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The Guardian Reports Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies.
The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products.
'A recognised doctor will then be found to put his or her name to it and it will be submitted to a journal without anybody knowing that a ghostwriter or a drug company is behind it. I agree this is probably unethical, but all the firms are at it.'
Someone spotted This Information World Review Article on Elsevier. They have hit out at reports that its journals are being severely cut back by major US universities in this year's round of subscription renewal negotiations.
At the University of California, feelings over Elsevier's subscription levels have run so high that some senior staff have been calling for a boycott of the company.
San Francisco-based UC researchers Peter Walker and Keith Yamamoto are urging a boycott of six titles published by Elsevier's Cell Press subsidiary.
A recent report by the Wellcome Trust, An Economic Analysis of Scientific Research Publishing, said: "Journal subscriptions are a significant financial burden on institutional libraries and individual researchers, and present a major obstacle to the timely and comprehensive sharing and use of scientific information."
Meanwhile, News REED ELSEVIER fell to a nine-month low on concerns over an impending House of Commons investigation into the science publishing market and the increasing support for â€œopen accessâ€? journals.
Lee Hadden points to a subscription-only article about the $100 million bequest left by heiress Ruth Lilly to Poetry magazine. The generous gift has rocked the magazine's world in more way than one. Staffers are burdened with more meetings that usually accustomed to by lovers of poetry. On the upside, contributor payments went up from $2 to $6 per line. More info here at the non-subscription Indianapolis Star.
Walt writes "Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 3:14 (December 2003),
the Stuff and Nonsense issue, is now
available for downloading. This is the last text issue of the year, but an index will come out in
the next couple of weeks. Expanded contents provided to satisfy a LISNews comment. If you hate it, let me know." More details on this impressive issue are inside... -- Read More
Lee Hadden writes: "The Cornell University Library's "Issues in Scholarly Communications"
has an interesting article from November 12, 2003, on what steps the
Cornell University Library is taking to reduce journal costs and price
increases. See the article, "The Elsevier Subscription," and the
accompanying links, at their web site.
See their site at: library.cornell.edu."
Thanks to mcbride for the link as well.
The Village Voice reports that The Paris Review will continue depite the recent death of its editor and one of its founders, George Plimpton.
Last week's Plimpton tribute, a celebrity-studded gala at Cipriani on 42nd Street, raised $500,000 for the Paris Review Foundation, bringing the foundation's endowment to about $1 million. Now literary insiders are buzzing about how what used to be a for-profit magazine that lost money every year has turned into a bustling nonprofit with a shot at long-term profitability. Meanwhile, the search for a new editor has begun.
All of Germany's principal scientific and scholarly
institutions, and a fair number of other European ones, have signed this declaration to show their commitment to open access to scientific and scholarly
Walt writes "Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 3:13 (November 2003) is now
available for downloading.
The 20-page issue (PDF as always) includes:
*A scholarly access perspective: Getting That Article: Good News
*Bibs & blather
*Scholarly article access
*Interesting & peculiar products
*Feedback: Your insights
*Trends & quick takes
Where's the stuff? Look for a December issue stuffed with stuff, out by
madtom writes "Today's Chronicle of Higher Education reports that two scientists at the University of California at San Francisco are urging a worldwide boycott of six molecular-biology journals on the grounds that their publisher, Reed Elsevier, is demanding that the University of California system pay too high a price for electronic access to the publications.
The scientists are Keith Yamamoto, chairman of the department of cellular and molecular pharmacology, and Peter Walter, a professor of biophysics and biochemistry. In a letter circulated this week, they say that Reed Elsevier is asking the university system to pay more than $90,000 a year for the journals' online editions. The California Digital Library, which negotiates journal contracts for the university system, rejected that price, and is now pushing Reed Elsevier to reconsider its licensing terms that will take effect in January, says Daniel Greenstein, director of the Digital Library.
Mr. Walter and Mr. Yamamoto are asking scientists to retaliate against Cancer Cell, Cell, Developmental Cell, Molecular Cell, Immunity, and Neuron by refusing to submit articles to the journals, resigning from their editorial boards, and declining to review manuscripts for them. The publications are considered among the most prestigious in molecular biology."
CNET Says The inaugural issue of the journal, called the Public Library of Science Biology, is the first journal to be published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a San Francisco nonprofit that's backed by several highly regarded scientists who want to see scientific research freely distributed online.
Not surprisingly, the free distribution model seems be going over well. Within the first eight hours of the journal's launch, traffic on the site spiked to more than half a million hits, said Nick Twyman, director of information technology and computer operations at PLoS. The traffic has overwhelmed the group's servers, causing PLoS to direct visitors to other sites, where they can access simplified versions of the journal. Twyman said he hopes to get the site up and running again by Wednesday.