Is this a scam or a new low for Elsevier?

I got the following mail today. I genuinely don’t know whether it’s a scam or an unacceptable spam from Elsevier:

Measurement <>

9:54 AM (18 minutes ago)
Dear Dr. Peter Murray-Rust,
You have received this system-generated message because you have been registered by an Editor for the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) – the online submission and peer review tracking system for Measurement.
Here is your username and confidential password, which you will need to access EES at
Your username is: REDACTED
Your password is: REDACTED
The first time you log into this new account, you will be guided through the process of creating a consolidated ‘parent’ profile to which you can link all your EES accounts.
If you have already created a consolidated profile, please use the username and password above to log into this site. You will then be guided through an easy process to add this new account to your existing consolidated profile.
Once you have logged in, you can always view or change your password and other personal information by selecting the “change details” option on the menu bar at the top of the page. Here you can also opt-out for marketing e-mails, in case you do not wish to receive news, promotions and special offers about our products and services.
1) Please ensure that your e-mail server allows receipt of e-mails from the domain ““, otherwise you may not receive vital e-mails.
2) We would strongly advise that you download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, which is available free at:
3) For first-time users of Elsevier Editorial System, detailed instructions and tutorials for Authors and for Reviewers are available at:
Kind regards,
Elsevier Editorial System
For further assistance, please visit our customer support site at Here you can search for solutions on a range of topics, find answers to frequently asked questions and learn more about EES via interactive tutorials. You will also find our 24/7 support contact details should you need any further assistance from one of our customer support representatives.
I went to the sites and although they had Elsevier logos they were of low quality and didn’t have the normal branding that is so beloved of Elsevier.
So I think it’s a scam with fake emails and URLs.
But if it isn’t, then it’s appalling. To take me and my email into a company system, add me to the system without my permission is appalling. If it turns out to be Elsevier I shall write to David Willetts, MP.
And of course they are wasting their time as I have publicly committed to have nothing to do with helping Elsevier.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is this a scam or a new low for Elsevier?

  1. fluorogrol says:

    Don’t think it’s a scam. Most publishers have some kind of ‘suggest an alternative’ box when you decline a refereeing request, so I imagine someone has suggested you (and included your email).
    I don’t know what the data protection consequences of this are, but as I said, to the best of my knowledge most publishers do it.
    I would have expected a ‘real’ email from the editor in addition to the automated ‘account created’ one, explaining that you had been suggested as a reviewer and giving the details of the paper in question. That part can probably just be chalked up to incompetence.

  2. Significance says:

    It’s normal practise for all journals afaik.
    I’ve been added to the reviewer databases of many journals, both commercial (Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and others) and open access. If you’ve ever been asked to do a review, you’re in a reviewer database. The only fifference is that not all journsls send you a note about it.
    With Elsevier, you’ll get this email and an email about a specific paper gor review at the same time. If you haven’t reveived an email about a specific paper, it means you have been added as a back-up reviewer for a specific paper, to be invited as a reviewer if someone else declines.

    • pm286 says:

      Just because all publishers add my personal details to their databases doesn’t legitimise it…

  3. Alicia Wise says:

    Hi Peter –
    A corresponding author nominated you to review his paper, and so in addition to the message you blog about you will also have received a specific invitation to review the paper. Please decline the invitation to review and we will remove you from our contact list.
    With kind wishes,
    Dr Alicia Wise
    Director of Access & Policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *