eLife Execs: Not Fair & Square

eLife execs can't tell it like it is, and their delusions may be what keeps them marginal

Developing Story: Cambridge University Press appears to have been hacked, halting publications for some weeks now. It appears some items from the 1950s and 1960s are being restored, as well.

If you have information on this, please let me know. Thanks.

Now, back to our regular programming . . .

The contortions some OA advocates undergo to spin a narrative that is flattering to their particular and often misguided attempts to “reform” scholarly and scientific publishing can be downright amazing to behold. Such is the case in a recent essay by Damian Pattinson and George Currie of eLife, where the two condemn what they call “designer science” as they attempt to shame big brand journals, and the idea of brands in general as useful proxies for quality.

There are so many layers of pretzel logic, cluelessness, and basic agitprop that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

But begin we shall.

There’s no better place to start than with the lie at the center of the boasting about the eLife model (which is branded as Reviewed Preprints, yet the authors don’t seem aware they are branding an approach as they disparage the idea of brands). The essay is basically a thin conceit to promote this model, after all — but to ensure nothing blemishes their premise, they misrepresent facts in the following statement:

eLife (where we both work) was founded with the purpose to disrupt and reform scholarly communication.

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