whelton AA, Brown MT, Langford RM, Hoeft A, Parlow JL, et al. Complications of the COX-2 inhibitors parecoxib and valdecoxib after cardiac surgery. N Engl J Med 2005;352(11):1081-91. PMID 15713945
  • Okie, S (2005) “Raising the safety bar–the FDA’s coxib meeting.” N Engl J Med. 2005 Mar 31;352(13):1283-5. PMID 15800221.
  • Leleti Rajender Reddy, Corey EJ. Facile air oxidation of the conjugate base of rofecoxib (Vioxx), a possible contributor to chronic human toxicity Tetrahedron Lett2005, 46: 927. doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2004.12.055
  • Swan SK et al., Effect of Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibition on Renal Function in Elderly Persons Receiving a Low-Salt Diet. Annals of Int Med 2000; 133:1–9
  • Targum, SL. (1 Feb. 2001) Review of cardiovascular safety database. FDA memorandum.[14]
  • Wolfe, MM et al., Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Nonsteroidal Anti-anflamattory Drugs, New England Journal of Medicine. 1999; 340; 1888-98.

External links[edit]

Criticism and controversies[edit]

In addition to issues indicated in this section, Elsevier’s parent company (Reed Elsevier) has been criticised for its links to the weapons industry.

Pricing[edit]

In recent years the subscription rates charged by the company for its journals have been criticized; some very large journals (more than 5000 articles) charge subscription prices as high as £9,634, far above average,[15] and many British universities pay more than a million pounds to Elsevier annually.[16] The company has been criticized not only by advocates of a switch to the open-access publication model, but also by universities whose library budgets make it difficult for them to afford current journal prices. For example, a resolution by Stanford University‘s senate singled out Elsevier’s journals as being “disproportionately expensive compared to their educational and research value,” which librarians should consider dropping, and encouraged its faculty “not to contribute articles or editorial or review efforts to publishers and journals that engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing.”[17] Similar guidelines and criticism of Elsevier’s pricing policies have been passed by the University of California, Harvard University, and Duke University.[18] In July 2015 the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities.[19]

Resignation of editorial boards[edit]

In November 1999 the entire editorial board (50 persons) of the Journal of Logic Programming (founded in 1984 by Alan Robinson) collectively resigned after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier Press about the price of library subscriptions.[20] The personnel created a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming, with Cambridge University Press at a much lower price,[20] while Elsevier continued publication with a new editorial board and a slightly different name (the Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming).

In 2002, dissatisfaction at Elsevier’s pricing policies caused the European Economic Association to terminate an agreement with Elsevier designating Elsevier’sEuropean Economic Review as the official journal of the association. The EEA launched a new journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association.[21]

In 2003, the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms resigned to start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher,[22] at the suggestion of Journal of Algorithms founder Donald Knuth.[23] The Journal of Algorithms continued under Elsevier with a new editorial board until October 2009, when it was discontinued.[24]

The same happened in 2005 to the International Journal of Solids and Structures, whose editors resigned to start the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. However, a new editorial board was quickly established and the journal continues in apparently unaltered form with editors D.A. Hills (Oxford University) and Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin).[25][26]

In August 2006, the entire editorial board of the distinguished mathematical journalTopology handed in their resignation, again because of stalled negotiations with Elsevier to lower the subscription price.[27] This board then launched the new Journal of Topology at a far lower price, under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society.[28] After this mass resignation, Topology remained in circulation under a new editorial board until 2009, when the last issue was published.[29][30]

The French École Normale Supérieure has stopped having Elsevier publish the journal Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure[31] (as of 2008).[32]

The elevated pricing of field journals in economics, most of which are published by Elsevier, was one of the motivations that moved the American Economic Association to launch the American Economic Journal in 2009.[33]

In May 2015, Stephen Leeder was removed from his role as editor of the Medical Journal of Australia after its publisher decided to outsource the journal’s production to Elsevier. As a consequence, all but one of the journal’s editorial advisory committee members co-signed a letter of resignation.[34]

In October 2015, the entire editorial staff of the general linguistics journal Lingua resigned in protest of Elsevier’s unwillingness to agree to their terms of Fair Open Access. Editor in Chief Johan Rooryck also announced that the Lingua staff would establish a new journal, Glossa.

Action against academics posting their own articles online[edit]

Digimarc, a company representing Elsevier, recently told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by faculty authors on university web pages; although such self-archiving of academic articles may be legal under the fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law, the university complied. Harvard University and theUniversity of California, Irvine also received takedown notices for self-archived academic articles, a first for Harvard, according to Peter Suber.[35][36]

Months after its acquisition of Academia.edu rival Mendeley, Elsevier sent thousands of takedown notices to Academia.edu, a practice that has since ceased following widespread complaint by academics, according to Academia.edu founder and chief executive Richard Price.[37][38]

Chaos, Solitons & Fractals[edit]

There was speculation[39] that the editor-in-chief of Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Mohamed El Naschie, misused his power to publish his own work without appropriate peer review. The journal had published 322 papers with El Naschie as author since 1993. The last issue of December 2008 featured five of his papers.[40] The controversy was covered extensively in blogs.[41][42] The publisher announced in January 2009 that El Naschie had retired as editor-in-chief.[43] As of November 2011 the co-Editors-in-Chief of the journal were Maurice Courbage and Paolo Grigolini.[44] In June 2011 El Naschie sued the journal Nature for libel, claiming that his reputation had been damaged by their November 2008 article about his retirement, which included statements that Nature had been unable to verify his claimed affiliations with certain international institutions.[45] The suit came to trial in November 2011 and was dismissed in July 2012, with the judge ruling that the article was “substantially true”, contained “honest comment” and was “the product of responsible journalism”. The judgement noted that El Naschie, who represented himself in court, had failed to provide any documentary evidence that his papers had been peer-reviewed.[46] Judge Victoria Sharp also found “reasonable and serious grounds” for suspecting that El Naschie used a range of false names to defend his editorial practice in communications with Nature, and described this behavior as “curious” and “bizarre”.[47]

[edit]

At a 2009 court case in Australia where Merck & Co. was being sued by a user of Vioxx, the plaintiff alleged that Merck had paid Elsevier to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewedacademic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs.[48][49][50][51] Merck described the journal as a “complimentary publication,” denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck, and stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.[52] In May 2009, Elsevier Health Sciences CEO Hansen released a statement regarding Australia-based sponsored journals, conceding that they were “sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures.” The statement acknowledged that it “was an unacceptable practice.”[53]The Scientist reported that, according to an Elsevier spokesperson, six sponsored publications “were put out by their Australia office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint from 2000 to 2005,” namely theAustralasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (Australas. J. Bone Joint Med.), the Australasian Journal of General Practice (Australas. J. Gen. Pract.), theAustralasian Journal of Neurology (Australas. J. Neurol.), the Australasian Journal of Cardiology (Australas. J. Cardiol.), the Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (Australas. J. Clin. Pharm.), and the Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (Australas. J. Cardiovasc. Med.).[54] Excerpta Medica was a “strategic medical communications agency” run by Elsevier, according to the imprint’s web page.[55] In October 2010, Excerpta Medica was acquired by Adelphi Worldwide.[56]

Shill review offer[edit]

According to the BBC, “the firm [Elsevier] offered a £17.25 Amazon voucher to academics who contributed to the textbook Clinical Psychology if they would go onAmazon.com and Barnes & Noble (a large US books retailer) and give it five stars.” Elsevier said that “encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn’t outside the norm in scholarly publishing, nor is it wrong to offer to nominally compensate people for their time. But in all instances the request should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that’s where this particular e-mail went too far”, and that it was a mistake by a marketing employee.[57]

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review[edit]

One of Elsevier’s journals was caught in the sting set-up by John Bohannon, published in Science, called Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?[58] The journal Drug Invention Today accepted an obviously bogus paper made-up by Bohannon that should have been rejected by any good peer review system.[59] Instead, Drug Invention Todaywas among many open access journals that accepted the fake paper for publication. As of 2014, this journal had been transferred to a different publisher.[60]

“The Cost of Knowledge” boycott[edit]

Main article: The Cost of Knowledge

In 2003 various university librarians began coordinating with each other to complain about Elsevier’s “big deal” journal bundling packages, in which the company offered a group of journal subscriptions to libraries at a certain rate, but in which librarians claimed there was no economical option to subscribe to only the popular journals at a rate comparable to the bundled rate.[61] Librarians continued to discuss the implications of the pricing schemes, many feeling pressured into buying the Elsevier packages without other options.[62]

On 21 January 2012, mathematician Timothy Gowers publicly announced he would boycott Elsevier, noting that others in the field have been doing so privately. The three reasons for the boycott are high subscription prices for individual journals, bundling subscriptions to journals of different value and importance, and Elsevier’s support for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act.[63][64][65]

Following this, a petition advocating non-cooperation with Elsevier (that is, not submitting papers to Elsevier journals, not refereeing articles in Elsevier journals, and not participating in journal editorial boards), appeared on the site “The Cost of Knowledge”. By February 2012 this petition had been signed by over 5,000 academics.,[63][64] growing to over 13,000 by January 2013.[66]

