Friends Really Don’t Let Friends Publish in Elsevier Journals

by Henry on January 26, 2012

A few years ago, I wrote a post explaining that I was no longer going to referee for, or publish in journals published by Elsevier (and that I was likely only to cite Elsevier published articles with an explicit health warning). This was relatively cheap for me, as I work in a field where Elsevier has little presence (I’ve only had one occasion to turn down refereeing in the intervening period), but I did suggest that other readers might do the same. Now, Tim Gowers has independently had the same idea. Unsurprisingly, famous mathematicians are rather better able to rally support than political scientists of middling repute. So far, nearly 400 academics have publicly committed not to cooperate with Elsevier (I suspect this is an undercount, as they are verifying the credentials of signatories before posting their names). I warmly recommend that CT readers, especially readers in the hard sciences sign up. This is a plausibly effective form of collective action, since these journals, published by a notably rapacious and demonstrably dishonest commercial enterprise, rely on a lot of volunteer work to keep going. If academics stop working for Elsevier journals for free, either because they sign up to these commitments, or because they get the broad feeling that Elsevier is bad news, then the company’s business model collapses.

Via Michael Nielsen.

{ 60 comments }

1

malilo 01.26.12 at 2:52 am

I am in, though Astrophysics doesn’t have any major journals with Elsevier. The only one I might cite is New Astronomy Reviews. I have occasionally daydreamed about organizing a non-profit, open-source journal for Astronomy/Astrophys, but I am just a grad student so it will be a while before I’m really in a position to do such a thing.

2

ConcernedScientist 01.26.12 at 8:28 am

As a scientist and open-access agnostic, I fear that isolating and embargoing one company based on a handful of misdemeanors may actually be harming science more than it may (although as of yet unproven) benefit. As a neuroscientist, Elsevier journals are an important factor in publication choice. Losing a crucial set of publication outlets to a poorly-informed rally against this company will certainly damage the integrity of the scientific record in my field.
As a sub-point, I think it is naive to imagine that a company like Elsevier, or Wiley, or Springer (to cite the big three) rely solely on their journals business to remain in operation.

3

Walt 01.26.12 at 8:47 am

But Elsevier journals are an important factor in publication choice because academics allowed them to be so. A high-profile academic journal is a valuable property, a valuable property that academics have just given away. You are paying Elsevier to sell your own work product back to you.

Honestly, the situation is just embarrassing. No corporation would allow another corporation to sell their own product back to them at a gigantic markup.

4

ConcernedScientist 01.26.12 at 9:00 am

I agree that a high profile journal is of value, and of course the core value is derived from the quality science provided by the community. However, the publisher is instrumental in developing the brand of that publication (take Cell, Nature, Science as examples, 2 of which are solely commercial in focus). There is little value in disorganised science and while there is always going to be free enterprise in publishing, perhaps an call to embargo one company is not the answer to our problems, when several others are doing exactly the same thing. I also don’t think open access is the answer, as this article seems to describe a rather emotional reaction. Does the author drink at Starbucks or shop at Walmart in between reviewing (2 examples but you get the point)?

5

dsquared 01.26.12 at 9:03 am

I suspect that if Henry owned a coffee plantation, and Starbucks was in the habit of taking his coffee for free, mixing it with asbestos and then making him pay to drink it, he’d probably be boycotting them too.

6

ajay 01.26.12 at 9:44 am

As a sub-point, I think it is naive to imagine that a company like Elsevier, or Wiley, or Springer (to cite the big three) rely solely on their journals business to remain in operation.

a) Not far from the truth actually. The journals publishing business is legendarily lucrative. Reed Elsevier, which is Elsevier’s parent company, made £1.5 billion operating profit last year. The largest share – almost half – came from the Elsevier STM publishing division, which was also the most profitable as a share of revenues.

b) Even if it were completely false – even if Elsevier was a tiny fraction of a Lockheed Martin-sized company with all sorts of other interests all over the place – you’re missing the point. The point is not that Henry wishes to destroy Reed Elsevier NV root and branch. The point is that he wants the journal publishing business model to stop working for them.

