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More Fake Journals From Elsevier

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the at-least-they're-consistent dept.

Medicine 249

daemonburrito writes "Last week, we learned about Elsevier publishing a bogus journal for Merck. Now, several librarians say that they have uncovered an entire imprint of 'advertorial' publications. Excerpta Medica, a 'strategic medical communications agency,' is an Elsevier division. Along with the now infamous Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, it published a number of other 'journals.' Elsevier CEO Michael Hansen now admits that at least six fake journals were published for pharmaceutical companies."

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First!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27888977)

OMG! My first first!!

Not true. (5, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888985)

According to their wikipeia entry, they are entirely legit.

Re:Not true. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889045)

Not anymore!

Re:Not true. (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889281)

According to their wikipeia entry, they are entirely legit.

True! And it's also interesting to note that according to its own entry, Wikipedia is also legit.

Google (0, Offtopic)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889397)

Google seems to think elsevier is OK too (despite google's rules).

AFAIK Google has a rule where a website is not allowed to give Google's spiders a different page from what normal users would get.

I often see google search results linking to elsevier (or other journal) pages, with relevant keywords and text in them, however if you click on the link you get a page that doesn't have the same info. Such search results are not useful to me - in fact they get in the way of more useful results.

BMW got smacked down by Google for doing something similar.

Re:Google (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889463)

I often see google search results linking to elsevier (or other journal) pages, with relevant keywords and text in them, however if you click on the link you get a page that doesn't have the same info.

That depends on the network you're requesting those pages from. When I'm using my university's VPN, I often actually get the documents that the search result page promises, because my university has a subscription.

Elsevier is probably doing the same for Google's IP addresses, and maybe Google even pays for it.

Re:Google (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889709)

Elsevier is probably doing the same for Google's IP addresses, and maybe Google even pays for it.

That still violates Google's policies. The problem with cloaked pages is that google doesn't always catch them right away. It helps if people report stuff like that.

And... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889017)

... not a damn thing will become of it because everyone who can do anything about it is in Merck's pocket.

Wrong (3, Informative)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889249)

No. At the very least, this gives schools a bargaining chip when negotiating journal packages with Elsevier.

Also, anything that brings the sickening relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies to light is a good thing. Many times, doctors will prescribe the latest (expensive) drug to a patient when a generic does the job just as well precisely because the pharmaceutical companies bombard them with this kind of semi-false information. People need to be aware of this.

Packaging a chilling effect on hot topics (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889447)

No. At the very least, this gives schools a bargaining chip when negotiating journal packages with Elsevier....

There are few institutions which can or do afford all packages. Intead, they must choose one or the other. Like with the cable channels, the publishers aren't about to put all the "good" journals in one set and all the crap "journals" and advertisements in another.

Some journals and, thus, packages become must-have. And journals in the other packages become sidelined. And, because journals specialize, you get the subsequent marginalization of various topics and even fields of research.

That's on top of the veto power big business has on reearch funding. Remeber the US government may apportion grants, but since much of the money is coming from private business, it gets to select only from a subset of acceptable recipients and topics. e.g. OpenBSD: secure systems for less than the price of a cruise missile...

Re:Wrong (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889455)

doctors will prescribe the latest (expensive) drug to a patient when a generic does the job just as well

If the solution even requires a generic... I went in for bronchitis, and I came out with a prescription for a generic antibiotic, and a prescription for Prilosec. When I looked it up later, it turned out to be a medication for heartburn! I also noticed that the logo was the same as the big, purple button on the lapel of the doctor's labcoat. :/

Bad Feeling (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889023)

I have a bad feeling that, as people start poking around, even more stories like this are going to be uncovered. Sure, Elsevier is admitting to six fake journals. What's the over/under for it being 20?

Now, I wonder if Merck makes a drug to get rid of bad feelings like this. I'll have to check an Elsevier journal to find out.

Re:Bad Feeling (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889075)

Behold! [theonion.com]

Re:Bad Feeling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889395)

Anyone paying attention to Elsevier is aware that they have a long history of deception. Whenever they buy a company in the USA through one of their subsidiaries, they routinely lay off everyone, claim they are "borging" the jobs into their other subsidiaries, while in actuality offshoring the jobs to Asia (to avoid paying any minor taxes into state re-training programs).

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889921)

That drug has one terrifying side effect: It wears off.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890219)

Gotta love The Onion! They get more hard news in their lampoons than just about anyone other than Fox... :^)

Re:Bad Feeling (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889155)

I have a bad feeling that, as people start poking around, even more stories like this are going to be uncovered. Sure, Elsevier is admitting to six fake journals. What's the over/under for it being 20?

Now, I wonder if Merck makes a drug to get rid of bad feelings like this. I'll have to check an Elsevier journal to find out.

I'm not a doctor or any sort of medical practitioner. So, the following is just my personal opinion.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most corrupt industries in existence today. I actually find pharmacology quite interesting, especially the idea that physical chemicals can impact the nonphysical/intangible mind. Seeing the way this industry operates made me decide some time ago that I can't in any good conscience join up with them, fascinating though the subject may be.

There is one simple principle here: pharmaceutical companies cannot make any profit from healthy people. That's why you have so many "designer diseases" like Restless Leg Syndrome. Just think about how many people you know who do not regularly take some sort of prescription medication; they are becoming a minority. No one really questions this. No one with any sort of media presence is asking whether the fact that the general population is getting sicker and not healthier indicates that our medical system is fundamentally broken. Of course, you don't have to be much of a thinking man to realize that the media is not your friend, otherwise they'd ask questions like this and would go wherever the facts lead them, monied interests be damned.

I was in my doctor's office once and I asked his staff a question. I asked her why it is that pharmaceutical companies advertise prescription-only medicines to the general public, since after all you are supposed to ask your doctor what is wrong and have that doctor determine what medicine you need. There's little room in that process for brand recognition on the part of the patient. She flat-out told me "because the pharmaceutical companies RUN this entire industry". I salute the honesty of her answer. I was half expecting some sort of "party line" on that one.

