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More on Elsevier Journal Scandal

May 16, 2009
Capsules and Pills © Bilderbuch/Design Pics/Corbis

Capsules and Pills © Bilderbuch/Design Pics/Corbis

As previously reported, publishing giant Elsevier has admitted to publishing six fake medical journals between 2000 and 2005, all of which were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and released in Australia.

According to a report in Library Journal, 5/14/2009, byJosh Hadro, the Elsevier Journal Scandal is provoking response from librarians who are calling for some action from ALA and MLA.

The problem now is that libraries have always promoted themselves as being a place where genuine, credible, timely and authentic information is available for the patrons. Now, this scandal has challenged libraries and librarians as facilitators or gatekeepers of that genuine information.

In his article, Hadro quotes Jonathan Rochkind, Digital Services and Software Engineer at Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries:

What responsibility do librarians have to detect such things on behalf of our patrons? Is it feasible to expect us to be able to do that, or is the increasingly giant body of mostly electronically read literature way out of our ability to be expected to ever catch anything like this? And if even professional experts in publishing conventions can’t reasonably be expected to catch it… what does this say about scholarly output in general?

In response to this, the Progressive Librarians Guild has issued a call for Elsevier to End Corrupt Publishing Practices and for Library Associations to Take Advocacy Role on Behalf of Scientific Integrity. Details available here.

Elsevier’s  statement by CEO of Health Sciences Division Michael Hansen is available here.

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