7

J. Otto Pohl 01.26.12 at 9:48 am

Could you post a link where we can find out what journals Elsevier publishes? I am sure I could find it with google, but since the boycott is Henry’s idea it might be nice if he provided us with a list of exactly what we should be boycotting. I am an historian so I doubt I would have much chance to publish in these journals anyways, but I am in solidarity with the effort.

8

JL 01.26.12 at 10:00 am

Here’s a list of Elsevier’s journals (all 2635 of them): http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journal_browse.cws_home

9

Neil 01.26.12 at 10:14 am

“Concerned scientist” seems remarkably uninterested in empirical evidence.

10

Z 01.26.12 at 10:43 am

A bold and worthy initiative! Very very prominent names in the mathematics community have shown up straight away and in such an extent that the tipping point where refereeing becomes significantly harder in certain subfields might already be within reach.

That said, I disagree with the statement that academics are paying Elsevier to sell [their] own work product back to [them]. It comes back to you with the imprimatur of a published result, the open sesame to a position (permanent or otherwise). A serious discussion of the current publishing system cannot ignore the fact that publications are an essential component of selection and distinction in a very competitive and malthusian environment.

11

ajay 01.26.12 at 10:45 am

I would suspect – not that I want to put words into Henry’s keyboard or anything – that the ideal outcome here would be not for all 2635 RE journals to be destroyed, but for RE to realise that the journals are going to fail (due to the boycott) if they continue in RE ownership, and to sell them off for as little as possible to some other body which would manage them rather better, such as a professional society, a purpose-built non-profit group or an individual university.

12

Barry 01.26.12 at 11:39 am

Neil 01.26.12 at 10:14 am

” “Concerned scientist” seems remarkably uninterested in empirical evidence.”

Concern trolls never are.

13

Antonio Conselheiro 01.26.12 at 12:08 pm

Is #2 a parody?

14

dsquared 01.26.12 at 12:13 pm

That said, I disagree with the statement that academics are paying Elsevier to sell [their] own work product back to [them]. It comes back to you with the imprimatur of a published result, the open sesame to a position (permanent or otherwise).

The credentialling and the academic positions are also the work product of the academics! In normal industries, if you want to get a bonus or a promotion, you demonstrate good work to your superiors, and occasionally you have to go through a selection process organised by your HR department. If someone suggested a system whereby the HR department would only accept promotion cases submitted to them by external, profit-making companies (not companies which actually did the work of assessing the merits of the promotion case, note – your company would have to provide that service, free of charge), then I think most corporations or public sector institutions would say “no, you’re having a laugh”.

15

Antonio Conselheiro 01.26.12 at 12:14 pm

Has anyone studied the process by which entities like Elsevier gain lucrative publication monopolies? On the part of the journal or society I’m imagining disorganization, naivety, indifference, laziness, and a haphazard decision-making process, with Elsevier et al speeding things along with a few key gifts to individuals (probably executive secretaries).

16

Barry 01.26.12 at 12:34 pm

Concern Troll: “…I fear that isolating and embargoing one company based on a handful of misdemeanors”.

Note that in this person’s eyes, setting up fraudulent journals for fraudulent articles is a misdemeanor.

17

Z 01.26.12 at 12:43 pm

The credentialling and the academic positions are also the work product of the academics!

The credentialling, yes. The academic positions, no, or at least not in my field and my country. We have to convince other people to pay us for what we do, with the expectation that what we do will have no impact on them.

