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My lab:
Publishing giant Elsevier is really on a non-stop campaign for bad PR lately:
  1. In April/May it became known that they had used funds from the pharmaceutical industry to create fake journals in a "stealth marketing campaign to Australian Doctors" (The Scientist). Elsevier statement: "This was an unacceptable practice, and we regret that it took place."
  2. At about the same time, Elsevier's parent corporation, Reed Elsevier, reported that 2008 was a record year both for the parent and Elsevier itself in terms of revenue and profit. When almost every other company on this planet was taking losses, a publisher relying mainly on taxpayer money raked in a whopping 716 million € in adjusted profits, a solid 3% more than the previous year (see presentation below for charts).
  3. Now this month, Elsevier attempts to get universities to link to Elsevier's online content instead of hosting their own Open Access repositories.
  4. A few days later, the news surfaces that Elsevier has offered money for positive book reviews (for their own books, of course) on Elsevier statement: "request(s) should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that's where this particular e-mail went too far."
  5. And finally, just a few days ago, Elsevier lost a lawsuit where they wanted to prevent their licensing practices from becoming public. Something they have to hide in their pricing schemes?
And that's just the last three months. I wonder what's next? They're going to offer $25 discounts in their page charges for every Elsevier-citation in a manuscript published with them? Or add $25 to the page charges for every non-Elsevier citation? Seriously, would it surprise you?
Here some more info on other things wrong with how scientists do busieness these days, with quite a bit on Elsevier:

Posted on Wednesday 24 June 2009 - 09:30:44 comment: 0

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