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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Elsevier admits journal error

"Elsevier, the world's leading scientific publisher, said it had failed to meet its own standards for "accuracy and transparency" in producing a publication sponsored by Merck, the US pharmaceutical group, but presented as an independent academic journal. The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, complete with an honorary editorial board of academics from Australia and New Zealand, contained a selection of reprinted articles from other journals concerning Merck's medicines Fosamax and Vioxx, and no disclosure that it was funded by the company. The publication marks a fresh twist in tactics to promote medicines by pharmaceutical companies, which have long provided substantial income to academic journals by paying for large numbers of reprints of articles favourable to their drugs for distribution to doctors. However, the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which was produced in several issues between 2003 and 2005, has no website and is not listed as a journal in standard depositories of academic literature such as the Medline database" - FT

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