In normal industries, if you want to get a bonus or a promotion, you demonstrate good work to your superiors

Sure, but in normal industry you can demonstrate good work to your superiors by making a lot of money (directly or indirectly) or, in the case of public institutions, by pointing out to material achievements. This is not nearly as easy to do for pure researchers. Now, the system that we have chosen-and that I won’t spend a minute defending-has decreed that publications and a semi-official ranking in the reputation of journals is a close proxy to this. I personally think this system is quite bad, but it is not so easy to devise a reasonable alternative and the pathway from here to there, especially because the current system does work as a rough first approximation (after all, if I were to claim that I am a leading expert in my field and that I am bound to get the next Fields medal, you could click on my name, read my list of publications check out the reputation of the journals and conclude easily that my claim is highly unlikely; yet you would probably be unable to do so from the content of the articles alone). Note again that I am not defending the system, just pointing out that the raison d’être of Elsevier is not solely to distribute research papers.

18

dsquared 01.26.12 at 1:02 pm

“The reputation of the journals” is also the work-product of academics. As I understand it, the life cycle of an academic paper from idea to CV is:

1. Academic has idea.
2. Academic researches idea.
3. Academic writes paper.
4. Paper is handed to Elsevier
5. Elsevier hands paper to journal editor, who is an academic doing the job for no pay.
6. Editor assesses suitability of paper for publication in journal
7. Editor hands paper to referees (who are academics doing the job for no pay)
8. Referees assess suitability of paper for publication
9. Editor handles revisions and changes with author
10. Paper is handed to Elsevier
11. Elsevier distributes paper.
12. Academics read paper, along with other papers in journal, and form opinion of value of both.
13. Original author lists paper on CV, which allows other academics to judge quality of author’s work because they have read other papers in the same journal.

Elsevier is just distributing the research papers here. All the quality control is done by academics working for no money, and the “brand value” is also only established by academics reading the journal.

19

neurosciencist 01.26.12 at 1:10 pm

13 of my 35 published papers are in Elsevier journals, and two close colleagues are editors of Elsevier journals. Many other papers are in Springer or Wiley journals, which work on similar principles. I strongly support the idea of open-access in principle, but it would be nearly career-suicide for me, as a tenure-track scientist, to refuse to publish in or review for 1/3 of my field’s journals and to refuse to support my senior colleagues as editors. So I find myself trapped by the system.

20

Neil 01.26.12 at 1:14 pm

dsquared, you are essentially correct. But Elsevier – I assume – plays an important facilitating role. I edit a Springer journal (I fully accept that Springer has its own problems along similar lines to those highlighted in the post. I hope they are not as bad, but I am not sure). Springer automates the process and makes my life very much easier. Papers are not submitted to me, but to a website which notifies me of submission. I select the referees, but the software sends out the letter, then the process of getting the paper – stripped automatically of the marks that identify the author – to the referee is automated, and so is the process of their returning reports (not, sadly, the process of their writing the reports). Typesetting and publication of papers is also of course automated.

I couldn’t edit the journal without all this backroom work being done for me. I am not claiming that this work justifies Elsevier’s (or Springer’s) prices, just that it is being done, it is important, and that the requirement that it be done is a major disincentive to going it alone. I am sure that the expertise to set up this kind of system is to be found out there – the commercial publisher is not required – but I don’t have it, and the fact that it is needed is part of the reason why editors go with the big publishers.

21

Z 01.26.12 at 1:19 pm

and the “brand value” is also only established by academics reading the journal.

Yes, but nevertheless the brand value exists, and this point of reference is of some worth. Note in particular that having the reputation of being OK but definitely not great is of some worth (that’s where people can submit articles which are OK but definitely not great). So if you were to start a journal from scratch, the hard part is to get a brand value to start with, and this is no trivial work (a common phenomenon is that recent generalist journals have sharply different perceived level in different sub-fields, something that can easily skew the recruiting process even within a given field). Can we do without Elsevier? Yes. Can we find a better proxy to quality that number and reputation of journals? Probably yes. Are these easy to do? I would say no.

22

Caleb D'Anvers 01.26.12 at 1:52 pm

“Has anyone studied the process by which entities like Elsevier gain lucrative publication monopolies? On the part of the journal or society I’m imagining disorganization, naivety, indifference, laziness, and a haphazard decision-making process, with Elsevier et al speeding things along with a few key gifts to individuals (probably executive secretaries).”

