Elsevier To Create New Guidelines For Pharmaceutical Article Reprint, Compilation and Custom Publications

Company also updates findings related to Australian sponsored publication practices from 2000-2005

Philadelphia, PA - 4 June 2009 - Elsevier, a leading international publisher of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information products and services, announced today it has moved to provide consistent internal guidelines for its pharmaceutical services divisions when producing reprints, article compilations or custom publications on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. This initiative follows an internal review that was commenced when the company became aware of a series of publications produced in Australia between the years 2000 and 2005 that carried the name “journal of” but lacked proper sponsor disclosures and were not in fact journals and should not have been titled as such.

Given the issues identified in the Australasian series, the company is acting to ensure that all of its pharmaceutical services divisions around the globe are following consistent sponsorship practices and disclosure standards for various article reprint products. While these pharmaceutical services divisions frequently reprint peer reviewed articles from Elsevier, they are managed separately from the division that publishes the company’s core collection of primary research journals.

Elsevier will review practices related to all article reprint, compilation or custom publications and set out guidelines on content, permission, use of imprint and repackaging to ensure that such publications are not confused with Elsevier’s core peer reviewed journals and that the sponsorship of any publication is clearly disclosed. Elsevier expects to complete its review and issue guidelines by June 30, 2009.

“Full disclosure should be the standard at Elsevier, and we need to strive every day to make sure that we enforce consistent global guidelines for sponsorship and disclosure for article reprint products,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of Elsevier Health Sciences. “I want to assure our authors, editors, and customers that the integrity of our peer reviewed research journals has not been compromised in any way. These guidelines will help ensure that there is no confusion between these special compilations and our core collection of primary research journals.”

Elsevier and other STM publishers each year produce tens of thousands of reprint products (authorized reprints of articles from original primary journals), mostly one or two article reprints with paper covers (compilation products), to more content rich products with reprinted peer reviewed articles and other summaries, abstracts, case studies, conference summaries and glossy covers (custom publications). These products are produced for pharmaceutical companies and serve a valid and useful educational and marketing purpose for these companies.

Update on the Internal Review of Australian Sponsored Journals
Elsevier remains confident the ‘Australasian Journal of’ series is an isolated practice led by former employees in a local pharmaceutical services division. Within the ‘Australasian Journal of’ series, the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint is the only title identified as single sponsored without proper disclosure. An additional eight “Journal of” titles were published with ads from multiple advertisers and therefore did not call for additional disclosure. None of these nine titles were primary research journals and should not have been called journals. An additional 13 ‘Australasian Journal of’ titles were registered to obtain International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) numbers, but were never printed.

Single issues were typically distributed to between 2,000 and 10,000 general practitioners (GP) in Australia, and the company is aware of one issue that went to 20,000 (the estimated total number of GPs in Australia).

Customized and reprint compilation publications, including the ‘Australasian Journal of’ series are not posted on Science Direct, Elsevier’s electronic journal platform for its peer reviewed STM journals. Also, they are not required to be archived or retained.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

Media Contact:
Tom Reller
Elsevier
+1 212 462 1912
t.reller@elsevier.com