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[SOAF] Is Elsevier testimony for UK inquiry faked? Natalia Koudinova 19 Feb 2004 00:08 UTC

I thought the forwarded message below is of interest. In case of poor formating please see original at SPARC OA Forum: <>


Educating community, advancing not-for-profit Open Access

18 February 2004

Dear Caring Librarian and Serials Specialist,

Let me bring your attention to another instance of apparent flaw (No.2) in Elsevier testimony* for UK parliament inquiry on Scientific Publication. Elsevier testimony major flaw (No.1), on an "editorial and publisher corruption" by the major STM major journals is described in <>my SPARC OA Forum posting of 16 February 2004.

Quoting Executive summary of Elsevier Testimony
"The substantial investments that STM publishers have made in electronic technologies are continuing to deliver dramatic productivity improvements for scientific and medical communities around the world as more users gain quicker and easier access..."
"More than 820, 000 UK researchers use ScienceDirect regularly. Functionality: These dramatic increases in breadth and frequency of use reflect the real growth in benefits to users, who can now access a highly expanded range of articles on campus or remotely, at any time, and with much greater efficiency. For example, ScienceDirect allows users to perform complex searches and to retrieve full text articles, to link to other articles cited, to export content to local databases and citation management software, and to receive alerts when new journal issues
are released. (page 1, "Executive summary")
and then:
"Unlike traditional STM publications that may be distributed via print and online, Open Access journals are typically distributed via the Internet only. This limits the availability of Open Access journals to those researchers in nations and
institutions that have the required technological infrastructure. It also limits general availability: only 64% of UK adults have ever used the Internet." (page 9, "The current state of Open Access")
Issue to think about

I wonder why Elsevier testimony is missing the number of kindergartners using the Internet, as such a number could make Elsevier argument a bit more impressive? I, however, envision why the percentage of members in scientific and medical communities (i.e. truly those served by the STM publishers) using the Internet is missed in the Elsevier testimony. Is it because the true number (100 % ?) would not favor Elsevier evidence ?

Taken into account another quote of Elsevier testimony, and the missed note of the Public Library of Science as a universal resource of the publication sustainability, one may conclude that the availability issue of Open Access is faked by Elsevier.
"Key point: The Legal Deposit Libraries such as the British Library have established new and effective systems to make electronic scientific publications available. The laws governing the deposit of electronic material to the Legal Deposit Libraries have just been enacted in 2003, and implementation discussions with publishers are ongoing... Legal Deposit Libraries. The Legal Deposit Libraries such as the British Library have made significant investments in making non- print scientific publications available for researchers" (page 11, "Copyrights and access")

Elsevier testimony major flaw (No.1), an "editorial and publisher corruption" by the major STM major journals is described in my SPARC OA Forum posting of 16 February 2004. Explore yourself, <>click here.

A suggestion

Should you become convinced the above reserves broad attention by your faculty members and students please circulate among them short news item suggested below.

For further details please see my written evidence for UK inquiry <>Part 1 and the summary of <>Part 2 .


Alexei Koudinov, MD, PhD
<>neuroscientist and <>editor

Short News suggestion for a librarian distribution among faculty members and students:


A flaw in Elsevier testimony for UK inquiry

Alexei Koudinov, a founder and editor of the not-for-profit OA journal <>Neurobiology of Lipids, is arguing the <>Elsevier testimony issue of limited "availability of Open Access journals". Dr. Koudinov points to another statement in Elsevier evidence that "the British Library have established new and effective systems to make electronic scientific publications available", and to the availability of US based Public Library of Science as an archiving tool that Elsevier testimony missed.

In his personal written evidence for UK inquiry Dr.Koudinov reports on major general science magazines and neuroscience journals (such as Nature, Science, and Elseviers' Cell, Neuron and Brain Research) and come to the conclusion on "editorial and publisher corruption" that invalidates the major Elsevier statement that "STM publishers have so far been the most effective in minimizing the risks of scientific fraud and malpractice through their organizational and oversight roles in managing editorial offices, peer review and independent guardianship of the scientific record (<>Koudinov Evidence Part 1, .PDF, 200K). Dr. Koudinov evidence part 2 is devoted to open access ethics, the summary is available as <>SPARC OA Forum <>posting.

*) Those willing to see the Elsevier testimony please <>request a printout .