An appeal to the Humanities! Book historians, publishing historians: now is your chance to shine!

23

Neil 01.26.12 at 1:57 pm

Caleb: sounds more like social science to me. We need data, no? Of course historians may have something to contribute too.

24

ajay 01.26.12 at 2:07 pm

22, 23: D’Anvers, Neil et al, 2011: “A Historical Comparison of the Importance of Disorganisation, Naivete, Indifference, Laziness, Haphazard Decision-Making and Bribery in the Establishment of Corrupt, Overpriced Academic Publishing Monopolies”, eh?
The topic sounds interesting, but I have a sneaking feeling it might be tricky to get it published :)

25

Caleb D'Anvers 01.26.12 at 2:08 pm

Book history and publishing history is all about the data, Neil. Or should be. I’m just saying that there is an existing field (and area of expertise) available for studying just this kind of question. The problem, I guess, would be getting access to (commercially sensitive) records and documentation that would allow us to trace the evolution of Elsevier’s business activities. Book historians are often content with using archival evidence: old records that have too often been thoroughly weeded and appraised to rid them of anything that might reflect badly on their creators. The questions they ask tend to be safely historical, in other words. It would be nice to see an intervention from the field in an area of current interest, like this one.

26

Caleb D'Anvers 01.26.12 at 2:13 pm

We’ll distribute it on street corners, and during coffee breaks at academic conferences, ajay! Put some dubstep beats behind it and upload it to Soundcloud! There are ways around the publishing industry!

27

Joshua W. Burton 01.26.12 at 2:51 pm

Readers outside of math and physics may not realize that there is a long, long backstory here. Going back at least to the late 1980s, Elsevier has been widely known as a bad outlier by every measure of citation cost effectiveness, usually second only to the unlamented Gordon & Breach. (The AMS began publishing these studies in 1984, but the online trail doesn’t reach quite that far back.)

In fine, there is a full (biological, not academic) generation of researchers who have been simmering about this since grad school, waiting and hoping for a chance to take collective action. Paul Ginsparg’s arXiv was basically built on this anger.

It will be interesting to see what the beast does when cornered. The early 1990s Gordon & Breach libel p(ro/er)secution of the late Henry Barschall was infamous, and today the stakes are much higher.

28

queconoteimporta 01.26.12 at 2:59 pm

Neil @ 20
Similar automated refereeing and editing processes is done in the journals of the American Physical Society, including Physical Review Letters and Reviews of Modern Physics, which are modulo none, the most important journal in all physics. I am not sure about the Elsevier journals in Physics (important though they are, like Nuclear Physics and “Chaos, Solitons and Fractals”), but, Physics Letters B was not automated at all a couple of years ago.

29

Colin Danby 01.26.12 at 4:22 pm

I’d appreciate a little more discussion of the “won’t referee” part. I think of refereeing as an obligation to other scholars, and I’ve benefited hugely from the refereeing I’ve received. Clearly the publisher needs it too, but it misses the point to think of it primarily as work for the publisher.

This is related to the points raised by neuroscientist above. A paper may not get published if an editor cannot find the kind of referees needed.

I agree that Elsevier’s behavior, particularly the fake journals, is horrifying.

30

Bloix 01.26.12 at 4:22 pm

What’s going on here is that academics are working, on time paid for by student tuition or tax-payer funds, for a for-profit company, which then extracts the value of that time by charging exhorbitant subscription rates to university libraries, which pay those rates out of tuition and tax-payer funds.

I understand why academics publish in these journals: everyone except the biggest names gets more prestige from being in the journal than vice versa.

What I don’t understand is why academics review for these journals without compensation. Your students get nothing from their tuition dollars when you are reviewing for Elsevier. And you are taking time from your own research when you do it.