Re:Bad Feeling (5, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889191)

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most corrupt industries in existence today. I actually find pharmacology quite interesting, especially the idea that physical chemicals can impact the nonphysical/intangible mind.

Nonphysical intangible mind?

Neurochemicals, man. Read about them. Any intro to psych course includes education on what a few of the major neurochemicals do and their role in defining who "you" are.

Re:Bad Feeling (3, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889369)

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most corrupt industries in existence today. I actually find pharmacology quite interesting, especially the idea that physical chemicals can impact the nonphysical/intangible mind.

Nonphysical intangible mind?

Neurochemicals, man. Read about them. Any intro to psych course includes education on what a few of the major neurochemicals do and their role in defining who "you" are.

Why do people insist on giving me the most simplistic of answers, always with the assumption that I never once came across them in any research on the subject? I'm not trying to complain so much as to point out that it's not necessary.

To say that "the entire mystery is completely rendered moot by the concept of neurochemicals!" is the same thing as saying "I am a materialist." If you are so inclined, and if you find that satisfying, then good for you. Not everyone subscribes to the materialist worldview, and not everyone is willing to make the assumptions that are needed in order to honestly believe in it.

In other words, to really give a satisfying answer to that mystery from a materialist perspective, you would have to flawlessly explain what consciousness is, precisely why particular arrangements of protons and electrons and neutrons bring it about, and why other arrangements of matter are not conscious (or for an interesting twist, why consciousness is an inherent property of all matter and highly ordered organisms are just a particularly refined expression of it).

If you study pharmacology you will find none of those things. You mentioned neurochemicals. Go ahead and study them. What you will find is descriptions in terms of "well, when chemical X is ingested and reaches part Y of the brain, the patient reports Z." That does not begin to resolve any of the mysteries I mentioned. The explanations based on neurotransmitters, agonists, antagonists, receptors, etc. are just sophisticated forms of that same description. To begin to act like we have this all figured out is frankly rather silly. To think that you can answer the question I raised with the equivalent of a soundbite is to fail to appreciate the magnitude of this mystery.

Brain drugs. (3, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889521)

I equate the working of drugs for the brain much like our current understanding of gravity.

We know it works. We can reproduce it in exacting detail. We can model other experiments based upon our expectations of the way it works. But when we get down to the tiny details and questions... we have no idea exactly HOW it works.

The modern brain chemical industry is this way. Sure we know it is hitting up the "5HT" receptors but as to why that actually causes some effects in some and differing effects in others... well... uh... yeah.

Re:Brain drugs. (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889805)

I equate the working of drugs for the brain much like our current understanding of gravity.

That's a very interesting parallel. It also comes from the materialist perspective. What we get for it is a theory of gravitation that is irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. That alone should tell us that we are missing something fundamental and need to question all of our assumptions, all of the things that we "know to be impossible." Quantum mechanics itself tends to disregard cause-and-effect. An unstable atom has X% chance of radiating a particle within a given timeframe. There is no explanation for why it does so, or for why it did so at that particular time and not earlier or later. It's a statistical model that made a departure from the natural philosophy which gave birth to it.

There's something else we get for it, too. Most of our recent technological advances have been engineering breakthroughs. There has been little advancement of actual understanding by comparison. In my personal (unqualified) opinion, the medical industry has its own version of this. We're getting better and better at modifying the system, at obtaining desired results by the introduction of chemicals, without increasing our understanding of what disease actually is, how it originates, and how it can be prevented. Nowhere is this more obvious than in psychiatry. My evidence for this is very simple: if we understood these things, we should have a population that is getting healthier. Instead, we have a population that increasingly depends on medications because it is becoming sicker.

I will tell you something else I truly believe, though I strongly doubt there is any way I could prove it to you. Real enlightened understanding is able to simplify things, to show how all of the observed complexity derives from a few simple principles. By contrast, our models are increasingly complex. Personally, I suspect that the reductionist worldview is at least partially responsible for that. There is absolutely no way to prove beyond a doubt that the reductionist approach is the One Correct Way to seek truth. In spite of that, it's the only approach used by mainstream science. I think that's a mistake when we are dealing with entities, organisms, and a Universe that are greater than the sums of their parts. I am reminded of that old cliche, "when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." If you're wondering why the ease with which these things can be pointed out still doesn't really change anything, it's because the power of institutionalization and orthodoxy to stagnate ideas is seldom appreciated.

Re:Brain drugs. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890305)

"In spite of that, it's the only approach used by mainstream science."

This is totally false. Scientific disciplines vary greatly in how much reductionism is relevant, and build models at a complexity level appropriate to the phenomenon being studied. Despite the Schrodinger equation describing the behavior of electrons around an atom, it is never used as a starting point in a discussion of neurology. Scientific understanding is built on layers of abstraction, and reductionism is useful for bridging between adjacent layers (and sometimes teaching you something new about the more complex layer!). But just because you know quantum electrodynamics does not mean you understand the Krebs cycle, despite QED governing the behavior of all the entities involved. Scientists understand this (or at least should understand this if they are paying any attention at all).

Re:Brain drugs. (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889989)

That was beautifully stated. Thanks!

Re:Bad Feeling (0)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889891)

To say that "the entire mystery is completely rendered moot by the concept of neurochemicals!" is the same thing as saying "I am a materialist." If you are so inclined, and if you find that satisfying, then good for you. Not everyone subscribes to the materialist worldview, and not everyone is willing to make the assumptions that are needed in order to honestly believe in it.

That we don't know 100% exactly how it works doesn't mean there's any magic in it, or that there's anything intangible in there.

Why we get sick used to be a mystery with lots of theories about magic, religion and bad air, until we managed to take a look at the tiny things that cause it.

