Like Dorothea, I haven’t said anything about the slimy Merck/Elsevier fake publication deal, because I thought the blogosphere had plenty of coverage. Anyone who reads me would know all about the scandal.
The latest development, though, strikes me as something that should be shouted from every available rooftop: Elsevier simply must answer the questions raised.
Via Dorothea: Jonathan Rochkind has done a little “forensic librarianship” and raised astonishing questions about the entire imprint, Excerpta Medica, which published the fake journal that started all of this.
Go read Jonathan, but the bottom line is this: Excerpta Medica does not provide a straightforward list of its own publications or make clear which are, ahem, “industry-sponsored“.
Jonathan says “WorldCat lists 50 publications by Excerpta Medica Communications”; I just tried a simple author search for that phrase and got only 21 results, including the recently-exposed-as-fake Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine; how many others are fake? How about the other
fourteen thirteen “Australasian Journal of” titles in the same list:
- Australasian journal of asthma
- Australasian journal of bone & joint medicine
- Australasian journal of dentistry
- Australasian journal of depression
- Australasian journal of gastroenterology
- Australasian journal of hospital pharmacy
- Australasian journal of infectious diseases
- Australasian journal of musculoskeletal medicine
- Australasian journal of obstetrics & gynaecology
- Australasian journal of paediatrics
- Australasian journal of pain management
- Australasian journal of psychiatry
- Australasian journal of respiratory medicine
- Australasian journal of sexual health
Why, for one thing, are none of them indexed by Science Direct? The PubMed journal limit field contains only Australasian journals of dermatology, pharmacy and optometry; the latter two seem to be defunct and the first is published by Wiley.
Futher obvious questions arising:
- What exactly were the 11 “publications” mentioned in this case study, and where were they published?
Excerpta Medica published more than 11 scientific publications, all offering medical education credits, and targeting medical specialties from the clinical pharmacist to the physician specialist and emergency nurse. Over 700,000 of these publications have been sent to medical professionals to build awareness…
- Someone should take a close look at the publications (and faculty) mentioned in this case study:
Excerpta Medica summarized the issues and recommendations from these [“faculty-led regional advisory board”] meetings and communicated them in a funneled approach, beginning with broad reach and comprehensive content, to more regionally focused publications.
Excerpta Medica first created a full issue and subsequent supplement of Clinical Cornerstone™, the company’s proprietary, peer-reviewed, indexed, continuing medical education (CME) journal distributed to 75,000 physicians. As a result, the data gained significant credibility within the larger physician community.
The final published product from these regional meetings was a series of regional newsletters. The newsletters referenced the indexed Clinical Cornerstone publications and also highlighted the leading regional attendees on the cover to establish credibility and regional buy-in with the recipients. Approximately 2000 copies of each newsletter were sent to physicians in each region.
- What exactly is the “company-sponsored journal” created in this case study? We’re told that
The quarterly publication was created to build awareness of the disease [targeted by the client’s product] and prepare the specialist and primary markets for future indications. It was also designed to establish this client as one of the industry’s authorities on cardiovascular disease.
The clinical content was complemented with high-quality photographic images, giving each issue a very professional and attractive appearance.
The publication was launched in December 2004 and continues to run today. Circulation has increased from 10,000 at launch to 17,000 currently and includes such specialties as cardiology, diabetology, nephrology, internal medicine, and general practice.
but not the name of the journal. Wanna bet it starts with “Australasian journal of…”?