Do you think it’s prestigious to be asked to review? Please. You’re being taken for a chump. Tell Elsevier that your time is worth $500 per hour, and you’ll be happy to review articles for that rate. That’s what a middling-competent New York lawyer would charge for giving legal advice. Why to do you give advice to a monstrously profitable multi-national corporation for free?

31

ben w 01.26.12 at 5:33 pm

stripped automatically of the marks that identify the author

Natural language processing has come a long way, it seems, since last I heard.

32

Neil 01.26.12 at 6:00 pm

Ben w: a title page with identifying details may be identified as such. We have these things called “computers” which can handle these things. No really.

33

edo 01.26.12 at 6:34 pm

#4 ConcernedScientist : “perhaps an call to embargo one company is not the answer to our problems, when several others are doing exactly the same thing”

But such a strategy do seem effective in other campaigns. Target a major player that is among the worst. Keep the pressure up until they are forced to substantive change or are knocked out or are shaken enough for better players to gain traction. Then move on to the next, now new worst, major player and repeat the procedure. After some victories there will be preventive change from other players.

34

ben w 01.26.12 at 8:31 pm

Ben w: a title page with identifying details may be identified as such. We have these things called “computers” which can handle these things. No really.

Oh, so you mean, the author stripped the paper of identifying details, taking care to put them only in one place (which could have been submitted as a separate document in the first place). Gotcha.

35

Nick Barnes 01.26.12 at 11:22 pm

I’ve been reviewing for about a year now – a welcome sign that my work is starting to be taken seriously – and have never seen a paper “stripped” of identifying marks. I think this is a domain-specific thing.

36

engels 01.27.12 at 12:24 am

perhaps an call to embargo one company is not the answer to our problems, when several others are doing exactly the same thing

So irony really is dead.

37

Jim Johnson 01.27.12 at 2:10 am

Henry,

I am unsure if anyone has noted this, but it appears to me that Elsevier owns/controls Taylor & Francis which apprently owns/controls Routlege.

How far do you take your pedge to not review/publish/cite? I’m not trying to be a smart ass, I am curious. Especially on the citation front, the net seems to be pretty wide if we follow the corporate structure.

Jim

38

Jim Johnson 01.27.12 at 2:26 am

PS: Turns out the Reed Elsevier owns Nexis/Lexis too. It s pretty frightening to look behind the curtain!

39

Jim Johnson 01.27.12 at 2:36 am

I may be wrong about the corporate structure – it appears that the journal I was looking at (History of European Ideas) has MOVED from Elsevier to T&F/Routledge. My bad.

The Lexis/Nexis connection remains.

40

Henry 01.27.12 at 2:40 am

If Elsevier owned Taylor and Francis, it would obviously be a bigger deal for political scientists, but I’m not finding any evidence of that (Elsevier apparently considered a bid back in 2006, but appears to have been rebuffed in favor of Informa, whose owners look to be a private equity consortium). Lexis-Nexis you are right on though.

41

Doctor Science 01.27.12 at 2:55 am

I don’t know how you do trackbacks, but I just linked to you on Obsidian Wings.

42

Kenny Easwaran 01.27.12 at 6:13 pm

Does anyone know if this list is pretty much complete?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_periodicals_published_by_Elsevier

I was surprised to see that no journals I read or publish in are Elsevier. I suppose I had always been conflating them with Springer in my mind (which is why I thought Erkenntnis or Synthese might be Elsevier), and perhaps there are book presses that are Elsevier that I sometimes run into. But perhaps the list is just incomplete?

43

Mike 01.27.12 at 7:05 pm

Kenny,

The list isn’t complete–it looks like it doesn’t have much more than 300 titles, whereas the list at http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journal_browse.cws_home has 2631 entries.

They don’t seem very active in your area, but I notice that they do publish Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, which maybe you read.