History so far shows that all those mysteries end up having very materialist explanations.

Re:Bad Feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889969)

You don't have to be afraid. Just come out and say it: "I do believe in god"

Re:Bad Feeling (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890113)

You don't have to be afraid. Just come out and say it: "I do believe in god"

The problem with that is you then have to explain what "God" means to you. My personal concept of that is quite unlike many of the more mainstream interpretations, though (perhaps because I have studied most major religions) it will sound very much like some of them. That makes this a thorny issue that is likely to create much confusion. Really, I was content with showing the limitations of the materialist worldview and I would greatly prefer that each individual works out for themselves whether they believe in God and what "God" means to them. I have always felt that such things, in their pure form, can only be a personal quest and are not something that another man can give to you, though he may be able to show you the way of arriving at your own understanding. Nowhere in this do you find a motivation of fear, my friend.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

RepelHistory (1082491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890187)

In other words, to really give a satisfying answer to that mystery from a materialist perspective, you would have to flawlessly explain what consciousness is, precisely why particular arrangements of protons and electrons and neutrons bring it about, and why other arrangements of matter are not conscious (or for an interesting twist, why consciousness is an inherent property of all matter and highly ordered organisms are just a particularly refined expression of it).

This is pretty much the same logical fallacy that the creationists use to undermine evolution. I can't think of the name of the fallacy off the top of my head, but it goes something like this:
"So you believe in evolution, but can you calculate every single evolutionary step of how an amoeba evolved into a human?"
"No, science hasn't gotten that far yet. Evolution is just a model to describe-"
"AHAHA! You admit that you don't understand how it works! Evolution is a lie!"
I'd say it's wrong to dismiss an idea completely just because the intricate details aren't fully worked out. And as for your point that not everyone is willing to make the assumptions needed to support materialism, many would argue that your worldview in fact requires more assumptions. Kindly step off of your high horse please.

Dr. Thomas Szasz (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889223)

Dr. Thomas Szasz is one doctor who comes to mind who questions this, especially with respect to psychiatry. I'm sure there are others.

Re:Bad Feeling (5, Insightful)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889353)

That's why you have so many "designer diseases" like Restless Leg Syndrome.

I have been diagnosed with that "designer disease", you dickwad. How did the doctor determine that I have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? I have had two sleep studies at a local hospital. During the studies, dozens of electrodes connected to my body monitored everything from my brain waves to the movement of my calf muscles. The summary reports from the sleep studies show that I shift between different stages of sleep much more frequently than "normal" people. While reviewing the results of the first sleep study with me, the doctor pointed to a section of the sleep stage vs. time graph and said that I moved my legs 66 times per hour and awoke 22 times per hour. I don't get restful sleep like "normal" people because my legs move while I am asleep. The sleep doc that I was working with did not fabricate those results just to sell me more Requip or Mirapex.

Please stick your "designer disease" comment for RLS up your ass.

Thank you,
-Scott

Re:Bad Feeling (-1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889523)

That's why you have so many "designer diseases" like Restless Leg Syndrome. I have been diagnosed with that "designer disease", you dickwad. How did the doctor determine that I have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? I have had two sleep studies at a local hospital. During the studies, dozens of electrodes connected to my body monitored everything from my brain waves to the movement of my calf muscles. The summary reports from the sleep studies show that I shift between different stages of sleep much more frequently than "normal" people. While reviewing the results of the first sleep study with me, the doctor pointed to a section of the sleep stage vs. time graph and said that I moved my legs 66 times per hour and awoke 22 times per hour. I don't get restful sleep like "normal" people because my legs move while I am asleep. The sleep doc that I was working with did not fabricate those results just to sell me more Requip or Mirapex. Please stick your "designer disease" comment for RLS up your ass. Thank you, -Scott

Your vitriol harms you and your emotional well-being but is wasted on me. I haven't allowed the inability of some Slashdotters to disagree in a civil manner to upset me and I'm not about to start doing that today.

Now I have already said that this is my personal opinion and I am not a medical practitoner.

For your own edification, do a little research on one thing. Try to find incidents of Restless Leg Syndrome (by that name or any other) prior to the advertising campaign. See for yourself how difficult that is. Then you will see that it's not some malady that has plagued mankind over the years for which we finally have a treatment.

Then do a little more research. Look at the medical statistics. See how many incidents of the disease occurred before the advertising campaign. Then see how many incidents of the disease occurred after the advertising campaign (hint: many, many more). Draw your own conclusions. If disease is what we think it is, then it should occur or not occur and cause problems or not cause problems in spite of whether or not there is a company trying to create a new market for its products. Assuming everything is legitimate, then the only difference that company might possibly make is whether those patients now have new treatment options available.

Personally, I think this is a "designer disease" just like ADD. That is, there probably are a small minority of legitimate cases (before you get so upset, note that I never claimed otherwise), but that the number of diagnosed and medicated cases greatly outnumbers the number of legitimate instances of the disease. To believe otherwise is to tragically underestimate the mindlessness of the general public and the incredible power of modern marketing when it's backed by billion-dollar monied interests. Believe me, such a machine can make ANYTHING become a "fact" that "everybody knows". If it's a matter of opinion, they repeat it until it becomes fact. If it's a matter of science, they pay for studies that use questionable methods until the predetermined conclusion (which is, of course, favorable to the sponsor) is obtained so they can say "Studies prove it!" while conveniently failing to mention the studies that concluded otherwise.

Additionally, ADD is so classic because the first remedy is always to put the children on drugs, never to accept that children will be children and may need more discipline. This particularly affects boys. You may find it interesting to research how the public school systems are actually feminizing boys by creating an environment that is much more suitable for girls and then telling the boys that they are "disruptive" and need medication when they don't fit into that plan. Of course, this requires committing the modern sacrilege of admitting (the scientific fact) that there are such things as inherent gender differences. After this process, do those boys now have a disorder? Probably so. Was that disorder entirely preventable and better handled by some method other than the latest pharmaceutical fad? Probably so. The scary thing is that almost everyone involved had good intentions and zero understanding.

