Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Argh, these pharmaceuticals" UPDATE: Shame on you, Elsevier

As you may remember, I've recently discussed the "Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine", an Elsevier publication paid for by Merck, that published (more like reprinted) scientific articles and one-source reviews (yes, with one reference!), most of which presented data favorable to Merck's products, with no disclosure of its support [Argh, these pharmaceuticals].

I ended that post by stating,
Is it possible that other 'supposedly' legitimate journals exist, which are in fact being supported, without disclosure, by pharmaceutical companies?
Apparently they do. And many from Elsevier, The Scientist reports [Elsevier published 6 fake journals] (you need to register to read full article -it's free-).
Scientific publishing giant Elsevier put out a total of six publications between 2000 and 2005 that were sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies and looked like peer reviewed medical journals, but did not disclose sponsorship, the company has admitted.
A total of six titles in a "series of sponsored article publications" were published by Elsevier's Australian office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint, from 2000 to 2005.

"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," said Michael Hansen, CEO of Elsevier's Health Sciences Division (See statement issued by Elsevier).

He continued:
"We are currently conducting an internal review but believe this was an isolated practice from a past period in time (...) and it does not reflect the way we operate today (...) I can assure all that the integrity of Elsevier's publications and business practices remains intact" he added".
What can I say... I am, to say the least, suspicious.

ScienceBlips: vote it up!


1 Comment:

Francisco Barriga said...

This makes you wonder if the Australian chapter of Elsevier is the only "rotten apple". With the astounding amount of journals indexed into not only Elsevier but the other big repositories (for lack of a better name..) this makes it relativelt easy to sneak some fake journals under the radar (allegedly without the central office knowing...). This, as always , points towards the responsibility of scientists not only at producing science with integrity, but even more at critically analyzing published data (and I dont know anyone who would actually believe a review with one cited paper). Bottom line: shame on the pharmaceuticals and the publishers for mudding the name of science.