Elsevier disputed the claims, arguing that their prices are below the industry average, and stating that bundling is only one of several different options available to buy access to Elsevier journals.[63] The company also claimed that its profit margins are “simply a consequence of the firm’s efficient operation”.[65]

On 27 February 2012, Elsevier issued a statement on its website that declared that it has withdrawn support from the Research Works Act.[67] Although the Cost of Knowledge movement was not mentioned, the statement indicated the hope that the move would “help create a less heated and more productive climate” for ongoing discussions with research funders. Hours after Elsevier’s statement, the sponsors of the bill, US House RepresentativesDarrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney, issued a joint statement saying that they would not push the bill in Congress.[68]

Selling open access articles[edit]

In 2014 Elsevier was found to be selling some articles which should have been open access, but had been put behind a paywall.[69] A related case occurred in 2015, when Elsevier charged for downloading an open access article from a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. However, it was not clear whether Elsevier was in violation of the license under which the article was made available on their website.[70]

Blocking text mining research[edit]

In November 2015 Elsevier blocked a scientist from performing text mining research at scale on Elsevier papers, even though his institution already pays for access to Elsevier journal content.[71][72] Elsevier allows text mining via their corresponding API, but not by the screenscraping method the scientist used.[73]

Imprints[edit]

Imprints are brand names in publishing. Elsevier uses its imprints to market to different consumer segments. Many of them have previously been the company names of publishers that were purchased by Reed Elsevier.

See also[edit]

  • List of Elsevier periodicals
  • 2collab, a free researcher collaboration tool launched by Elsevier in 2007 and discontinued in 2011
  • Sci-Hub, an open-access website providing free access to paywalled academic papers on a massive scale that’s involved in a legal case with Elsevier

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g “2015 RELX Group Annual Report” (PDF). RELX Group Company Reports. RELX Group. March 2016.
  2. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “RELX Group homepage”.
  3. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “Science Direct”.
  4. Jump up^ Lin, Thomas (13 February 2012). “Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher”. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Groen 2007, p. 217.
  6. Jump up^ Gerry van der List, Meer dan een weekblad. De geschiedenis van Elsevier
  7. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Timeline”. http://www.ulib.niu.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Amirtha, Tina. “THE OPEN PUBLISHING REVOLUTION, NOW BEHIND A BILLION-DOLLAR PAYWALL”. Fast Company. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. Jump up^ “When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out”, David Dobbs, The New Yorker, 12 April 2013
  10. Jump up^ “University College London and Elsevier launch UCL Big Data Institute | Elsevier Connect”. Elsevier.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier announces knowledge partnership with University College, London”. The Independent. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.(subscription required (help)).
  12. Jump up^ [1]“. Elsevier.
  13. Jump up^ Health Advance. Elsevier.
  14. Jump up^ “Elsevier Global Conferences”. elsevier.com.
  15. Jump up^ Monbiot, George (29 August 2011). “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”. Guardian.
  16. Jump up^ “Elsevier journals — some facts”. Gowers’s Weblog. 24 April 2014. Retrieved27 July 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Faculty Senate minutes February 19 meeting Stanford Report, 25 February 2004
  18. Jump up^ “Fac Sen addresses costly journals”. The Stanford Daily. 20 February 2004.
  19. Jump up^ Danny Kingsley Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer?, University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b Joan Birman. “Scientific publishing: a mathematician’s viewpoint“.Notices of the AMS. Vol. 47, No. 7, August 2000
  21. Jump up^ EffeDesign. “The EEA’s journal: a brief history”. Eeassoc.org. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  22. Jump up^ “Changes at the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  23. Jump up^ Donald Knuth (25 October 2003). “Letter to the editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  24. Jump up^ “Journal of Algorithms page at ScienceDirect”. Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  25. Jump up^ “Journal declarations of independence”. Open Access Directory. Simmons College. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Kyriakides, Stelios; Hills, David A. (1 January 2006). “Editorial”. International Journal of Solids and Structures 43 (1): 1. doi:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2005.11.001.Charles R. Steele succeeded Herrmann as editor in chief in 1985 and served in that capacity until June 2005. During his 20-year tenure the journal grew both in size and in reputation, becoming one of the premier journals in the field. We have accepted an invitation to serve as editors of the journal as of October 1, 2005, being cognizant of the immense contributions, leadership, and high standards exercised by our two predecessors on the way to making IJSS the forum it is today.
  27. Jump up^ “Resignation letter from the editors of Topology” (PDF). 10 August 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  28. Jump up^ Journal of Topology (pub. London Mathematical Society) Archived 7 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. Jump up^ “Topology”. elsevier.com. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  30. Jump up^ “Topology page at ScienceDirect”. Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  31. Jump up^ John Baez: What We Can Do About Science Journals 13 August 2007
  32. Jump up^ “Publisher’s description of Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure”. Elsevier. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  33. Jump up^ David Glenn. “American Economic Association Plans 4 New Journals”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 25 January 2008. Available online atChronicle.com
  34. Jump up^ “Medical journal editor sacked and editorial committee resigns”. Retrieved18 May 2015.
  35. Jump up^ Peterson, Andrea (19 December 2013). “How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research”. The Washington Post. Retrieved6 January 2015.
  36. Jump up^ Masnick, Mike (20 December 2013). “Elsevier Ramps Up Its War On Access To Knowledge”. Techdirt. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  37. Jump up^ Parr, Chris (12 June 2014). “Sharing is a way of life for millions on Academia.edu”. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  38. Jump up^ Howard, Jennifer (6 December 2013). “Posting Your Latest Article? You Might Have to Take It Down”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved14 September 2015.
  39. Jump up^ “Self-publishing editor set to retire”. Nature 456: 432. doi:10.1038/456432a.
  40. Jump up^ Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 38(5), pp. 1229–1534 (December 2008)
  41. Jump up^ “The Scholarly Kitchen”.
  42. Jump up^ “El Naschie Watch Blog”.
  43. Jump up^ “Publisher’s note”. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 39: v–. 2009.Bibcode:2009CSF….39D…5.. doi:10.1016/S0960-0779(09)00060-5.
  44. Jump up^ “Chaos, Solitons and Fractals”. November 2011.
  45. Jump up^ Ghosh, Pallab (11 November 2011). “Nature journal libel case begins”. BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  46. Jump up^ “Nature libel verdict ‘a victory for free speech'”,The Guardian 6 July 2012
  47. Jump up^ Aron, Jacob (6 July 2012). “Nature Publishing Group wins libel trial”. New Scientist (2873). Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  48. Jump up^ Rout, Milanda (9 April 2009). “Doctors signed Merck’s Vioxx studies”. The Australian. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  49. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (30 April 2009). “Merck published fake journal”. The Scientist. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  50. Jump up^ Hagan, Kate (23 April 2009). “Merck accused of ‘ghost writing’ medical article”. The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  51. Jump up^ Ben Goldacre, “The danger of drugs … and data”, The Guardian, 9 May 2009
  52. Jump up^ “Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal” (PDF) (Press release). Merck & Co. 30 April 2009.
  53. Jump up^ “Statement from Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier’s Health Sciences Division, regarding Australia based sponsored journal practices between 2000 and 2005”(Press release). Elsevier.
  54. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (7 May 2009). “Elsevier published 6 fake journals”. The Scientist.
  55. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica”, official webpage”. Elsevier.
  56. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica Joins Adelphi Worldwide”, press release”. Elsevier.
  57. Jump up^ Finlo Rohrer, “The perils of five-star reviews“, BBC News Magazine, 25 June 2009.
  58. Jump up^ Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”. Science 342 (6154): 60–65. Bibcode:2013Sci…342…60B. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60.PMID 24092725.
  59. Jump up^ Claire Shaw. “Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper”. Theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  60. Jump up^ “Drug Invention Today”. sciencedirect.com.
  61. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 177.
  62. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 180.
  63. ^ Jump up to:a b c Flood, Alison (2 February 2012). “Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  64. ^ Jump up to:a b Fischman, Josh (30 January 2012). “Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  65. ^ Jump up to:a b “Scientific publishing: The price of information”. The Economist. 4 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  66. Jump up^ “thecostofknowledge.com”. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  67. Jump up^ “Elsevier Backs Down as Boycott Grows”. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  68. Jump up^ “Sponsors and Supporters Back Away from Research Works Act”. Retrieved25 August 2014.
  69. Jump up^ Jump, Paul (27 March 2014). “Elsevier: bumps on road to open access”.Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  70. Jump up^ Vollmer, Timothy (13 March 2015). “Are commercial publishers wrongly selling access to openly licensed scholarly articles?”. Creative Commons News. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  71. Jump up^ Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie (20 November 2015). “Text-mining block prompts online response”. Nature 527 (7579): 413–413. doi:10.1038/527413f.
  72. Jump up^ Moody, Glyn. “Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers ‘Could Be Considered’ Stealing”. TechDirt. Retrieved21 November 2015.
  73. Jump up^ A. Wise, 2015-11-17, Elsevier stopped me doing my research – Comment by Dr Alicia Wise

Sources[edit]

  • Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-8108-52723.

