Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Elsevier's response to the PR controversy

Kristen Philipkoski, with Randy Dotinga, and Scott Carney, Open-Access Debate: Elsevier's View, Wired News, February 8, 2007. 

The Elsevier company is one of several publishers that have reportedly hired a p.r. firm to advise it on how to fight back against legislative efforts to make open access mandatory. (See previous posts for more.)

I emailed the company with some questions, and spokeswoman Shira Tabachnikoff responded with this statement, which seems to have been very carefully vetted:

Elsevier has always believed that the essential role of the publisher is to help scientists communicate and preserve quality research. Scientists have some absolute requirements for publishers. They need to know that their work and the work of others has been vetted and certified through peer review. They also need to know that research findings will be preserved in unaltered form and available permanently for future generations of scientists.

Researchers today have more access to more peer-reviewed articles than ever before, and we are always experimenting with new approaches that widen access, like sponsored articles and delayed open access, and providing our journals free to developing countries and patient groups. As we test new approaches, we carefully measure results to ensure that we are upholding our obligation to keep the scientific record reliable, trustworthy and accessible for the long term. We embrace any innovation that can sustainably enhance quality, access and cost-effectiveness without compromising the absolute requirements upon which scientists depend to conduct sound science.

Comment.  Fine.  But of course this doesn't respond to any aspect of the controversy triggered by the Nature article, and nobody was challenging peer review or preservation.