44

Nick Barnes 01.27.12 at 7:54 pm

@Kenny Easwaran: that list is very incomplete. Elsevier has something like 2500 journals. See http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journal_browse.cws_home

45

Ingrid Robeyns 01.27.12 at 8:07 pm

I’m an Associate Editor for a journal run by Taylor & Francis, and all the services Neil (@#20) described are provided to that journal too. It would be interesting to hear to what extent an almost-open access journal, such as those published by Berkley Electronic Press, differs in the services they provide to editors.

On Elsevier as a company: if one goes to their website (Reed Elsevier), and looks a bit around, it seems like they only own Elsevier, Reed, and Lexis Nexus, cfr. http://www.reedelsevier.com/Pages/Home.aspx

But while the problem of fake journals may apply only to Elsevier, that doesn’t mean that one may not have to conclude for other commercial publishers too, that they are charging way too much for the services they provide.

46

bay of arizona 01.27.12 at 8:29 pm

Honestly, the situation is just embarrassing. No corporation would allow another corporation to sell their own product back to them at a gigantic markup.

That’s what the NCAA has done with the college football postseason, haven’t they?

47

Eli Rabett 01.27.12 at 9:12 pm

Eli respectfully suggests that this movement be called Occupy Elsevier

48

peterv 01.27.12 at 11:08 pm

“Honestly, the situation is just embarrassing. No corporation would allow another corporation to sell their own product back to them at a gigantic markup.”

Au contraire, telecoms companies do this all the time. British Telecom’s single largest customer is Vodafone, whose single largest customer is British Telecom.

49

Henry 01.28.12 at 2:37 am

Doctor Science, thanks. Eli – had the same idea after I wrote the initial post, and did it for teh twitter.

50

Henry 01.28.12 at 2:41 am

And via the Wikipedia link, I’ve found out that I have indeed published unwittingly in an Elsevier publication, albeit not an academic journal – _New Scientist_ is on their roster. All I can say is – never again.

UPDATE: I have since been informed that _New Scientist_ is owned by Elsevier’s parent company, Reed, but not by Elsevier itself (it is not in a position to choose its siblings, obviously).

51

guthrie 01.28.12 at 11:23 am

New Scientist is owned by elsevier? Why does that just confirm to me the slow downwards trend of the magazine’s quality?

52

ogmb 01.28.12 at 6:51 pm

dsquared 01.26.12 at 1:02 pm
10. Paper, along with copyright, is handed to Elsevier

Amended.

53

Henry 01.28.12 at 9:59 pm

bq. New Scientist is owned by elsevier? Why does that just confirm to me the slow downwards trend of the magazine’s quality?

I grew up spending summers in a house which had a lot of old copies of _New Scientist_, dating from about 1968-1974, and it was _great._ One of the reasons I was pleased to be asked to write was ( in retrospect obviously misplaced) nostalgia for the magazine in its heyday.

54

merian 01.29.12 at 6:24 am

So here I am, after 15 years of professional career about to bi-furcate and become a grad student again to acquire my own scientific credentials. I have a field, a topic, an advisor and a mentor. And it just happens that the best journal in my field as I see it – the most readable and interesting, and at place 3 or so in terms of citation index – is an Elsevier journal. Also, my brand-new mentor has published extensively in it. This is going to be interesting as I’m quite aghast at how little many otherwise considerate and aware scientists appear to be caring about the extortionary practices of the large journal publishers. To me it looks like one of those schemes that has managed to squeeze money out of public/non-profit research funding, via the universities’ and large institutional libraries.

ConcernedScientist::

As a scientist and open-access agnostic, I fear that isolating and embargoing one company based on a handful of misdemeanors may actually be harming science more than it may (although as of yet unproven) benefit. As a neuroscientist, Elsevier journals are an important factor in publication choice. Losing a crucial set of publication outlets to a poorly-informed rally against this company will certainly damage the integrity of the scientific record in my field.

My goodness, “damage the integrity of the scientific record”? How on earth is that supposed to happen? I’m actually sure that there are many individuals that care about science working at these places and that losing the support of the scientific community isn’t something that would leave them all completely cold. This said, the fact that they’re trying legislative avenues to force their business onto researchers gives me a pause. This issue seems to have gone rather far down the drain already.

