An editor did tell me this story didn’t have anything to do with journalism, but in the age of self-publishing, blogging, and all kinds of publishing operations that the growing number of out of work journalists will find themselves considering working for, comes the tale of the Elsevier. An academic and medical publisher that did not “get” transparency. They published a fake academic journal as if it was a peer-reviewed scientific publication. The journals actually were just PR from Pharma companies. The research was bogus and the doctor who wrote the editorials hadn’t really done anything other than endorse what he was paid to endorse. When the fakery and the lack of transparency came out, Elsivier reputation took a big hit. Here is there reaction.
The lesson? If you are writing for an online publication, do your due diligence in checking out whether they are a PR or journalistic work. If you are going to be the publisher, set out some guidelines and rules and BE TRANSPARENT. If someone is paying you, or you work with an entity, fess up. Readers are sophisticated enough these days to see your disclosure and then judge the veracity and accuracy of your writing. Not disclosing is either patronizing or just plain deceptive. Avoid it.
Publishing company Elsevier is revising its policies and procedures for partnering with pharmaceutical companies to create custom publications in response to recent media attention over a fake journal, called the Australasian Journal of Bone and…
via Elsevier tweaks custom pub rules :The Scientist [4th June 2009].
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