[open-science] Elsevier are telling "mis-truths" about the extent of paywalled open access

Ross Mounce ross.mounce at gmail.com
Mon Feb 20 21:11:34 UTC 2017

Hi folks,

Remember last week I found an article that had been paid-for by the
Wellcome Trust to be hybrid open access, except it was for sale behind an
Elsevier paywall at the journal *Mitochondrion* for $35.95 + tax? [0]

Well, Elsevier have responded, first by sowing doubt on the claim, then 3
days later admitting I was correct. But stranger still, they said:

“We’ve gone through the system, this [the Mitochondrion article] is the
only article affected.”

Which would be great if this were true but it isn't. There are more
paywalled "open access" articles that are currently on sale at
ScienceDirect right now, including one at The Lancet, which Wellcome Trust
paid Elsevier £5,280 to make open access [1]. Which makes me think:

A) Elsevier’s entire system for handling hybrid open access is broken
B) Elsevier are evidently incapable of accurate self-assessment

In 2014 they eventually refunded "about $70,000" to readers who had
mistakenly been charged to access articles that should have been open
access. I wonder how much they will pay out this time...?

Please do share this with colleagues. I am outraged.

[1] http://rossmounce.co.uk/2017/02/20/hybrid-open-access-is-unreliable/

Ross Mounce, PhD
Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2016
Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
www.rossmounce.co.uk <http://rossmounce.co.uk/>
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