External links[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RELX_Group#Controversy

Controversy[edit]

Boycott[edit]

Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially those published by Elsevier. It has also supported SOPA, PIPA and theResearch Works Act, although it no longer supports the last. Because of this, members of the scientific community have boycotted Elsevier journals. In January 2012, the boycott gained an online pledge and petition (The Cost of Knowledge) initiated by mathematician and Fields medalist Sir Timothy Gowers.[68] The movement has received support from noted science bloggers, such as biologist Jonathan Eisen.[69] Between 2012 and November 2015, about 15,391 scientists signed The Cost of Knowledge boycott. In 2014, Elsevier received article submissions from 1.8m authors.[45]

Privacy[edit]

Reed Elsevier collected, used, and sold data on millions of consumers.[70] It has settled a Federal Trade Commission action taken against it, for failure to provide reasonable security for a database containing names, current and prior addresses, dates of birth, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers, amongst other data. This information was obtained from credit reporting agencies and other sources, and made available to purchasers through a password-secured website which permitted easy-to-guess passwords, allowing identity thieves to steal records on over quarter of a million people. This breach occurred in 2008 through a recently purchased subsidiary, Seisint.[71]

Defence exhibitions[edit]

Between 2005 and 2007, members of the medical and scientific communities, which purchase and use many journals published by Reed Elsevier, agitated for the company to cut its links to the arms trade. Two UK academics, Dr Tom Stafford of Sheffield University and Dr Nick Gill, launched petitions calling on Reed Elsevier to stop organising arms fairs.[72] A subsidiary, Spearhead, organised defence shows, including an event where it was reported that cluster bombs and extremely powerful riot control equipment were offered for sale.[73][74]

In February 2007, Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, published an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, arguing that Reed Elsevier’s involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest.[75]

On 1 June 2007, Reed Elsevier announced that they would be exiting the Defence Exhibition business during the second half of 2007.[76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i “Annual Report 2015” (PDF). Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 12 March2016.
  2. Jump up^ Robert Cookson. “Reed Elsevier to rename itself RELX Group”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  3. Jump up^ Edward A. Gargan (6 October 1994). “Reed-Elsevier Building Big Presence in the U.S.”. New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “Timeline”. Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “History”. Sanderson. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. Jump up^ Peter Kirwan (3 March 2008). “Reed Elsevier has no stomach for the tough trade business”. Press Gazette. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  7. Jump up^ “Williams Holdings”. gracesguide.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. Jump up^ “All investments”. Cinven. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. Jump up^ “Maxwell Selling Pergamon, Cornerstone of His Empire”. New York Times. 29 March 1991. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Robert Cookson (29 September 2014). “Reed Elsevier to buy sanctions software group FircoSoft for €150m”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September2015.
  11. Jump up^ Stanley Ziemba (19 August 1993). “British Firm Near Deal To Acquire Airline Guides”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  12. Jump up^ “Publisher Reed Elsevier Agrees to Buy Lexis/Nexis On-Line Business”. Los Angeles Times. 5 October 1994. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Agrees to Buy Information Systems Company”. New York Times. 25 March 1997. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  14. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys Chilton from ABC for US$447 million in June 1997”. Wall Street Journal. 23 June 1997. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  15. Jump up^ “Times Mirror sheds units”. CNN. 27 April 1998. Retrieved 18 September2015.
  16. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier, Thomson agree to buy Harcourt for $4.45bn plus debt”. The Wall Street Journal. 27 October 2000. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  17. Jump up^ “LexisNexis To Buy Seisint For $775 Million”. Washington Post. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  18. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys medical publisher”. 26 May 2005. Retrieved18 September 2015.
  19. Jump up^ “Acquisition of ChoicePoint Inc. completed”. 21 February 2008. Retrieved7 March 2016.
  20. Jump up^ “Equifax to spinoff ChoicePoint in August”. 14 July 1997. Retrieved 7 March2016.
  21. Jump up^ Reed Business Information Ltd and Ascend Worldwide Group Holdings Limited (30 June 2011). “Reed Business Information Acquires Ascend, a Leading Provider of Data, Analytics and… — SUTTON, England, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –“.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  22. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier to Buy Accuity”. Wall Street Journal. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  23. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Acquires Law360”. Reuters UK. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  24. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys academic social network Mendeley for up to £65m”. The Guardian. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  25. Jump up^ “Headlines – LexisNexis Risk Solutions Acquires Mapflow – Outsell Inc..”.outsellinc.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  26. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Risk Solutions buys Tracesmart”. credittoday.co.uk. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  27. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys Wunelli to beef up Telematics business”. The Guardian. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  28. Jump up^ Adam Rubenfire (13 November 2014). “LexisNexis to acquire Health Market Science”. Modern Healthcare. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  29. Jump up^ “LexisNexis to buy BAIR Analytics, grow in public safety sector”. Atlanta Business Chronicle. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  30. Jump up^ “LexisNexis buys regulatory news wire MLex”. Talking Biznews. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  31. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Acquires Premier Legal Analytics® Provider Lex Machina”.PRWEB. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  32. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier to sell education arm”. Reuters. 15 February 2007. Retrieved16 July 2011.
  33. Jump up^ “Pearson acquires Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier”. Pearson. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  34. Jump up^ Michael J. de la Merced (17 July 2007). “Houghton Mifflin to buy Harcourt”.New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  35. Jump up^ Brian Stelter, “Even Media About the Media Are For Sale, New York Times, 31 July 2009.
  36. Jump up^ Lorene Yue, “Restaurants & Institutions magazine shutting down as Reed cuts trade titles”, Crain’s Chicago Business, 16 April 2010.
  37. Jump up^ “Jay Penske Buys Variety Magazine From Reed Elsevier”. Advertising Age. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  38. Jump up^ InPublishing. “News: RBI sells BuyerZone: InPublishing”. inpublishing.co.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  39. Jump up^ Martin Wright (20 August 2013). “Ziff Davis Acquires emedia from RBI”.MediaMergers. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  40. Jump up^ “BRIEF-Reed sells majority stake in Reed Construction Data to Warburg Pincus”. Reuters. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  41. Jump up^ “Elsevier CEO Using Unique Data Sets And Analytic Processes To Maintain Competitive Edge”. Forbes. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  42. Jump up^ “ScienceDirect”. Davenport University. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  43. Jump up^ “The dimensions of Scopus”. Bayerische Staats Bibliothek. Retrieved21 September 2015.
  44. Jump up^ Jason Fitzpatrick. “Mendeley Manages Your Documents on Your Desktop and in the Cloud”. Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  45. ^ Jump up to:a b “Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill”. Financial Times. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  46. Jump up^ George Monbiot. “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”.The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  47. Jump up^ “RELX move into risk helps deliver record revenues”. Financial Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  48. Jump up^ Kate Santich. “Florida welfare fraud: Florida welfare fraud cost taxpayers $1 billion in 2012”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  49. Jump up^ “Reed Business Information reports improved underlying profits and turnover”.Press Gazette. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  50. Jump up^ “The Best Employers In The U.S. Tech Sector”. Forbes. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  51. ^ Jump up to:a b Job Woudt. “Relx Group voor een kwart onderweg richting bigdatabedrijf”.Financiele Dagblat. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  52. Jump up^ “Services offered by Butterworths Legal Publishers”. Scottish Law. Retrieved21 September 2015.
  53. Jump up^ Michael Corty (20 September 2010). “Niche markets to boost Reed Elsevier sales”. Morning Star. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  54. Jump up^ Exhibition World. “Reed courts controversy with assault weapon ban at US expo”. ExhibitionWorld.
  55. Jump up^ Paul Bedard (27 January 2014). “NRA brings back nation’s largest outdoor show killed by AR-15 gun ban”. Washington Examiner.
  56. Jump up^ “NSSF Statement on Management of the SHOT Show”. National Shooting Sports Foundation. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  57. Jump up^ “Reed Sells Defence Shows”. Army Technology. 29 May 2008. Retrieved22 January 2016.
  58. Jump up^ Jonathan Guthrie (28 February 2013). “EU left strikes a blow for top bankers”.Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  59. Jump up^ Jonathan Guthrie. “ICAP case gives enemies of the City a crate of free ammo”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  60. Jump up^ “Reed at $38 bln rubs up against new class of peers”. breakingviews.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  61. Jump up^ Rob Jordan (29 September 2014). “Stanford freshwater solution gets global recognition”. Stanford News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  62. Jump up^ “11 women scientists announced as winners of Elsevier Foundation OWSD awards”. Eurekalert. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  63. Jump up^ “UN Global Compact to Adopt “Global Rule of Law Business Principles””. Atlantic Council. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  64. Jump up^ “EyeWitness app lets smartphones report war crimes”. BBC News. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  65. Jump up^ “Four Recently Recovered Missing Children Make 99 recoveries for ChoicePoint(R)’s ADAM Program”. Wistv. 29 January 2015. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  66. Jump up^ “Product Shoot-Out: The Top 4 Social Media Monitoring Apps for LEAs”.Insider Surveillance. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  67. Jump up^ “Elsevier Foundation commits $1m to diversity in science”. The Bookseller. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  68. Jump up^ Dobbs, David (30 January 2012). “Testify: The Open Science Movement Catches Fire”. Wired. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  69. Jump up^ Jop de Vrieze (1 February 2012). “Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier”. Science Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  70. Jump up^ “A Review of the Data Broker Industry: Collection, Use, and Sale of Consumer Data for Marketing Purposes”. US Senate. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  71. Jump up^ “Agency Announces Settlement of Separate Actions Against Retailer TJX, and Data Brokers Reed Elsevier and Seisint for Failing to Provide Adequate Security for Consumers Data”. Federal Trade Commission. 27 March 2008. Retrieved21 March 2015.
  72. Jump up^ “Elsevier petition”. idiolect.org.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  73. Jump up^ Shah, Saeed (14 September 2005). “Cluster bombs on offer at arms fair despite sales ban”. The Independent (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  74. Jump up^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (16 September 2005). “Banned stun guns and leg irons advertised at arms fair”. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  75. Jump up^ Smith, Richard (20 February 2007). “Lancet publishers condemned over promotion of arms”. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Retrieved18 March 2007.
  76. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier says to exit defence industry shows”. Reuters. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2015.

