Elsevier to Close Three Science Portals
Daniel writes "Information Today reports that Elsevier will close three end user science portals: BioMedNet, ChemWeb, and ElsevierEngineering.com because "the contribution of this form of marketing to S&T's [science and technology] current business is not sufficient to continue the associated high investments.â€? Information Today reported that BioMedNet had over a 1,000,000 registered users. The full story can be read at Info Today .This isn't your usual "I hate Elsevier" article. As a private publisher they have every right to offer or not offer free portal sites. I suppose that not enough of BioMedNet's 1,000,000 users bought enough of the fee related items to make the free stuff worthwhile. I don't know whether the closure of these sites will make that much difference to the user community, but it raises an interesting point.Private publishers have been calling for the reduction and elimination of publicly funded medical and science resources for years now. The argument was that these sources like PubMed, Pubscience, etc were competing with the private sector, at least potentially and sometimes in fact. PubScience got the chop in part because a few publishers offered similar free searches (at least for bibliographic data).What kind of information world would we live in if SIIA got their every wish and most science, med and tech info were mediated by private companies who set up portal sites to replace previously governmental ventures. Would the public and the academic community have free searching for a few years, and then suddenly it would be "No cites for you!" with only a week's notice?Something to think about in our privatizing world."