I couldn’t be more pleased that [insert gratuitous but sincere praise:] outstanding Toronto Star writer Stuart Laidlaw has been rigorously following the Merck/Elsevier scandal. It’s practically flattering that he’s listening to bioethics’ and in particular bioethics’ publishing voices, and he’s quoted The American Journal of Bioethics Editor’s Blog [that'd be the fancy-pants name for blog.bioethics.net] on his own Toronto Star Medical Ethics blog. However…the old adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” may not apply to taking on the admittedly incredible ethical missteps by Merck … and its publishing mules, comprising a whole fleet of bogus journals made to fool academics and clinicians.
You’d think that Merck would have learned from Vioxx and their New England Journal mistake (oops, forgot to send that data…) where publishing is concerned. You’d think ANY publishing company would learn that presenting the appearance of peer review for sale, then refusing to be transparent about just how much it COSTS to buy a peer reviewed journal. But you’d be wrong.
The thing is … Stuart … these guys are not, well, did you see the movie The Insider? [note to pharma lawyers and publishers of all kinds: I live on a small island in the Pacific...really...]
Summer Johnson, PhD