While we're on the subject of saying things that are true that also make people angry, I've got one for you. This again concerns ADD. Certainly no one would dare suggest that maybe those children need intact homes with healthy parents who are not themselves dependent on the pharmaceutical industry for their own well-being. There would be no profit in that.

Re:Bad Feeling (2, Insightful)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889651)

>Now I have already said that this is my personal opinion and I am not a medical practitoner.

Great. Thanks for letting everyone know that you are not a specialist in sleep disorders. So your opinion regarding medications used to treat sleep disorders holds as much weight as my opinion on how well someone speaks French (a topic I know absolutely nothing about).

Here is my opinion: You are still a dickwad.

Please continue to insert your comment about RLS being a "designer disease" into the orifice I mentioned in my previous message.

Thank you,
-Scott

Re:Bad Feeling (5, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889953)

Calm down Scott. Please take your meds.

Re:Bad Feeling (-1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890017)

>Now I have already said that this is my personal opinion and I am not a medical practitoner.

Great. Thanks for letting everyone know that you are not a specialist in sleep disorders. So your opinion regarding medications used to treat sleep disorders holds as much weight as my opinion on how well someone speaks French (a topic I know absolutely nothing about).

Everyone already knew I wasn't a specialist in sleep disorders because I have never claimed that I am a specialist in sleep disorders. That little "disclaimer" is there because I otherwise don't trust that the modern legal environment would honor my right to apply basic reasoning to certain subjects. Just in case there is anyone out there dumb enough to fail to realize that I am most definitely NOT giving medical advice, I explain that I am giving only my opinion and that I am not a medical practitoner. In other words, if you need medical advice, go to your doctor because I can't help you with that. None of this has much to do with what I said, however. I was really commenting on the power of marketing, it just so happens that this marketing is being done by a pharmaceutical company.

I said this in the post to which you responded:

That is, there probably are a small minority of legitimate cases (before you get so upset, note that I never claimed otherwise), but that the number of diagnosed and medicated cases greatly outnumbers the number of legitimate instances of the disease.

Missed that part, did you? There is such a thing as the exceptions proving the rule. If I ever claimed otherwise, then your childish reaction may have a basis, but it hasn't. Now you're bound by your pride and I'll explain that. You have absolutely no reason to hate me or get so upset and angry at me because I hold an opinion that you don't like. There are about 6.5 billion people in the world and at any given time, large numbers of them hold opinions you wouldn't like. Is it reasonable then to be upset all the time?

I don't particularly care if you get so upset. I respect it as your free choice, for if you do that, the suffering is yours and does not affect me in the slightest. No one's rights are infringed by that process so I don't particularly have a problem with it. I just think it's a shame that you would make such a poor decision. What I really think is a shame is that you don't take any responsibility for the fact that you are CHOOSING to react this way. Either I am your master, able to control how you feel at this very moment, or, you are choosing to react this way and have chosen poorly. I am most certainly not your master, nor do I want to be. You're bound by your pride now because you have gone too far down this path to be able to comfortably admit to me that you have overreacted. I imagine you have demonized me in your mind to where you think I would say "haha, I told you so!" if you gave such an admission and that too is a shame.

I'll give you some friendly advice. If you don't like what someone says and are absolutely certain that they're dead wrong, even though they went out of their way to tell you that what they said was an opinion, then the correct thing to do is to calmly explain to that person why you believe they are misinformed. You may even convince them. What you're doing here, however, has no chance of working. It's not done in a spirit of inquiry, it's done in a spirit of vengence. Those two have different purposes and are not interchangeable.

Re:Bad Feeling (0, Offtopic)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890065)

You seem to be proving my theory, based on observation, that "high strung people get jimmy legs". Cut back on the caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar, and take a medtitation class.
Dickwad, LOL. (sorry, couldn't resist...:)

Re:Bad Feeling (4, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890093)

You also seem to suffer from Restless Mouth Syndrome (RMS). I suggest yo try some BSD.

"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (4, Insightful)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889667)

Try to find incidents of Restless Leg Syndrome (by that name or any other) prior to the advertising campaign. See for yourself how difficult that is. Then you will see that it's not some malady that has plagued mankind over the years for which we finally have a treatment.

Having slept with someone who was tormented by this for months, I can assure you that it is quite real, whatever it is. It's possible that it was much rarer (or nonexistent) prior to 1900, but that's hardly proof that it doesn't exist now.

Your argument was going okay until you introduced this howler...

Re:"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889869)

OK, I admit I'm from a backward country in E.Europe.

I have NEVER ever heard of a "restless leg syndrome" up until now. Never. I actually thought that the original poster made the term up...

I use to bite my nails. Is that a syndrome? Maybe it's a compulsive behavior that can affect my health. Quick - gimme some pills!

Re:"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890021)

I have NEVER ever heard of a "restless leg syndrome" up until now. Never. I actually thought that the original poster made the term up...

It's a condition in the USA caused by taking too many meds.

Re:"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (0)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890057)

OK, I admit I'm from a backward country in E.Europe.

I have NEVER ever heard of a "restless leg syndrome" up until now. Never. I actually thought that the original poster made the term up...

I use to bite my nails. Is that a syndrome? Maybe it's a compulsive behavior that can affect my health. Quick - gimme some pills!

Brevity is not usually my strong suit, so I'll give it a try: Thank you.

Re:"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890217)

I use to bite my nails. Is that a syndrome? Maybe it's a compulsive behavior that can affect my health.

