Last week, eLife transmitted another batch of articles to be published on PubMed Central, compounding the problems I outlined two weeks ago:
- A government agency creating a shortcut for its cronies
- A government agency which states in numerous places it “is not a publisher” acting as the sole publisher of eLife content
- A government agency competing with technology providers, through eLife and at least two other journals
- A government agency competing for online traffic
- A government agency subsidizing a two-country non-profit/charity by the US government and taxpayer funds
- A new publishing entity with structural conflicts of interest that apparently is unwilling or unable to stop itself from using insider dealing with PubMed Central to advance its cause
The open access (OA) movement was catalyzed by a dubious complaint about publishers exploiting taxpayer-funded research. Now, we clearly have a new OA publishing business exploiting taxpayer-funded publishing technology, management, and processes to advance its launch plans and gain a competitive edge. And apparently, they aren’t letting the irony stop them.