Merck And Elsevier Exposed For Creating Fake Peer Review Journal
from the wow dept
Even so, I was still somewhat stunned to read (via Clay Shirky) that Merck supposedly created a fake peer-reviewed journal to publish data that made its drugs look good. It also got Elsevier to publish the journal to make it look legit (Elsevier being one of the bigger publishers of -- of course -- proprietary medical journals). Two companies with a history of locking up information and data teaming up to mislead doctors and the public? What a shock...
Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that you can do when everything is locked up and proprietary, rather than open. There's almost no way to confirm or check the data or information to make sure it's legit, so people tend to assume it is. In that regard, perhaps it's no surprise that the two companies eventually went down this road, but it does highlight one of the problems with the way the system works today. As Shirky later points out this is hardly unique for a firm like Elsevier, which has faced some serious ethical questions regarding its publications in the past as well.