Respected medical journal changes hands, starts publishing junk science for hire


Rupert Murdoch is taking notes.


Well it takes time to build a reputation. I wonder if there’s already another journal of cardiology, or if it’s time for a new one? Clearly there’s no saving this one. It’s like the scholarly equivalent of private equity.

I can’t find pricing information for either the old version or the new one (I checked two major vendors–one, Ebsco, gives the price for the new one as $0.00, another, Harrassowitz, doesn’t list the title at all) but at least libraries are going to save some money by cancelling their subscriptions. The downside of that, of course, is that any savings will likely be eaten up by “big deals” with Elsevier, Wiley, Springer…

It is important to realize that not everything labelled ‘science’ is good science.


Suggestion: Kickstarter campaign to raise enough to pay them to publish an entire issue of nothing but Onion-style nonsense, a la “Canine Fecal Matter as a Conductant in Electrocardiograms” or “Deciphering Heart Arhythmia for Secret Satanic Code.”


There it is, “Enter Paper Title”:
Somebody paid $1200 for that… They should have submitted to these guys instead:

Isn’t this just the Buzzfeed business model? All will be forgiven/forgotten if they just raise their standards at some point in the future (and delete those 4000 articles) in exchange for some VC funding.

Meanwhile: fuck the world!

But it’s on the internet

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While this sort of behavior is very bad indeed, I would point out that calling this journal “Respected” is a substantial exaggeration.

At least for the last few years (I only looked at data for 2009 onwards) its metrics hovered near the bottom of those for the field. For example, the 800-pound-gorilla of journal metrics, who shall not be named, ranked them 111th out of 125 Cardiology/Cardiovascular journals in 2013. That’s before the sale.

Publishing there was already just slightly better for your promotion dossier than peeing on the Dean’s lawn in a powder-blue tuxedo at breakfast time on a Sunday. Although at least before the sale, you probably had to spell your title correctly.

I bring this up because, if we want to fight this sort of fake journal disease, we have to recognize what kind of journals it is likely to happen to. I suspect (citation needed!!!) that mostly this sort of practice occurs with journals that are already a waste of bandwidth, which makes the slide into toxicity easier.


I notice that wiki guidelines seem to allow electronic journals for references. $1200 to give your bogus wiki article verifiability.

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