Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting pwned by 3rd party, peer-reviewed resources.

Someone passed along a link to an interesting article about the new approach to scholarly publishing. Reading the article turned out to be an interesting exercise in critical thinking about the veracity, validity and reliability of web based scholarly resources.

The article Research intelligence - Rip it up and start again was published in the Times Higher Education newsletter.

I was reading right along and nodding my head until the part about Elsevier publishing being an exemplar of the new approach. I recalled that last year Elsevier got caught publishing at least 6 fake journals, mostly in support of pharmaceutical companies and their fraudulent process.

Then I started trying to figure out who publishes the Times Higher Education so I looked at their ownership which is Charterhouse. I wanted to figure out if there was a connection between Charterhouse and Elsevier and sure enough.

So this article is actually marketing or at least an attempt to repair the tattered reputation of Elsevier.

The web makes it easy to manufacture and disseminate crap, but it also makes it easy for individuals to get down a few layers and check the veracity of stories themselves. Unfortunately, the money grubbing publishers realized that few people will go to this minimal amount of effort to check things out.