If you do it frequently, without really thinking about it, and get anxious when you don't bite your fingernails or bite your fingernails whenever you get anxious, then yes, it is a compulsive behavior, and there are plenty of people that have such compulsions. Whether or not it affects your health enough that you feel you should correct it is an individual decision.

Re:Bad Feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889657)

You're the one that's fucked up, stfu sick boy

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889811)

>You're the one that's fucked up, stfu sick boy

Thank you, Anonymous. :^)

But I can't be a "sick boy" because Dr. Causality has learnt us that there ain't no such thang as the Restless Legs.

I guess the sleep docs have been lying to me and this "sleep disorder" stuff is all made-up. Maybe Dr. C was right about my problems being caused by my daddy never being home and my momma didn't hug me enough. :^)

Re:Bad Feeling (-1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890169)

But I can't be a "sick boy" because Dr. Causality has learnt us that there ain't no such thang as the Restless Legs.

You mean me, the same Causality who went out of his way to explain that he is not a doctor and that what he said is his personal opinion? You mean the same Causality who has said that there are some legitimate cases, that there is such a thing as the exceptions proving the rule? You mean that one?

Do you not see the desperation of your position that you are now resorting to a gross misrepresentation of what I said in order to justify your anger towards me? You really don't see what's wrong with that, do you?

Re:Bad Feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889901)

Scott, you're a SHEEP.

Re:Bad Feeling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889417)

You think pharmaceutical companies are one of the most corrupt? You've apparently never worked in penal systems or residential care. I could tell stories, but only anonymously.

Re:Bad Feeling (4, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889575)

There is one simple principle here: pharmaceutical companies cannot make any profit from healthy people.

They also can't make any profit off the majority of sick people in the world, either, because those people have no money. That's how you get situations like this:

We found that, of 1393 new chemical entities marketed between 1975 and 1999, only 16 were for tropical diseases and tuberculosis. (Trouiller et al., "Drug Development for Neglected Diseases: a Deficient Market and a Public-Health Policy Failure." The Lancet 359, no. 9324 (June 22, 2002): 2188-2194.

(Ironically, I got that through ScienceDirect). Yet while the pharma giants won't focus R&D on neglected diseases, they'll also lobby against any attempts to set up alternative incentive systems designed to stimulate research into those disease... probably too afraid that the alternatives will be more successful than the current patent system, and people will start to wonder why more drugs can't be developed that way.

in their defense (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890393)

I once borrowed an air purity analyser from a pharma company. The thing could print out reports on a little "credit card receipt" printer, and had a USB port for copying the results to a PC. The USB port was filled with silicone: not validated. So somebody was typing in the results by hand every day, because that was cheaper than validating the goddamn USB transfer. We stare us blind on the money going in R&D, but that is not where the real cost lies. The true cost is in the enormous amount of paperwork required before you can produce your first pill. And part of that cost comes from the refusal of governments to standardise requirements and cut back on the red tape. Changing a valve in a factory has to be reported to 3 different authorities. The exact same type of valve is no longer available? Poor you, that number just tendoubled. If we want to make the pharma companies play nice, we could start by letting the FDA and the EDA (european) cooperate, and say that if something is good enough for the US, it is good enough for Europe, and the other way around. After all, if the pharma companies were such a bad boys, their shares would give 100% dividend each year.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

Galaga88 (148206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889863)

That's why you have so many "designer diseases" like Restless Leg Syndrome.

I just wanted to say that I've had a few *very* sporadic occurrences of RLS (when I was younger), but if it was something that I had to cope with on a regular basis, I'd consider it anything but a designer disease. Yes it's weird, but I don't think you can appreciate how actually disruptive it can be until you've actually had to cope with it.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890055)

I was in my doctor's office once and I asked his staff a question. I asked her why it is that pharmaceutical companies advertise prescription-only medicines to the general public, since after all you are supposed to ask your doctor what is wrong and have that doctor determine what medicine you need.

This seems to be a US-only phenomenon. I really hate watching American television stations in Canada because the majority of commercials are either ads for lawyers or ads for pharmaceuticals.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890195)

I was in my doctor's office once and I asked his staff a question. I asked her why it is that pharmaceutical companies advertise prescription-only medicines to the general public, since after all you are supposed to ask your doctor what is wrong and have that doctor determine what medicine you need.

This seems to be a US-only phenomenon.

Isn't it amazing how so few people in the USA are willing to question that? Even fewer are willing to say "I don't know" instead of automatically siding with those who stand to profit from this phenomenon. Like most problems, this one is systemic, and I'm not talking about RLS but about the decline of critical thinking.

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889373)

Perhaps the more frightening truth revolves around discovering which medical journals are actually real?

Re:Bad Feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889391)

It seems that also Springer is going down the same road:

http://www.icst.org/news/26/

Re:Bad Feeling (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889897)

There was a similar story going around the conspiracy theory websites about a paper published by bentham.org relating to active thermitic material (flakes of paint that burn under intense heat).

The Open Chemical Physics Journal [bentham-open.org]

More reason to ditch publishers (5, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889047)

Interesting. This militates against the argument that the "imprimatur" of a publisher always adds to a journal's legitimacy, and is one more reason to ditch money-grubbing publishers for open-access journals.

That is really a huge blow to the reputation of Elsevier... of course they publish hundreds (thousands?) of journals, so in absolute terms maybe it is not that big a deal, but still...

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889177)

That is really a huge blow to the reputation of Elsevier... of course they publish hundreds (thousands?) of journals, so in absolute terms maybe it is not that big a deal, but still...

I think I've heard it said this way: "It doesn't take much arsenic to poison a well."

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889219)

Only takes one mistake to have your reputation decimated.

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889467)

One mistake = 10% hit to reputation?

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (5, Insightful)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889291)

Yes, it is a big deal.

The problem is not that you lied to me. The problem is that I can no longer trust you.

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890395)

Indeed. And it's a permanent state, too. Sucks to be them. Good riddance, though.

