Yet another side of the academic journal racket…

Another illustration of how the Academic Journal Racketeers (in this case one of the usual suspects, Elsevier) have a stranglehold on research. As well as levying huge subscription charges they also supply a service called SCOPUS which the panels in the Research Excellence Framework will use to inform their deliberations. Needless to say, SCOPUS itself is a subscription-only resource. The academic publishing industry is of course very keen on the Research Excellence Framework. It’s certainly an Excellent Framework when it comes to making money. Pity about the actual Research though.

Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Scopus bills itself as “the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources covering nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers.”

Sounds useful. But it’s useless. Literally.

Because it’s a subscription-only resource:

Now I am an associate researcher at the University of Bristol. UoB is part of the UK Access Management Federation, so I select that in the Shibboleth authentication page:

But the list of member universities doesn’t include Bristol, instead skipping straight from “University of Birmingham” to the intriguingly named “University of Bolton – Do Not Use”:

I can’t use it.

So it’s useless to me. Literally.

This is why it’s frustrating to me when I read statements like this from Elsevier’s Alicia Wise:

Commercial publishers are especially able to command resources to … develop new technologies and platforms to access journal content and improve researcher productivity (e.g., ScienceDirect, Scopus, Scirus, CrossRef, CrossCheck. Article of…

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2 Responses to “Yet another side of the academic journal racket…”

  1. It would be interesting to compare the results from scopus with a free resource such as google scholar. Although presumably scopus also sells “support”, which administrators find is worth the money so that they have a helpdesk to ask questions like “how do I search?”

    There is probably a market for someone to sell support for google scholar…

    • telescoper Says:

      Scopus doesn’t cover the arXiv so it misses a huge number of recent citations. I checked mine against both Google scholar and Web of Science and it’s miles away from both.

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