Elsevier has a history of unethical behaviour:
- Elsevier created fake medical journals to promote Merck products.
- Elsevier sponsored arms fairs for the international sale of weapons.
- Elsevier sponsored a bill that would have eliminated the NIH mandate that medical research be make freely available within 12 months of publication.
- Elsevier requires university and medical libraries to sign agreements that prevent them from reporting the exorbitant prices the libraries pay to subscribe to Elsevier’s journals.
Thanks to such practices, Elsevier makes an outrageous level of profit, 36% of revenue- higher than BMW and higher than the mining giant Rio Tinto. While researchers and research funders are attempting to transition medical and science publishing to an open access model, Elsevier seeks to hinder this transition. It is their corporate mandate to preserve the high level of profits they make by charging subscription fees for the articles that describe taxpayer-funded research.
Researchers ought to be using other providers, not channeling more money into Elsevier.