A new episode of the Scholarly Kitchen podcast is ready. This time, we talk with head chef Kent Anderson about his experience filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Revisiting Kent Anderson’s post based on his FOIA request documents show that PubMed Central spends most of its money tagging author manuscripts, and that its stricter rules for NIH authors may double its costs.
As requested, here is a summary of all the things found so far through the FOIA requests regarding PubMed Central — from eLife to BMC to JMLA to conflicts of interest to coverups. It’s quite a fetch.
New documents obtained via an ongoing FOIA request show that PubMed Central spends most of its money tagging author manuscripts, and that its stricter rules for NIH authors may double its costs.
New documents show that the Director of the NCBI was deeply involved in getting eLife launched on PubMed Central, that NLM staff were uneasy about the shortcuts taken to make it happen, and that eLife was largely driving the bus throughout.
More indications of favoritism and cronyism, this time stretching back from F1000 Research to BioMed Central, and more mismanaged conflicts of interests. The common thread may be a new “old boys” network.
The PMC NAC, facing controversies about its oversight functions and seeing the focus of its oversight embroiled in a public scandal, said nothing about these topics at its latest meeting.
Conflicts of interest at PubMed Central have been mismanaged, and seem to have led to loading the National Advisory Committee with Wellcome representatives, among other things.
Circumstantial evidence has become direct evidence — that eLife requested publication in PMC; that PMC collaborated with eLife; that PMC sought to conceal its preferential treatment; and that systems and processes at the NLM regarding PMC inclusion are unclear and open to abuse and misuse.
We once assumed taxpayer-funding meant information availability. The new US government is now actively hiding scientific data, imperiling our understanding of the world.
Why does PubMed preferentially link to PMC versions in its search result lists? Emails from 2011 suggest it’s specifically to generate more traffic to PMC and show off NLM services.
New evidence suggests that US taxpayers are not the major beneficiaries of the NIH Public Access Policy, and that even within the NIH, there has been some unease about the situation.
Articles are published before they’re reviewed; doubts about a paper are viewed as a positive status; papers only need to contain “science;” review and revision can continue forever; and PubMed Central is their certifying entity. Welcome to the world of F1000 Research.
An analysis of publishing costs continues the theme of accountability and transparency, but perhaps focuses too much on the containers of information rather than how and why the containers are filled in the first place.
The continued silence from major funders involved in the eLife-PubMed Central scandal is creating a noise all its own.