Additional references[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsevier#Criticism_and_controversies

Criticism and controversies[edit]

In addition to issues indicated in this section, Elsevier’s parent company (Reed Elsevier) has been criticised for its links to the weapons industry.

Pricing[edit]

In recent years the subscription rates charged by the company for its journals have been criticized; some very large journals (more than 5000 articles) charge subscription prices as high as £9,634, far above average,[15] and many British universities pay more than a million pounds to Elsevier annually.[16] The company has been criticized not only by advocates of a switch to the open-access publication model, but also by universities whose library budgets make it difficult for them to afford current journal prices. For example, a resolution by Stanford University‘s senate singled out Elsevier’s journals as being “disproportionately expensive compared to their educational and research value,” which librarians should consider dropping, and encouraged its faculty “not to contribute articles or editorial or review efforts to publishers and journals that engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing.”[17] Similar guidelines and criticism of Elsevier’s pricing policies have been passed by the University of California, Harvard University, and Duke University.[18] In July 2015 the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities.[19]

Resignation of editorial boards[edit]

In November 1999 the entire editorial board (50 persons) of the Journal of Logic Programming (founded in 1984 by Alan Robinson) collectively resigned after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier Press about the price of library subscriptions.[20] The personnel created a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming, with Cambridge University Press at a much lower price,[20] while Elsevier continued publication with a new editorial board and a slightly different name (the Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming).

In 2002, dissatisfaction at Elsevier’s pricing policies caused the European Economic Association to terminate an agreement with Elsevier designating Elsevier’sEuropean Economic Review as the official journal of the association. The EEA launched a new journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association.[21]

In 2003, the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms resigned to start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher,[22] at the suggestion of Journal of Algorithms founder Donald Knuth.[23] The Journal of Algorithms continued under Elsevier with a new editorial board until October 2009, when it was discontinued.[24]

The same happened in 2005 to the International Journal of Solids and Structures, whose editors resigned to start the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. However, a new editorial board was quickly established and the journal continues in apparently unaltered form with editors D.A. Hills (Oxford University) and Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin).[25][26]

In August 2006, the entire editorial board of the distinguished mathematical journalTopology handed in their resignation, again because of stalled negotiations with Elsevier to lower the subscription price.[27] This board then launched the new Journal of Topology at a far lower price, under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society.[28] After this mass resignation, Topology remained in circulation under a new editorial board until 2009, when the last issue was published.[29][30]

The French École Normale Supérieure has stopped having Elsevier publish the journal Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure[31] (as of 2008).[32]

The elevated pricing of field journals in economics, most of which are published by Elsevier, was one of the motivations that moved the American Economic Association to launch the American Economic Journal in 2009.[33]

In May 2015, Stephen Leeder was removed from his role as editor of the Medical Journal of Australia after its publisher decided to outsource the journal’s production to Elsevier. As a consequence, all but one of the journal’s editorial advisory committee members co-signed a letter of resignation.[34]

In October 2015, the entire editorial staff of the general linguistics journal Lingua resigned in protest of Elsevier’s unwillingness to agree to their terms of Fair Open Access. Editor in Chief Johan Rooryck also announced that the Lingua staff would establish a new journal, Glossa.

Action against academics posting their own articles online[edit]

Digimarc, a company representing Elsevier, recently told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by faculty authors on university web pages; although such self-archiving of academic articles may be legal under the fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law, the university complied. Harvard University and theUniversity of California, Irvine also received takedown notices for self-archived academic articles, a first for Harvard, according to Peter Suber.[35][36]

Months after its acquisition of Academia.edu rival Mendeley, Elsevier sent thousands of takedown notices to Academia.edu, a practice that has since ceased following widespread complaint by academics, according to Academia.edu founder and chief executive Richard Price.[37][38]

Controversy[edit]

Boycott[edit]

Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially those published by Elsevier. It has also supported SOPA, PIPA and theResearch Works Act, although it no longer supports the last. Because of this, members of the scientific community have boycotted Elsevier journals. In January 2012, the boycott gained an online pledge and petition (The Cost of Knowledge) initiated by mathematician and Fields medalist Sir Timothy Gowers.[68] The movement has received support from noted science bloggers, such as biologist Jonathan Eisen.[69] Between 2012 and November 2015, about 15,391 scientists signed The Cost of Knowledge boycott. In 2014, Elsevier received article submissions from 1.8m authors.[45]

Privacy[edit]

Reed Elsevier collected, used, and sold data on millions of consumers.[70] It has settled a Federal Trade Commission action taken against it, for failure to provide reasonable security for a database containing names, current and prior addresses, dates of birth, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers, amongst other data. This information was obtained from credit reporting agencies and other sources, and made available to purchasers through a password-secured website which permitted easy-to-guess passwords, allowing identity thieves to steal records on over quarter of a million people. This breach occurred in 2008 through a recently purchased subsidiary, Seisint.[71]

Defence exhibitions[edit]

Between 2005 and 2007, members of the medical and scientific communities, which purchase and use many journals published by Reed Elsevier, agitated for the company to cut its links to the arms trade. Two UK academics, Dr Tom Stafford of Sheffield University and Dr Nick Gill, launched petitions calling on Reed Elsevier to stop organising arms fairs.[72] A subsidiary, Spearhead, organised defence shows, including an event where it was reported that cluster bombs and extremely powerful riot control equipment were offered for sale.[73][74]

In February 2007, Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, published an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, arguing that Reed Elsevier’s involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest.[75]

