Did Elsevier break its own rules?

A science publisher that holds copyright supreme has a double standard, a science blogger is arguing. This week, science blogger Mike Dunford of linkurl:The Questionable Authority;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/ posted a linkurl:blog;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2008/08/reed_elsevier_caught_copying_m.php saying that Reed Elsevier had copied some of the content from his blog without permission. While checking out links to his blog, Dunford came across a page run by LexisNexis (a Reed El

By | August 15, 2008

A science publisher that holds copyright supreme has a double standard, a science blogger is arguing. This week, science blogger Mike Dunford of linkurl:The Questionable Authority;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/ posted a linkurl:blog;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2008/08/reed_elsevier_caught_copying_m.php saying that Reed Elsevier had copied some of the content from his blog without permission. While checking out links to his blog, Dunford came across a page run by LexisNexis (a Reed Elsevier company), which contained excerpts from one of Dunford's posts on open access from a few weeks ago, which mentioned Elsevier's profits from 2007. Dunford's name didn't appear anywhere on the LexisNexis page, although there was a link back to the original blog post. Reed Elsevier has some open access content but primarily operates under the traditional publishing model. They have been vocal in their linkurl:opposition;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54442/ to open access. In his post this week, Dunford said: "I was not asked for, and did not give, permission for my work to appear on that page, much less in that format. Needless to say, I felt a little slighted." In a statement from LexisNexis sent to the The Scientist, the company said that the page is part of an internal database set up for Elsevier to keep track of what's being said about them in the media. So what's Dunford's beef? "I guess on a scale of one to 10 this does not even register too highly when talking about things like copyright," he told The Scientist. But the frustration, he added, is that "Elsevier expects people to properly attribute their products." Just this June, Elsevier, the publishing arm of the company, filed a copyright infringement suit against Encyclopedia Britannica over medical illustrations appearing in the encyclopedia. "If they want standards with how to treat intellectual property," Dunford added, "that type of thing begins at home." In the statement, LexisNexis agreed that proper attribution was not given on the page. "Whenever Web content generated by third parties is used in this way, it is the practice of LexisNexis to use only a small amount of that content, and to provide attribution to the content's author, along with a link to the relevant blog or Web site," the statement noted. "Our investigation concluded that, in this particular instance, these procedures were not adhered to fully." LexisNexis added that it will apologize to Dunford, remove the content in question, and implement refresher training for their employees to make sure content is attributed properly. "LexisNexis is committed to respecting the rights of copyright holders and content owners," the statement concluded.
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Comments

Avatar of: Fukai Bao

Fukai Bao

Posts: 15

August 18, 2008

No sense!
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

August 18, 2008

Elsevier took an image from my website and made a cover page of Drug Discovery Today out of it without any acknowledgement. After multiple complaints, they finally offered a year of online access (whow!). I think the source of that problem is technical editing and production in countries where the wage level matches the understanding of IP and copyrights......
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 20

August 18, 2008

The problem is not lack of sense, or lack of proper training in IP standards. The problem is that R-E, like almost all large media corporations, has no respect for anyone but themselves. They want to use IP as a club to maintain their own power; principle doesn't even enter into it.
Avatar of: Adam Green

Adam Green

Posts: 1

August 19, 2008

This blogger is being a little self-righteous, isn't he? I can understand grievance such as the other poster, regarding elsevier using an un-attributed front-cover, but a blog feed on-line, with a link to source is not really a commercial action or a meaningful copyright infringement. That doesn't mean 'it's ok', but it's not a big deal.\n\n
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

August 21, 2008

I published a paper in an an Elsevier book recently, although I had serious qualms before submitting it. The qualms were too justified. They redrew my figures, inserting several errors thereby. My equations were garbled. They didn't want to send me proofs after their revisions, but the book's editor managed to get them to do it. Most (not all) of the errors did get corrected this way, but obviously they don't care about publishing accurate science.

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