May 11, 2009
Fake Journals by Elsevier
News in the library community is beginning to spread about the fact that the database Elsevier published a "peer-reviewed" journal that was a shill for the pharmaceutical company Merck. The specific title in question is the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine. This journal reportedly published data favorable to Merck products without basis and justified its peer reviewed status by containing excerpts from peer-reviewed papers.
While many law reviews and journals are not peer reviewed the great proliferation of humanities law (or any of its other names), i.e. Law and Religion or Law and Sociology, should cause concern for those studying in fields that their research may have been compromised by actions such as this by database publishers. Additionally, this action begs the question of a libraries ability to trust database publishers and if any similar shenanigans have taken place in legal research databases.
May 11, 2009 | Permalink
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Not quite sure how this is a 'fake journal.' It exists (or existed), so it's as real as any publication - from a peer-reviewed academic journal, to a newsletter put out by a neighborhood association - can be. And if a scholar or librarian perceives what is essentially a marketing newsletter - or, hell, current awareness tool - as an independent, stand-alone journal - that's their problem, not the publisher's.
While we're at it, though, hell, the question of the differences between what databases claim to provide and what they actually do has been kicked around so much in the LIS literature that there really is no reason to bring it up ever again - except for the possible ignorance that some subject librarians tend to have of the full scope of the literature of the academic field that they are involved in.
Posted by: Mikhail Koulikov | May 11, 2009 9:00:45 AM