On 1 June 2007, Reed Elsevier announced that they would be exiting the Defence Exhibition business during the second half of 2007.[76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i “Annual Report 2015” (PDF). Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 12 March2016.
  2. Jump up^ Robert Cookson. “Reed Elsevier to rename itself RELX Group”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  3. Jump up^ Edward A. Gargan (6 October 1994). “Reed-Elsevier Building Big Presence in the U.S.”. New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “Timeline”. Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “History”. Sanderson. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. Jump up^ Peter Kirwan (3 March 2008). “Reed Elsevier has no stomach for the tough trade business”. Press Gazette. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  7. Jump up^ “Williams Holdings”. gracesguide.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. Jump up^ “All investments”. Cinven. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. Jump up^ “Maxwell Selling Pergamon, Cornerstone of His Empire”. New York Times. 29 March 1991. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Robert Cookson (29 September 2014). “Reed Elsevier to buy sanctions software group FircoSoft for €150m”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September2015.
  11. Jump up^ Stanley Ziemba (19 August 1993). “British Firm Near Deal To Acquire Airline Guides”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  12. Jump up^ “Publisher Reed Elsevier Agrees to Buy Lexis/Nexis On-Line Business”. Los Angeles Times. 5 October 1994. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Agrees to Buy Information Systems Company”. New York Times. 25 March 1997. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  14. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys Chilton from ABC for US$447 million in June 1997”. Wall Street Journal. 23 June 1997. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  15. Jump up^ “Times Mirror sheds units”. CNN. 27 April 1998. Retrieved 18 September2015.
  16. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier, Thomson agree to buy Harcourt for $4.45bn plus debt”. The Wall Street Journal. 27 October 2000. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  17. Jump up^ “LexisNexis To Buy Seisint For $775 Million”. Washington Post. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  18. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys medical publisher”. 26 May 2005. Retrieved18 September 2015.
  19. Jump up^ “Acquisition of ChoicePoint Inc. completed”. 21 February 2008. Retrieved7 March 2016.
  20. Jump up^ “Equifax to spinoff ChoicePoint in August”. 14 July 1997. Retrieved 7 March2016.
  21. Jump up^ Reed Business Information Ltd and Ascend Worldwide Group Holdings Limited (30 June 2011). “Reed Business Information Acquires Ascend, a Leading Provider of Data, Analytics and… — SUTTON, England, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –“.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  22. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier to Buy Accuity”. Wall Street Journal. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  23. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Acquires Law360”. Reuters UK. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  24. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys academic social network Mendeley for up to £65m”. The Guardian. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  25. Jump up^ “Headlines – LexisNexis Risk Solutions Acquires Mapflow – Outsell Inc..”.outsellinc.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  26. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Risk Solutions buys Tracesmart”. credittoday.co.uk. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  27. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier buys Wunelli to beef up Telematics business”. The Guardian. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  28. Jump up^ Adam Rubenfire (13 November 2014). “LexisNexis to acquire Health Market Science”. Modern Healthcare. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  29. Jump up^ “LexisNexis to buy BAIR Analytics, grow in public safety sector”. Atlanta Business Chronicle. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  30. Jump up^ “LexisNexis buys regulatory news wire MLex”. Talking Biznews. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  31. Jump up^ “LexisNexis Acquires Premier Legal Analytics® Provider Lex Machina”.PRWEB. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  32. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier to sell education arm”. Reuters. 15 February 2007. Retrieved16 July 2011.
  33. Jump up^ “Pearson acquires Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier”. Pearson. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  34. Jump up^ Michael J. de la Merced (17 July 2007). “Houghton Mifflin to buy Harcourt”.New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  35. Jump up^ Brian Stelter, “Even Media About the Media Are For Sale, New York Times, 31 July 2009.
  36. Jump up^ Lorene Yue, “Restaurants & Institutions magazine shutting down as Reed cuts trade titles”, Crain’s Chicago Business, 16 April 2010.
  37. Jump up^ “Jay Penske Buys Variety Magazine From Reed Elsevier”. Advertising Age. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  38. Jump up^ InPublishing. “News: RBI sells BuyerZone: InPublishing”. inpublishing.co.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  39. Jump up^ Martin Wright (20 August 2013). “Ziff Davis Acquires emedia from RBI”.MediaMergers. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  40. Jump up^ “BRIEF-Reed sells majority stake in Reed Construction Data to Warburg Pincus”. Reuters. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  41. Jump up^ “Elsevier CEO Using Unique Data Sets And Analytic Processes To Maintain Competitive Edge”. Forbes. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  42. Jump up^ “ScienceDirect”. Davenport University. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  43. Jump up^ “The dimensions of Scopus”. Bayerische Staats Bibliothek. Retrieved21 September 2015.
  44. Jump up^ Jason Fitzpatrick. “Mendeley Manages Your Documents on Your Desktop and in the Cloud”. Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  45. ^ Jump up to:a b “Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill”. Financial Times. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  46. Jump up^ George Monbiot. “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”.The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  47. Jump up^ “RELX move into risk helps deliver record revenues”. Financial Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  48. Jump up^ Kate Santich. “Florida welfare fraud: Florida welfare fraud cost taxpayers $1 billion in 2012”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  49. Jump up^ “Reed Business Information reports improved underlying profits and turnover”.Press Gazette. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  50. Jump up^ “The Best Employers In The U.S. Tech Sector”. Forbes. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  51. ^ Jump up to:a b Job Woudt. “Relx Group voor een kwart onderweg richting bigdatabedrijf”.Financiele Dagblat. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  52. Jump up^ “Services offered by Butterworths Legal Publishers”. Scottish Law. Retrieved21 September 2015.
  53. Jump up^ Michael Corty (20 September 2010). “Niche markets to boost Reed Elsevier sales”. Morning Star. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  54. Jump up^ Exhibition World. “Reed courts controversy with assault weapon ban at US expo”. ExhibitionWorld.
  55. Jump up^ Paul Bedard (27 January 2014). “NRA brings back nation’s largest outdoor show killed by AR-15 gun ban”. Washington Examiner.
  56. Jump up^ “NSSF Statement on Management of the SHOT Show”. National Shooting Sports Foundation. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  57. Jump up^ “Reed Sells Defence Shows”. Army Technology. 29 May 2008. Retrieved22 January 2016.
  58. Jump up^ Jonathan Guthrie (28 February 2013). “EU left strikes a blow for top bankers”.Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  59. Jump up^ Jonathan Guthrie. “ICAP case gives enemies of the City a crate of free ammo”. Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  60. Jump up^ “Reed at $38 bln rubs up against new class of peers”. breakingviews.com. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  61. Jump up^ Rob Jordan (29 September 2014). “Stanford freshwater solution gets global recognition”. Stanford News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  62. Jump up^ “11 women scientists announced as winners of Elsevier Foundation OWSD awards”. Eurekalert. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  63. Jump up^ “UN Global Compact to Adopt “Global Rule of Law Business Principles””. Atlantic Council. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  64. Jump up^ “EyeWitness app lets smartphones report war crimes”. BBC News. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  65. Jump up^ “Four Recently Recovered Missing Children Make 99 recoveries for ChoicePoint(R)’s ADAM Program”. Wistv. 29 January 2015. Retrieved23 September 2015.
  66. Jump up^ “Product Shoot-Out: The Top 4 Social Media Monitoring Apps for LEAs”.Insider Surveillance. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  67. Jump up^ “Elsevier Foundation commits $1m to diversity in science”. The Bookseller. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  68. Jump up^ Dobbs, David (30 January 2012). “Testify: The Open Science Movement Catches Fire”. Wired. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  69. Jump up^ Jop de Vrieze (1 February 2012). “Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier”. Science Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  70. Jump up^ “A Review of the Data Broker Industry: Collection, Use, and Sale of Consumer Data for Marketing Purposes”. US Senate. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  71. Jump up^ “Agency Announces Settlement of Separate Actions Against Retailer TJX, and Data Brokers Reed Elsevier and Seisint for Failing to Provide Adequate Security for Consumers Data”. Federal Trade Commission. 27 March 2008. Retrieved21 March 2015.
  72. Jump up^ “Elsevier petition”. idiolect.org.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  73. Jump up^ Shah, Saeed (14 September 2005). “Cluster bombs on offer at arms fair despite sales ban”. The Independent (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  74. Jump up^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (16 September 2005). “Banned stun guns and leg irons advertised at arms fair”. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  75. Jump up^ Smith, Richard (20 February 2007). “Lancet publishers condemned over promotion of arms”. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Retrieved18 March 2007.
  76. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier says to exit defence industry shows”. Reuters. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2015.

Additional references[edit]

Criticism and controversies[edit]

In addition to issues indicated in this section, Elsevier’s parent company (Reed Elsevier) has been criticised for its links to the weapons industry.

Pricing[edit]

In recent years the subscription rates charged by the company for its journals have been criticized; some very large journals (more than 5000 articles) charge subscription prices as high as £9,634, far above average,[15] and many British universities pay more than a million pounds to Elsevier annually.[16] The company has been criticized not only by advocates of a switch to the open-access publication model, but also by universities whose library budgets make it difficult for them to afford current journal prices. For example, a resolution by Stanford University‘s senate singled out Elsevier’s journals as being “disproportionately expensive compared to their educational and research value,” which librarians should consider dropping, and encouraged its faculty “not to contribute articles or editorial or review efforts to publishers and journals that engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing.”[17] Similar guidelines and criticism of Elsevier’s pricing policies have been passed by the University of California, Harvard University, and Duke University.[18] In July 2015 the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities.[19]

Resignation of editorial boards[edit]

In November 1999 the entire editorial board (50 persons) of the Journal of Logic Programming (founded in 1984 by Alan Robinson) collectively resigned after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier Press about the price of library subscriptions.[20] The personnel created a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming, with Cambridge University Press at a much lower price,[20] while Elsevier continued publication with a new editorial board and a slightly different name (the Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming).

In 2002, dissatisfaction at Elsevier’s pricing policies caused the European Economic Association to terminate an agreement with Elsevier designating Elsevier’sEuropean Economic Review as the official journal of the association. The EEA launched a new journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association.[21]

In 2003, the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms resigned to start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher,[22] at the suggestion of Journal of Algorithms founder Donald Knuth.[23] The Journal of Algorithms continued under Elsevier with a new editorial board until October 2009, when it was discontinued.[24]

The same happened in 2005 to the International Journal of Solids and Structures, whose editors resigned to start the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. However, a new editorial board was quickly established and the journal continues in apparently unaltered form with editors D.A. Hills (Oxford University) and Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin).[25][26]

In August 2006, the entire editorial board of the distinguished mathematical journal Topology handed in their resignation, again because of stalled negotiations with Elsevier to lower the subscription price.[27] This board then launched the new Journal of Topology at a far lower price, under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society.[28] After this mass resignation, Topology remained in circulation under a new editorial board until 2009, when the last issue was published.[29][30]

The French École Normale Supérieure has stopped having Elsevier publish the journal Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure[31] (as of 2008).[32]

The elevated pricing of field journals in economics, most of which are published by Elsevier, was one of the motivations that moved the American Economic Association to launch the American Economic Journal in 2009.[33]

In May 2015, Stephen Leeder was removed from his role as editor of the Medical Journal of Australia after its publisher decided to outsource the journal’s production to Elsevier. As a consequence, all but one of the journal’s editorial advisory committee members co-signed a letter of resignation.[34]

In October 2015, the entire editorial staff of the general linguistics journal Lingua resigned in protest of Elsevier’s unwillingness to agree to their terms of Fair Open Access. Editor in Chief Johan Rooryck also announced that the Lingua staff would establish a new journal, Glossa.

