Fake Journals From Purveyors of Quality

Well, if relying on commercial publishers to uphold scholarly standards was ever among your naivetes, consider yourself disillusioned. Starting three weeks ago in The Australian, and this week twice in The Scientist (free registration required), it has been uncovered that Elsevier produced a number of publications that had the look and feel of peer-reviewed publications, but were in fact marketing tools:

Elsevier is conducting an “internal review” of its publishing practices after allegations came to light that the company produced a pharmaceutical company-funded publication in the early 2000s without disclosing that the “journal” was corporate sponsored.

The allegations involve the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, a publication paid for by pharmaceutical company Merck that amounted to a compendium of reprinted scientific articles and one-source reviews, most of which presented data favorable to Merck’s products.

So far, it seems to be contained to an Australian imprint, Excerpta Medica, which seems not to have had entree into the main indexes of medical lit. Shades of The Fugutive, anyone? Or Nancy Olivieri?

Comments are closed.