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889311)

This militates against the argument that the "imprimatur" of a publisher always adds to a journal's legitimacy.

It sure does. Especially since Elseiver has explicitly made that argument. Here's an official Elsevier position paper on open access [elsevier.com] : "By introducing an author-pays model, Open Access risks undermining public trust in the integrity and quality of scientific publications that has been established over hundreds of years. The subscription model, where the users pay ... ensures high quality, independent peer review and prevents commercial interests from influencing decisions to publish. This critical control measure would be rmeoved in a system where the author - or indeed his/her sponsoring institution - pays."

That gives the open access movement a big boost. [earlham.edu] .

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (4, Insightful)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889315)

Absolutely right. Even though Elsevier is huge and a fixture in scientific research, this is the kind of ethical breach that could lead to ruin for the company. As big as they are, the NIH is bigger and there are people there who do not appreciate these kinds of shenanigans. It is absolutely an argument for community based open-access journals. All that would have to happen is the NIH putting publication in such journals as a condition in their grants and librarians the world over would rejoice.

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889415)

"That is really a huge blow to the reputation of Elsevier... of course they publish hundreds (thousands?) of journals, so in absolute terms maybe it is not that big a deal,.."

I would respectfully disagree. I believe LexisNexis is their American subsidiary, therefore EVERYTHING about LexisNexis is now suspect.

Re:More reason to ditch publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890337)

Elsevier publishes Bibles too, so they have never had any moral qualms with publishing books that make false promises.

Can this be considered fraud? (5, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889065)

The journals seem to be intended to mislead the reader into believing that research and reporting has been done which has not. Does that not constitute fraud? Would there not be an option to have the publisher and the pharmacorp charged with fraud?

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889195)

Of course it's fraud, but since no corporate executive has even gone to prison for the illegal actions of their company this practice will continue. Oh they might have to pay a little fine (which they will pass right along in higher prices) but no one will ever be prosecuted. That's why the corporate entity was created back in the 1890's, to avoid responsibility.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889329)

That's why the corporate entity was created back in the 1890's, to avoid responsibility.

Well, and that's not entirely illegitimate. If you have a large corporation, there's no way a few individuals at the top can possibly monitor the behavior of hundreds or thousands of employees. Should a CEO go to prison because some low-level manager commits fraud? If that were the case, no-one would ever take the risk of forming and running a major business.

Nevertheless, the corporate veil can be pierced if the crime is of sufficient magnitude. These guys do get away with a lot of crap though, and maybe that particular bar should be lowered on them a little.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (1)

Murple the Purple (130813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889437)

If you have a large corporation, there's no way a few individuals at the top can possibly monitor the behavior of hundreds or thousands of employees. Should a CEO go to prison because some low-level manager commits fraud? If that were the case, no-one would ever take the risk of forming and running a major business.

Too big to jail? Corporation size could use some downward pressure.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889529)

If you have a large corporation, there's no way a few individuals at the top can possibly monitor the behavior of hundreds or thousands of employees. Should a CEO go to prison because some low-level manager commits fraud? If that were the case, no-one would ever take the risk of forming and running a major business.

Too big to jail? Corporation size could use some downward pressure.

Based on what?

Your expertise demonstrated by your Nobel Prize in Economics?

Or that big stinky turd you just pulled out of your ass?

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (2, Funny)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890357)

Too big to jail? Corporation size could use some downward pressure.

Based on what?

Your expertise demonstrated by your Nobel Prize in Economics?

No, no, his comment is based on peer-reviewed research! It was published recently in the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889773)

Too big to jail? Corporation size could use some downward pressure.

Depends, and what I said doesn't just apply to the likes of an IBM or a General Motors.

Suppose you have a company of fifty people, and one of them does something illegal without the knowledge of the owner. Should the guy that built that business from the ground up, busted his ass for ten years, took out a second mortgage in order to meet payroll when times were tough ... should he be imprisoned for that one employee's misdeeds?

I'm not arguing against accountability for upper management, but like most things there has to be a balance struck.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889939)

You're arguing against a strawman. Nobody wants to punish the innocent owner of a company that has one employee commit fraud... but the actual guilty party SHOULD be punished. Corporations aren't humans, and should neither bear nor shield anyone from responsibility for their actions.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889885)

If you have a large corporation, you have a set of corporate policies in force. Some of which should prohibit fraud, conflicts of interest, and other assorted bad behavior. If it can be shown that the corporation enforces these policies and takes appropriate steps to correct and/or punish employees that violate them, then the corporation should not be held liable for their misbehavior.

On the other hand, corporations need to be held to a higher standard than individuals in the areas of regulatory compliance. I've seen cases where violations were reduced from felonies to civil violations because the company claimed that it was 'unaware' of the actions of its employees. And yet, those employees were not punished because they were 'unaware' of the applicable law. Civil penalties were assessed and corrective actions undertaken. And then they did it again. If a company can't enforce its policies, it should have its corporate charter revoked.

Re:Can this be considered fraud? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889903)

Perhaps the employee that was actually guilty of fraud should be punished?

Impact Factor (1)

modrzej (1450687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889161)

It isn't probable many scientists would believe in things read in such journals. They have few impact factor points if any, aren't listed in Master Journal List, and aren't indexed in PubMed database. Thus, scientific community have means to prevent unfair publisher activity.

Re:Impact Factor (2, Insightful)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889635)

Well some of the biggest Physics frauds were published in Nature and Science. So Impact factor, which is set by a company without peer review, is not in fact a good measure of the articles in the journal. Hell IIRC Science even had a homeopathy article in it once.