Action against academics posting their own articles online[edit]

Digimarc, a company representing Elsevier, recently told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by faculty authors on university web pages; although such self-archiving of academic articles may be legal under the fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law, the university complied. Harvard University and theUniversity of California, Irvine also received takedown notices for self-archived academic articles, a first for Harvard, according to Peter Suber.[35][36]

Months after its acquisition of Academia.edu rival Mendeley, Elsevier sent thousands of takedown notices to Academia.edu, a practice that has since ceased following widespread complaint by academics, according to Academia.edu founder and chief executive Richard Price.[37][38]

Chaos, Solitons & Fractals[edit]

There was speculation[39] that the editor-in-chief of Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Mohamed El Naschie, misused his power to publish his own work without appropriate peer review. The journal had published 322 papers with El Naschie as author since 1993. The last issue of December 2008 featured five of his papers.[40] The controversy was covered extensively in blogs.[41][42] The publisher announced in January 2009 that El Naschie had retired as editor-in-chief.[43] As of November 2011 the co-Editors-in-Chief of the journal were Maurice Courbage and Paolo Grigolini.[44] In June 2011 El Naschie sued the journal Nature for libel, claiming that his reputation had been damaged by their November 2008 article about his retirement, which included statements that Nature had been unable to verify his claimed affiliations with certain international institutions.[45] The suit came to trial in November 2011 and was dismissed in July 2012, with the judge ruling that the article was “substantially true”, contained “honest comment” and was “the product of responsible journalism”. The judgement noted that El Naschie, who represented himself in court, had failed to provide any documentary evidence that his papers had been peer-reviewed.[46] Judge Victoria Sharp also found “reasonable and serious grounds” for suspecting that El Naschie used a range of false names to defend his editorial practice in communications with Nature, and described this behavior as “curious” and “bizarre”.[47]

[edit]

At a 2009 court case in Australia where Merck & Co. was being sued by a user of Vioxx, the plaintiff alleged that Merck had paid Elsevier to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewed academic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs.[48][49][50][51] Merck described the journal as a “complimentary publication,” denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck, and stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.[52] In May 2009, Elsevier Health Sciences CEO Hansen released a statement regarding Australia-based sponsored journals, conceding that they were “sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures.” The statement acknowledged that it “was an unacceptable practice.”[53] The Scientist reported that, according to an Elsevier spokesperson, six sponsored publications “were put out by their Australia office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint from 2000 to 2005,” namely theAustralasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (Australas. J. Bone Joint Med.), the Australasian Journal of General Practice (Australas. J. Gen. Pract.), theAustralasian Journal of Neurology (Australas. J. Neurol.), the Australasian Journal of Cardiology (Australas. J. Cardiol.), the Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (Australas. J. Clin. Pharm.), and the Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (Australas. J. Cardiovasc. Med.).[54] Excerpta Medica was a “strategic medical communications agency” run by Elsevier, according to the imprint’s web page.[55] In October 2010, Excerpta Medica was acquired by Adelphi Worldwide.[56]

Shill review offer[edit]

According to the BBC, “the firm [Elsevier] offered a £17.25 Amazon voucher to academics who contributed to the textbook Clinical Psychology if they would go onAmazon.com and Barnes & Noble (a large US books retailer) and give it five stars.” Elsevier said that “encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn’t outside the norm in scholarly publishing, nor is it wrong to offer to nominally compensate people for their time. But in all instances the request should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that’s where this particular e-mail went too far”, and that it was a mistake by a marketing employee.[57]

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review[edit]

One of Elsevier’s journals was caught in the sting set-up by John Bohannon, published in Science, called Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?[58] The journal Drug Invention Today accepted an obviously bogus paper made-up by Bohannon that should have been rejected by any good peer review system.[59] Instead, Drug Invention Todaywas among many open access journals that accepted the fake paper for publication. As of 2014, this journal had been transferred to a different publisher.[60]

“The Cost of Knowledge” boycott[edit]

Main article: The Cost of Knowledge

In 2003 various university librarians began coordinating with each other to complain about Elsevier’s “big deal” journal bundling packages, in which the company offered a group of journal subscriptions to libraries at a certain rate, but in which librarians claimed there was no economical option to subscribe to only the popular journals at a rate comparable to the bundled rate.[61] Librarians continued to discuss the implications of the pricing schemes, many feeling pressured into buying the Elsevier packages without other options.[62]

On 21 January 2012, mathematician Timothy Gowers publicly announced he would boycott Elsevier, noting that others in the field have been doing so privately. The three reasons for the boycott are high subscription prices for individual journals, bundling subscriptions to journals of different value and importance, and Elsevier’s support for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act.[63][64][65]

Following this, a petition advocating non-cooperation with Elsevier (that is, not submitting papers to Elsevier journals, not refereeing articles in Elsevier journals, and not participating in journal editorial boards), appeared on the site “The Cost of Knowledge”. By February 2012 this petition had been signed by over 5,000 academics.,[63][64] growing to over 13,000 by January 2013.[66]

Elsevier disputed the claims, arguing that their prices are below the industry average, and stating that bundling is only one of several different options available to buy access to Elsevier journals.[63] The company also claimed that its profit margins are “simply a consequence of the firm’s efficient operation”.[65]

On 27 February 2012, Elsevier issued a statement on its website that declared that it has withdrawn support from the Research Works Act.[67] Although the Cost of Knowledge movement was not mentioned, the statement indicated the hope that the move would “help create a less heated and more productive climate” for ongoing discussions with research funders. Hours after Elsevier’s statement, the sponsors of the bill, US House Representatives Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney, issued a joint statement saying that they would not push the bill in Congress.[68]

Selling open access articles[edit]

In 2014 Elsevier was found to be selling some articles which should have been open access, but had been put behind a paywall.[69] A related case occurred in 2015, when Elsevier charged for downloading an open access article from a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. However, it was not clear whether Elsevier was in violation of the license under which the article was made available on their website.[70]

Blocking text mining research[edit]

In November 2015 Elsevier blocked a scientist from performing text mining research at scale on Elsevier papers, even though his institution already pays for access to Elsevier journal content.[71][72] Elsevier allows text mining via their corresponding API, but not by the screenscraping method the scientist used.[73]

Imprints[edit]

Imprints are brand names in publishing. Elsevier uses its imprints to market to different consumer segments. Many of them have previously been the company names of publishers that were purchased by Reed Elsevier.

See also[edit]

  • List of Elsevier periodicals
  • 2collab, a free researcher collaboration tool launched by Elsevier in 2007 and discontinued in 2011
  • Sci-Hub, an open-access website providing free access to paywalled academic papers on a massive scale that’s involved in a legal case with Elsevier

