All the news lately makes me angry — today, it’s Elsevier again

So. Who here is still writing for Elsevier? And how much do you pay for their journals and textbooks, again?

Elsevier officials said Monday that it was a mistake for the publishing giant’s marketing division to offer $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who would give a new textbook five stars in a review posted on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. While those popular Web sites’ customer reviews have long been known to be something less than scientific, and prone to manipulation if an author has friends write on behalf of a new work, the idea that a major academic publisher would attempt to pay for good reviews angered some professors who received the e-mail pitch.Here’s what the e-mail — sent to contributors to the textbook — said:

“Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the book is published, we need your help to get some 5 star reviews posted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help support and promote it. As you know, these online reviews are extremely persuasive when customers are considering a purchase. For your time, we would like to compensate you with a copy of the book under review as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. If you have colleagues or students who would be willing to post positive reviews, please feel free to forward this e-mail to them to participate. We share the common goal of wanting Clinical Psychology to sell and succeed. The tactics defined above have proven to dramatically increase exposure and boost sales. I hope we can work together to make a strong and profitable impact through our online bookselling channels.”

Hmm. I wonder how much they’d pay me to not post a negative review? As if the Merck fake journal thing weren’t bad enough. Ooh, wait! I wonder how much the going rate in Amazon gift certificates is for five-star reviews of fake peer reviewed journals?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the “anything to make a buck” mentality, but I must be naive. Idonotgeekelseviertoday. :)

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