(PS: I’ve commented before under my own name and with a link to a blog of mine, but feel the need to become pseudonymous for a while, and not only here. This is the same handle I’m using in other places, and I haven’t changed the email address associated with my comment.)

55

Eli Rabett 01.29.12 at 10:05 pm

Merian, Eli had this explained to him in the 1960s. After the war the great and good (of which the explainer was one) had to decide how to support academic publishing. There were two choices, essentially either direct funding of the learned societies publications or supporting page charge allocations in grants. They picked the latter because of the need to support private printing houses and the perceived impossibility of directly funding them with federal money. Elsevier figured out how to game the system, but Harold Varmus figured out how to do something about it, and the effort we are discussing may also have an effect.

56

Mr. Gunn 01.30.12 at 8:47 pm

I feel really sad for all the researchers who feel trapped by the system. I think it’s possible to take a principled stand against the Research Works Act (the legislation sponsored by Elsevier that started off this recent round of protests) without necessarily coming out and saying that Elsevier and all who publish there are evil. Things will only get better if we as a community all decide it needs to change, and there needs to be a leader to lead the movement so that scientists like those above don’t feel like they’re expected to stick their necks out at the beginning of their career.

If you can’t participate in the boycott, that’s fine. Sign this petition instead: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/oppose-hr3699-research-works-act/vKMhCX9k

Those of you who can, please help. Please understand that the current state cannot continue, so doing nothing is not an option: http://www.unc.edu/scholcomdig/whitepapers/panitch-michalak.html We’ll either hide in our labs while the infrastructure of scholarly communication collapses around us, or we’ll take action now to make it sustainable and efficient. It’s up to us.

57

John Mashey 01.30.12 at 8:54 pm

It could be worse …
at least Elsevier demanded retraction of a bad article with plagiarism, by Ed Wegman, Yasmin SAid, et al.

By contrast, Wiley has a journal WIREs:CS, edited by Wegman, Said and David Scott (the 3 authors of the Wegman Report in 2006).

WIREs has published 2 article, Said&Wegman(2009) and Wegman&Said (2011), both almost entirely plagiarized, the first mostly from Wikipedia, but with errors, see USA Today.

58

Saul 01.31.12 at 3:15 am

Butbutbutbut…The Lancet! (Not to mention Lancet Neurology)

Sure, I am currently boycotting them but only because they reject my papers.
Giving up hope of one of the big two (New England Journal and Lancet) is a pretty big ask for anyone in medicine.

59

Jim A 01.31.12 at 5:56 pm

To those who say that the big names can boycott Elsevier but that they can’t because they’re still looking to get tenure:
Of course if the big names exclusively publish elsewhere, than those major titles will start to lose their luster. Reputation is self-reinforcing. Why are the elite journals the elite? Because people want to publish in them. They get better submissions and can be pickier about what they publish. If the top papers are published elswhere, those journals will slowly lose their luster.
nb and Joshua is right G+B were even worse than Elsevier.

60

FelixKlein 02.01.12 at 11:33 am

@ Neuroscientist (# 19) I feel for you. Seriously. I’ve been through a similar predicament.

@ Neil (# 20) Don’t fool yourself into believing Springer cares for you. The automatic submission system cuts their costs. If they cared, they would have paid for your time.

My experience with Elsevier (math) was awful. After two years of waiting for a decision I told the automatic submission system that my paper is not necessarily like wine: the more it stays on the shelf, the more valuable it gets. Eventually the paper was published.

As for Springer, I have recently had a terrible experience with the 2nd edition of one of my books. They have subcontracted their copy-editing jobs to a crew in India which was clearly not trained for this job. I almost cried when I saw my butchered manuscript, which went through a professional copy editing process for the 1st edition.

There is is line that pops-up in all the mobster movies: it’s not personal, it’s only business.

Comments on this entry are closed.