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g “2015 RELX Group Annual Report” (PDF). RELX Group Company Reports. RELX Group. March 2016.
  2. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “RELX Group homepage”.
  3. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “Science Direct”.
  4. Jump up^ Lin, Thomas (13 February 2012). “Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher”. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Groen 2007, p. 217.
  6. Jump up^ Gerry van der List, Meer dan een weekblad. De geschiedenis van Elsevier
  7. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Timeline”. http://www.ulib.niu.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Amirtha, Tina. “THE OPEN PUBLISHING REVOLUTION, NOW BEHIND A BILLION-DOLLAR PAYWALL”. Fast Company. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. Jump up^ “When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out”, David Dobbs, The New Yorker, 12 April 2013
  10. Jump up^ “University College London and Elsevier launch UCL Big Data Institute | Elsevier Connect”. Elsevier.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier announces knowledge partnership with University College, London”. The Independent. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.(subscription required (help)).
  12. Jump up^ [1]“. Elsevier.
  13. Jump up^ Health Advance. Elsevier.
  14. Jump up^ “Elsevier Global Conferences”. elsevier.com.
  15. Jump up^ Monbiot, George (29 August 2011). “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”. Guardian.
  16. Jump up^ “Elsevier journals — some facts”. Gowers’s Weblog. 24 April 2014. Retrieved27 July 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Faculty Senate minutes February 19 meeting Stanford Report, 25 February 2004
  18. Jump up^ “Fac Sen addresses costly journals”. The Stanford Daily. 20 February 2004.
  19. Jump up^ Danny Kingsley Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer?, University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b Joan Birman. “Scientific publishing: a mathematician’s viewpoint“.Notices of the AMS. Vol. 47, No. 7, August 2000
  21. Jump up^ EffeDesign. “The EEA’s journal: a brief history”. Eeassoc.org. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  22. Jump up^ “Changes at the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  23. Jump up^ Donald Knuth (25 October 2003). “Letter to the editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms” (PDF). Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  24. Jump up^ “Journal of Algorithms page at ScienceDirect”. Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  25. Jump up^ “Journal declarations of independence”. Open Access Directory. Simmons College. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Kyriakides, Stelios; Hills, David A. (1 January 2006). “Editorial”. International Journal of Solids and Structures 43 (1): 1. doi:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2005.11.001.Charles R. Steele succeeded Herrmann as editor in chief in 1985 and served in that capacity until June 2005. During his 20-year tenure the journal grew both in size and in reputation, becoming one of the premier journals in the field. We have accepted an invitation to serve as editors of the journal as of October 1, 2005, being cognizant of the immense contributions, leadership, and high standards exercised by our two predecessors on the way to making IJSS the forum it is today.
  27. Jump up^ “Resignation letter from the editors of Topology” (PDF). 10 August 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  28. Jump up^ Journal of Topology (pub. London Mathematical Society) Archived 7 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. Jump up^ “Topology”. elsevier.com. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  30. Jump up^ “Topology page at ScienceDirect”. Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved26 December 2013.
  31. Jump up^ John Baez: What We Can Do About Science Journals 13 August 2007
  32. Jump up^ “Publisher’s description of Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure”. Elsevier. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  33. Jump up^ David Glenn. “American Economic Association Plans 4 New Journals”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 25 January 2008. Available online atChronicle.com
  34. Jump up^ “Medical journal editor sacked and editorial committee resigns”. Retrieved18 May 2015.
  35. Jump up^ Peterson, Andrea (19 December 2013). “How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research”. The Washington Post. Retrieved6 January 2015.
  36. Jump up^ Masnick, Mike (20 December 2013). “Elsevier Ramps Up Its War On Access To Knowledge”. Techdirt. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  37. Jump up^ Parr, Chris (12 June 2014). “Sharing is a way of life for millions on Academia.edu”. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  38. Jump up^ Howard, Jennifer (6 December 2013). “Posting Your Latest Article? You Might Have to Take It Down”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved14 September 2015.
  39. Jump up^ “Self-publishing editor set to retire”. Nature 456: 432. doi:10.1038/456432a.
  40. Jump up^ Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 38(5), pp. 1229–1534 (December 2008)
  41. Jump up^ “The Scholarly Kitchen”.
  42. Jump up^ “El Naschie Watch Blog”.
  43. Jump up^ “Publisher’s note”. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 39: v–. 2009.Bibcode:2009CSF….39D…5.. doi:10.1016/S0960-0779(09)00060-5.
  44. Jump up^ “Chaos, Solitons and Fractals”. November 2011.
  45. Jump up^ Ghosh, Pallab (11 November 2011). “Nature journal libel case begins”. BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  46. Jump up^ “Nature libel verdict ‘a victory for free speech'”,The Guardian 6 July 2012
  47. Jump up^ Aron, Jacob (6 July 2012). “Nature Publishing Group wins libel trial”. New Scientist (2873). Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  48. Jump up^ Rout, Milanda (9 April 2009). “Doctors signed Merck’s Vioxx studies”. The Australian. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  49. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (30 April 2009). “Merck published fake journal”. The Scientist. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  50. Jump up^ Hagan, Kate (23 April 2009). “Merck accused of ‘ghost writing’ medical article”. The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  51. Jump up^ Ben Goldacre, “The danger of drugs … and data”, The Guardian, 9 May 2009
  52. Jump up^ “Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal” (PDF) (Press release). Merck & Co. 30 April 2009.
  53. Jump up^ “Statement from Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier’s Health Sciences Division, regarding Australia based sponsored journal practices between 2000 and 2005”(Press release). Elsevier.
  54. Jump up^ Grant, Bob (7 May 2009). “Elsevier published 6 fake journals”. The Scientist.
  55. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica”, official webpage”. Elsevier.
  56. Jump up^ “”Excerpta Medica Joins Adelphi Worldwide”, press release”. Elsevier.
  57. Jump up^ Finlo Rohrer, “The perils of five-star reviews“, BBC News Magazine, 25 June 2009.
  58. Jump up^ Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”. Science 342 (6154): 60–65. Bibcode:2013Sci…342…60B. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60.PMID 24092725.
  59. Jump up^ Claire Shaw. “Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper”. Theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  60. Jump up^ “Drug Invention Today”. sciencedirect.com.
  61. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 177.
  62. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 180.
  63. ^ Jump up to:a b c Flood, Alison (2 February 2012). “Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  64. ^ Jump up to:a b Fischman, Josh (30 January 2012). “Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  65. ^ Jump up to:a b “Scientific publishing: The price of information”. The Economist. 4 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  66. Jump up^ “thecostofknowledge.com”. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  67. Jump up^ “Elsevier Backs Down as Boycott Grows”. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  68. Jump up^ “Sponsors and Supporters Back Away from Research Works Act”. Retrieved25 August 2014.
  69. Jump up^ Jump, Paul (27 March 2014). “Elsevier: bumps on road to open access”.Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  70. Jump up^ Vollmer, Timothy (13 March 2015). “Are commercial publishers wrongly selling access to openly licensed scholarly articles?”. Creative Commons News. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  71. Jump up^ Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie (20 November 2015). “Text-mining block prompts online response”. Nature 527 (7579): 413–413. doi:10.1038/527413f.
  72. Jump up^ Moody, Glyn. “Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers ‘Could Be Considered’ Stealing”. TechDirt. Retrieved21 November 2015.
  73. Jump up^ A. Wise, 2015-11-17, Elsevier stopped me doing my research – Comment by Dr Alicia Wise

Sources[edit]

  • Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-8108-52723.

Criticism and controversies[edit]

In addition to issues indicated in this section, Elsevier’s parent company (Reed Elsevier) has been criticised for its links to the weapons industry.

Pricing[edit]

In recent years the subscription rates charged by the company for its journals have been criticized; some very large journals (more than 5000 articles) charge subscription prices as high as £9,634, far above average,[15] and many British universities pay more than a million pounds to Elsevier annually.[16] The company has been criticized not only by advocates of a switch to the open-access publication model, but also by universities whose library budgets make it difficult for them to afford current journal prices. For example, a resolution by Stanford University‘s senate singled out Elsevier’s journals as being “disproportionately expensive compared to their educational and research value,” which librarians should consider dropping, and encouraged its faculty “not to contribute articles or editorial or review efforts to publishers and journals that engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing.”[17] Similar guidelines and criticism of Elsevier’s pricing policies have been passed by the University of California, Harvard University, and Duke University.[18] In July 2015 the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities.[19]

Resignation of editorial boards[edit]

In November 1999 the entire editorial board (50 persons) of the Journal of Logic Programming (founded in 1984 by Alan Robinson) collectively resigned after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier Press about the price of library subscriptions.[20] The personnel created a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming, with Cambridge University Press at a much lower price,[20] while Elsevier continued publication with a new editorial board and a slightly different name (the Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming).

In 2002, dissatisfaction at Elsevier’s pricing policies caused the European Economic Association to terminate an agreement with Elsevier designating Elsevier’sEuropean Economic Review as the official journal of the association. The EEA launched a new journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association.[21]

In 2003, the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms resigned to start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher,[22] at the suggestion of Journal of Algorithms founder Donald Knuth.[23] The Journal of Algorithms continued under Elsevier with a new editorial board until October 2009, when it was discontinued.[24]

The same happened in 2005 to the International Journal of Solids and Structures, whose editors resigned to start the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. However, a new editorial board was quickly established and the journal continues in apparently unaltered form with editors D.A. Hills (Oxford University) and Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin).[25][26]

In August 2006, the entire editorial board of the distinguished mathematical journal Topology handed in their resignation, again because of stalled negotiations with Elsevier to lower the subscription price.[27] This board then launched the new Journal of Topology at a far lower price, under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society.[28] After this mass resignation, Topology remained in circulation under a new editorial board until 2009, when the last issue was published.[29][30]

The French École Normale Supérieure has stopped having Elsevier publish the journal Annales Scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure[31] (as of 2008).[32]

The elevated pricing of field journals in economics, most of which are published by Elsevier, was one of the motivations that moved the American Economic Association to launch the American Economic Journal in 2009.[33]

In May 2015, Stephen Leeder was removed from his role as editor of the Medical Journal of Australia after its publisher decided to outsource the journal’s production to Elsevier. As a consequence, all but one of the journal’s editorial advisory committee members co-signed a letter of resignation.[34]

In October 2015, the entire editorial staff of the general linguistics journal Lingua resigned in protest of Elsevier’s unwillingness to agree to their terms of Fair Open Access. Editor in Chief Johan Rooryck also announced that the Lingua staff would establish a new journal, Glossa.

