Elsevier are corrupting open science in Europe | Jon Tennant | The Guardian | Science
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-06-30
"Open Science is all about making science work better so that it can address the world’s challenges. It has been at the top of the EU’s agenda for some time. The European Commission has the ambitious target of achieving Open Access to all scientific publications by 2020. The development of the European Open Science Cloud and Open Science Policy Platform indicate that Open Science has entered the mainstream, shifting the process and governance of scholarly communication. Now, the European Commission have launched an Open Science Monitor to help provide data on the development of Open Science in Europe. To their credit, the Commission have been relatively transparent about the methods and data sources used for this and who is involved. They are also inviting comments to improve the indicators.
However, a cursory glance at the methodological note reveals something rather odd. The subcontractor for the monitor is Elsevier, the publisher and data analytics provider. Within scholarly communications, Elsevier has perhaps the single worst reputation. With profit margins around 37%, larger than Apple and big oil companies, Elsevier dominate the publishing landscape by selling research back to the same institutes that carried out the work. It gets worse too. Throughout the methods, you can see that there is an overwhelming bias towards Elsevier products and services, such as Scopus, Mendeley, and Plum Analytics. These services provide metrics for researchers such as citation counts and social media shares, as well as data-sharing and networking platforms. There are now dozens of comments in the note pointing out the clear bias towards Elsevier and the overlooking of alternatives. It is worth highlighting some of the key issues here that the Commission seems to have ignored in subcontracting to Elsevier...."