It’s easy (if tedious) to find paywalled Open Access articles in Elsevier journals. You go to Robert Kiley’s excellent spreadsheet (curated by Michelle Brook and others) , find publisher = Elsevier , search for the title and go to the journal pages. Here I show how
Wellcome Trust has apparently paid 2797 GBP in APCs for this article (it’s just over 1 page long – actually an editorial)
|23932517||Elsevier||Current Opinion Microbiology||The asexual cycle of apicomplexan parasites: new findings that raise new questions.||£2,979.00|
Search for “The asexual cycle of apicomplexan parasites: new findings that raise new questions.” in Google. Yes, you can get it in PubMed and EuropePMC for free. But go to the Elsevier site (normally Science Direct) – where many people would land – and…
What did they get for their money?
I did that on Friday.
Now Elsevier are aware of my investigations , so I looked today and found something different.
I have two hypotheses:
- The Director of Access and Policy and the VP of Products spent their weekend trying to patch up the potholes on their “bumpy road”. (translation – the underinvestment and incompetence of their system). If so they’ve made a terribly botched job of the change. See below.
- The Elsevier system isn’t stable. It’s clearly broken – there is no indication that that Elsevier systems give the same result on different sites, different days, etc.
Take your pick. It’s clear that Wellcome haven’t got value for money (nearly 3000 GBP). Here’s what’s still wrong.
- The article isn’t labelled Open Access
- The article has no licence
- The article doesn’t acknowledge Wellcome Trust funding
- The article is still (C) Elsevier All rights Reserved
- The Table of Contents for the issue doesn’t say “Open Access”
- Elsevier haven’t made a public apology to the author and Wellcome for stopping the world reading this article.
I’ll note that this is a 1-page editorial. It’s almost certainly not formally peer-reviewed. It’s morally scandalous that Elsevier have the brass neck to charge 3000 quid for it. But, as everyone tells me the purpose of publishing is to make money, not communicate science.
Oh, and I predict a message from Elsevier of the form “thanks for informing us, please keep these coming” . I’m certainly informing my Parliamentary representatives (Julian Huppert, David Willetts and Vince Cable) and asking what parliament is going to do about Elsevier’s misselling and misdelivering. And with your help I expect to keep them coming
PLEASE MAIL ME WITH ANY MORE EXAMPLES YOU KNOW OF WHERE PAID APC ARTICLES ARE STILL BEHIND ELSEVIER PAYWALLS. We want to publicise all those potholes.
TIP: University libraries- why don’t you mail all academics and ask them to check whether their APC-paid articles are visible and CC-licenced.