Action against academics posting their own articles online[edit]

Digimarc, a company representing Elsevier, recently told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by faculty authors on university web pages; although such self-archiving of academic articles may be legal under the fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law, the university complied. Harvard University and theUniversity of California, Irvine also received takedown notices for self-archived academic articles, a first for Harvard, according to Peter Suber.[35][36]

Months after its acquisition of Academia.edu rival Mendeley, Elsevier sent thousands of takedown notices to Academia.edu, a practice that has since ceased following widespread complaint by academics, according to Academia.edu founder and chief executive Richard Price.[37][38]

Chaos, Solitons & Fractals[edit]

There was speculation[39] that the editor-in-chief of Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Mohamed El Naschie, misused his power to publish his own work without appropriate peer review. The journal had published 322 papers with El Naschie as author since 1993. The last issue of December 2008 featured five of his papers.[40] The controversy was covered extensively in blogs.[41][42] The publisher announced in January 2009 that El Naschie had retired as editor-in-chief.[43] As of November 2011 the co-Editors-in-Chief of the journal were Maurice Courbage and Paolo Grigolini.[44] In June 2011 El Naschie sued the journal Nature for libel, claiming that his reputation had been damaged by their November 2008 article about his retirement, which included statements that Nature had been unable to verify his claimed affiliations with certain international institutions.[45] The suit came to trial in November 2011 and was dismissed in July 2012, with the judge ruling that the article was “substantially true”, contained “honest comment” and was “the product of responsible journalism”. The judgement noted that El Naschie, who represented himself in court, had failed to provide any documentary evidence that his papers had been peer-reviewed.[46] Judge Victoria Sharp also found “reasonable and serious grounds” for suspecting that El Naschie used a range of false names to defend his editorial practice in communications with Nature, and described this behavior as “curious” and “bizarre”.[47]

[edit]

At a 2009 court case in Australia where Merck & Co. was being sued by a user of Vioxx, the plaintiff alleged that Merck had paid Elsevier to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewed academic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs.[48][49][50][51] Merck described the journal as a “complimentary publication,” denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck, and stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.[52] In May 2009, Elsevier Health Sciences CEO Hansen released a statement regarding Australia-based sponsored journals, conceding that they were “sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures.” The statement acknowledged that it “was an unacceptable practice.”[53] The Scientist reported that, according to an Elsevier spokesperson, six sponsored publications “were put out by their Australia office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint from 2000 to 2005,” namely theAustralasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (Australas. J. Bone Joint Med.), the Australasian Journal of General Practice (Australas. J. Gen. Pract.), theAustralasian Journal of Neurology (Australas. J. Neurol.), the Australasian Journal of Cardiology (Australas. J. Cardiol.), the Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (Australas. J. Clin. Pharm.), and the Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (Australas. J. Cardiovasc. Med.).[54] Excerpta Medica was a “strategic medical communications agency” run by Elsevier, according to the imprint’s web page.[55] In October 2010, Excerpta Medica was acquired by Adelphi Worldwide.[56]

Shill review offer[edit]

According to the BBC, “the firm [Elsevier] offered a £17.25 Amazon voucher to academics who contributed to the textbook Clinical Psychology if they would go onAmazon.com and Barnes & Noble (a large US books retailer) and give it five stars.” Elsevier said that “encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn’t outside the norm in scholarly publishing, nor is it wrong to offer to nominally compensate people for their time. But in all instances the request should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that’s where this particular e-mail went too far”, and that it was a mistake by a marketing employee.[57]

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review[edit]

One of Elsevier’s journals was caught in the sting set-up by John Bohannon, published in Science, called Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?[58] The journal Drug Invention Today accepted an obviously bogus paper made-up by Bohannon that should have been rejected by any good peer review system.[59] Instead, Drug Invention Todaywas among many open access journals that accepted the fake paper for publication. As of 2014, this journal had been transferred to a different publisher.[60]

“The Cost of Knowledge” boycott[edit]

Main article: The Cost of Knowledge

In 2003 various university librarians began coordinating with each other to complain about Elsevier’s “big deal” journal bundling packages, in which the company offered a group of journal subscriptions to libraries at a certain rate, but in which librarians claimed there was no economical option to subscribe to only the popular journals at a rate comparable to the bundled rate.[61] Librarians continued to discuss the implications of the pricing schemes, many feeling pressured into buying the Elsevier packages without other options.[62]

On 21 January 2012, mathematician Timothy Gowers publicly announced he would boycott Elsevier, noting that others in the field have been doing so privately. The three reasons for the boycott are high subscription prices for individual journals, bundling subscriptions to journals of different value and importance, and Elsevier’s support for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act.[63][64][65]

Following this, a petition advocating non-cooperation with Elsevier (that is, not submitting papers to Elsevier journals, not refereeing articles in Elsevier journals, and not participating in journal editorial boards), appeared on the site “The Cost of Knowledge”. By February 2012 this petition had been signed by over 5,000 academics.,[63][64] growing to over 13,000 by January 2013.[66]

Elsevier disputed the claims, arguing that their prices are below the industry average, and stating that bundling is only one of several different options available to buy access to Elsevier journals.[63] The company also claimed that its profit margins are “simply a consequence of the firm’s efficient operation”.[65]

On 27 February 2012, Elsevier issued a statement on its website that declared that it has withdrawn support from the Research Works Act.[67] Although the Cost of Knowledge movement was not mentioned, the statement indicated the hope that the move would “help create a less heated and more productive climate” for ongoing discussions with research funders. Hours after Elsevier’s statement, the sponsors of the bill, US House Representatives Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney, issued a joint statement saying that they would not push the bill in Congress.[68]

Selling open access articles[edit]

In 2014 Elsevier was found to be selling some articles which should have been open access, but had been put behind a paywall.[69] A related case occurred in 2015, when Elsevier charged for downloading an open access article from a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. However, it was not clear whether Elsevier was in violation of the license under which the article was made available on their website.[70]

Blocking text mining research[edit]

In November 2015 Elsevier blocked a scientist from performing text mining research at scale on Elsevier papers, even though his institution already pays for access to Elsevier journal content.[71][72] Elsevier allows text mining via their corresponding API, but not by the screenscraping method the scientist used.[73]

Imprints[edit]

Imprints are brand names in publishing. Elsevier uses its imprints to market to different consumer segments. Many of them have previously been the company names of publishers that were purchased by Reed Elsevier.

See also[edit]

  • List of Elsevier periodicals
  • 2collab, a free researcher collaboration tool launched by Elsevier in 2007 and discontinued in 2011
  • Sci-Hub, an open-access website providing free access to paywalled academic papers on a massive scale that’s involved in a legal case with Elsevier

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g “2015 RELX Group Annual Report” (PDF). RELX Group Company Reports. RELX Group. March 2016.
  2. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “RELX Group homepage”.
  3. Jump up^ Reller, Tom. “Science Direct”.
  4. Jump up^ Lin, Thomas (13 February 2012). “Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher”. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Groen 2007, p. 217.
  6. Jump up^ Gerry van der List, Meer dan een weekblad. De geschiedenis van Elsevier
  7. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier Timeline”. http://www.ulib.niu.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Amirtha, Tina. “THE OPEN PUBLISHING REVOLUTION, NOW BEHIND A BILLION-DOLLAR PAYWALL”. Fast Company. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. Jump up^ “When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out”, David Dobbs, The New Yorker, 12 April 2013
  10. Jump up^ “University College London and Elsevier launch UCL Big Data Institute | Elsevier Connect”. Elsevier.com. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Reed Elsevier announces knowledge partnership with University College, London”. The Independent. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.(subscription required (help)).
  12. Jump up^ [1]“. Elsevier.
  13. Jump up^ Health Advance. Elsevier.
  14. Jump up^ “Elsevier Global Conferences”. elsevier.com.
  15. Jump up^ Monbiot, George (29 August 2011). “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist”. Guardian.
  16. Jump up^ “Elsevier journals — some facts”. Gowers’s Weblog. 24 April 2014. Retrieved27 July 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Faculty Senate minutes February 19 meeting Stanford Report, 25 February 2004
  18. Jump up^ “Fac Sen addresses costly journals”. The Stanford Daily. 20 February 2004.
  19. Jump up^ Danny Kingsley Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer?, University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b Joan Birman. “Scientific publishing: a mathematician’s viewpoint“.Notices of the AMS. Vol. 47, No. 7, August 2000
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  51. Jump up^ Ben Goldacre, “The danger of drugs … and data”, The Guardian, 9 May 2009
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  57. Jump up^ Finlo Rohrer, “The perils of five-star reviews“, BBC News Magazine, 25 June 2009.
  58. Jump up^ Bohannon, John (2013). “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”. Science 342 (6154): 60–65. Bibcode:2013Sci…342…60B. doi:10.1126/science.342.6154.60.PMID 24092725.
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  62. Jump up^ Groen 2007, p. 180.
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  71. Jump up^ Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie (20 November 2015). “Text-mining block prompts online response”. Nature 527 (7579): 413–413. doi:10.1038/527413f.
  72. Jump up^ Moody, Glyn. “Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers ‘Could Be Considered’ Stealing”. TechDirt. Retrieved21 November 2015.
  73. Jump up^ A. Wise, 2015-11-17, Elsevier stopped me doing my research – Comment by Dr Alicia Wise

Sources[edit]

  • Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-8108-52723.

External links[edit]

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