That's putting too much stock in your GP. (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889831)

If it didn't work, why would Big Pharma be spending lots of money on getting these journals printed by a "reputable" publisher, rather than Merck Printing, LLC?
You need to keep in mind that there is a fair bit of difference between the "scientific community" and "your average GP" (which is who they are targetting with these publications.)
Also, remember that the guy who is the head editor of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals [blogspot.com] has been printing his own stuff (which is crap) for something like 17 years now, and went unnoticed until last year. (See also this /. article [slashdot.org] which starts with:

It is well known among scientists that the impact factor of a scientific journal is not always a good indicator of the quality of the papers in the journal. An extreme example of this was recently uncovered in mathematics. The scandal is about one El Naschie, editor in chief of the 'scientific' journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, published by Elsevier. This is one of the highest impact factor journals in mathematics, but the quality of the papers in it is extremely poor. The journal has also published 322 papers with El Naschie as (co-)author, five of them in the latest issue.

So yes, there are ways to prevent this (in the end), but do you really want to let Elsevier get away with this behavior, especially considering they hide crap journals like this in "package deals" that you can only buy or reject wholesale? Or do you want to spend that 4500$ per journal on something more useful? Imagine how much money is lost world-wide to crap like this.

How I found out about it... (with Simpsons ref) (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889175)

I was watching a panel discussion/documentary show called "Amazing Discoveries!". They were talking about great properties of the "Powersauce bar" ("A bushel of apples packed in every bar, plus a secret ingredient that unleashes the awesome power of apples!)" and the dangers of the "Vita-Peach Health Block".

      But seriously, I don't see why this is so surprising. Infomercials have been around forever, masquerading as talk shows, documentaries, etc. This is just a print equivalent. I certainly wouldn't expect the fact that it happens to be on paper vice glowing phosphors to make it any more plausible, and it's clearly much easier to get away with if you own the printing press. Most infomercials have to buy time and the station posts a disclaimer. This is like also owning the TV station.

        There's no reason to believe a "journal" is any more plausible or legitimate than a TV "documentary".

          Brett

Re:How I found out about it... (with Simpsons ref) (2, Informative)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889555)

Scientific Journals cannot be compared to TV documentaries. I'm not familiar with many other fields, but the IEEE Spectrum [ieee.org] and ACM [acm.org] publish journals that are widely used as technical resources in engineering. Journals are not primarily a form of entertainment.

Re:How I found out about it... (with Simpsons ref) (1)

Garabito (720521) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890211)

These journals are not only printed media, but peer-reviewed scientific journals. They way scientist publish their findings and theories is through articles in this kind of journals, that get screened and reviewed by specialists of the field before publication; so anything published is supposed to have scientific merit.

Of course, nothing prevents a business to set up an allegedly scientific journal that publishes serious-looking articles that push its products or agenda, but it wouldn't have a great impact because of the lack of reputation of said journal among the scientific community

But in this case, it was Elsevier who acepted to do that. Elsevier is a very reputable publishing company for scientific journals, so any publication under its name will carry that credibility, so Merck choose to use it as a way to push their own interests over the pharmaceutical and medical community.

These incidents hurt Elsevier's credibility, and as other poster have said, raise questions about the current model of scientific publications. Publishers like Elsevier charge very high for their journal subscriptions, and they can do so because of it prestige, no university could do serious research without access to them; and authors keep publishing through them because they need a reputable name to back their articles.

Charge them with fraud (3, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889205)

This is MAJOR fraud in the medical/pharmaceutical industry. Merck and Elsevier need to be shut completely down for this bullshit.

Or, alternatively, start killing off Merck and Elsevier CEOs, NOW. Send the message that we will not tolerate this misleading information.

Re:Charge them with fraud (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889341)

This is MAJOR fraud in the medical/pharmaceutical industry. Merck and Elsevier need to be shut completely down for this bullshit.

Or, alternatively, start killing off Merck and Elsevier CEOs, NOW. Send the message that we will not tolerate this misleading information.

Well, that's probably a bit extreme, but it's certainly true that lies of this magnitude can result in people being hurt or killed. This isn't a joke.

Re:Charge them with fraud (1, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889399)

Or, alternatively, start killing off Merck and Elsevier CEOs, NOW. Send the message that we will not tolerate this misleading information.

Ever notice that the people who talk this kind of shit aren't the kind of people out there getting the headshots?

If you believe so strongly that we should kill people for this stuff, go forth and do it. Otherwise, please shut your pie hole. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world eating pudding in the dark, and I like pudding but that's not the dark future I was planning for.

Re:Charge them with fraud (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890053)

While it is incredibly dishonest, your solution is extreme. Shut down Merck? Shut down Elsevier? Both companies do a lot of good (Yes, Merck does do a lot of good). These fake journals do not appear in MEDLINE, which means that researchers do not actually use them. Sure, Merck might use them to market to doctors but as someone who works in the health care field (not as a medical doctor), not finding a journal in MEDLINE is death for the journal. Why anyone would trust a journal they don't find in MEDLINE is beyond me.

Happy that NONE of my articles are in Elsevier (1)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889215)

I had often heard to avoid Elsevier publications as a place to publish.

Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889273)

Wikipedia doesn't seem so bad now, does it?

Is the whole company corrupt? (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889295)

I was planning on possibly using Elsevier as a potential publisher for my book (They aren't my first choice, but they are in the list of publishers I'm going to send proposals to) Now, I'm not so sure. I wonder if the other divisions of the company are still reputable, since the TFA implies that this fraud was the work of only one division.

Re:Is the whole company corrupt? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889421)

I don't know about corruption, but I can say that the affinity for money from Elsevier is about 9.999 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. It's way up there.

Folks milked money from me while on a health care course to the extent that I was almost giving up. It's insane.

One good thing for them is that they seem to be following trends in IT quite closely, so becoming irrelevant is something in the distant, distant future.

Re:Is the whole company corrupt? (1)

chappel (1069900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889625)

I'm currently working on (or should be, instead of surfing /.) a book project for Syngress, an 'impress' of Elsevier. This almost makes me feel dirty. I'm doing it more for the experience than the cash, and there isn't any 'research' involved, so I suspect this scandal won't affect me directly. Still, for any serious future projects I'll certainly look elsewhere first.

Obligatory dilbert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27889393)

WooHoo [dilbert.com]

Time for a respectability check (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889539)

Isn't it about time the reputable scientific journals using Elsevier as a publisher started to look elsewhere?

(S/H)e who writes fake science should be shunned (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889581)

Any scientist or doctor found to have knowingly written a paper making false scientific claims in a propaganda journal should lose their academic standing. Period. Ph.D? Revoked by the granting institution. M.D? Gone. Along with his or her medical license.

That's how the scientific and medical communities ought to fix this. Because when bogus science is published in medical journals, some innocent people needlessly die.

Re:(S/H)e who writes fake science should be shunne (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890039)

Any scientist or doctor found to have knowingly written a paper making false scientific claims in a propaganda journal should lose their academic standing. Period. Ph.D? Revoked by the granting institution. M.D? Gone. Along with his or her medical license.

That's how the scientific and medical communities ought to fix this. Because when bogus science is published in medical journals, some innocent people needlessly die.

Haven't thought that through, have you?

If the "accepted wisdom" is all that's allowed to be published, no one ever would have heard of Albert Einstein.

Re:(S/H)e who writes fake science should be shunne (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890379)

There's a huge difference between publishing a legitimate paper by an unknown and an author knowingly writing falsehoods for a journal he or she knows is a sham. When academics knowingly violate standards of truth, those academics risk losing their credentials. It really does happen. Ph.Ds, M.Ds and licenses to practice are really revoked by accredited institutions and state licensing boards in certain circumstances like these.

Make an example of this academic sophistry. Yank everyone's credentials who knowingly published false information in a false academic journal. Do the world a favor.

Paid liars (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889595)

Which is easier to forgive? The jealous man who violently kills another or the man who runs a company founded for the purpose of deceiving millions of people for profit?

The deceit promoting drug makers wares often leads to the slow and painful deaths and disabilities of hundreds or thousands of people. The jealous man usually kills no more than one or two, one of which is typically himself.

The evil of the paid liars are on par with the evil of those who use technological means to spam, steal and destroy the property and lives of thousands if not millions of people. They all know what they are doing and go through great detail to do it. They are clearly and plainly aware of the consequences to others and have demonstrated that they don't care at all. A jealous man often feels remorse for what he has done.

The real crimes lie in the hearts of the criminals, not in their deeds alone.

I worked for them... (3, Interesting)

nerdofthunder (1551099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889671)

I spent a few weeks working for them at one of their warehouses. In the employee manual there were dates for Christmas, and Christmas Eve. The dates were the 25 and 26 respectively. If they can't even get the dates for Christmas right at a text book publisher, I don't want to know what else they fail at.

If your German, reminds me of this (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889905)

Kalkofes Mattscheibe - Amira Tampon Werbung
A skit about a Dr from the dark side of ww2 German medical experiments, trying to sell tampons in the 1950's
Almost saying human trials in concentration camps, then correcting to "laboratory camp"
This is how the world is going to think of peer reviewed US medical journals soon.
Just another creepy doctor with a past trying to sell "medical communications"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwjoAlAqkhw [youtube.com]

PLoS; crap papers (1, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889983)

A couple of observations:

Skeptics have throwing out a variety of reasons that open-access journals like PLoS will never work. One of those reasons is that traditional print journals have a lot of prestige, just based on their centuries of momentum. Scientists won't want to publish in upstart open-access journals, according to this argument, because nobody will take their publications seriously. Well, this scandal would seem to show that you can't trust a journal just because it comes from a centuries-old publishing house.

The other thing to understand is that the vast majority of scientific papers are crap. They're not necessarily wrong, just utterly unimportant. Although this particular scandal has to do with the obscenely corrupt drug industry as well, it's also part of a more general problem. Science is like an Easter egg hunt where there are too many kids and not enough eggs. Everybody is trying to pad their c.v. with as many papers as possible, in order to land one of those prized research jobs. Because of this, there's been a huge proliferation of small, specialized, low-quality, expensive journals, and that's been creating a lot of problems for librarians. That's the environment in which these bogus journals were able to slip in under the radar. One solution, in my opinion, is for the big research universities to practice "grad student birth control," i.e., ending the expectation that every professor will produce 20 grad students over the course of his career, each of whom will have the same academic career as their advisor. Schools should also eliminate their weaker graduate programs, e.g., if Cal State Fresno (hypothetically) has a graduate program in Italian, but it's not in the top 100 Italian programs in the U.S., maybe they should just cut it; it's not doing anyone any good for them to be handing out some tiny number of master's degrees and pretending that their faculty are doing high-powered research.

Re:PLoS; crap papers (1)

sam_nead (607057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890249)

This is not the reason to cut grad programs. Rather it is a reason to broadly educate grad students. A decent Ph.D. in Italian who can't get/doesn't want an academic job should be able to get a job in the "real world".

I'm a doctor... my take... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890001)

I am a doctor and a commenter on Slashdot for a very long time but I will not go on record because of the hit-list drug companies compile of "hostile" doctors. Don't believe me? Go Google it. It's very real and the consequences can put your practice out of business.

Even though physicians in the US are independent of drug companies, we're all affected by their tactics in one way or another. For a doctor to come out to expose the things that happen and take a stand is no different than an insider (whistleblower). Unfortunately, there is no laws to protect doctors in the US because the tactics used by drug companies cannot be audited. Slashdot and other communities need to take this to the highest levels of their local governments and push for something to be done. This is fraud and it endangers the lives of patients.

Another one bites the dust (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890137)

I used to have a great deal of respect for Elsevier Press, and have several journals published by them. Now, it seems I cannot trust anything under their imprimatur, so they have lost one person forever as a customer! Their bad!
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