[SOAF] Scientific Journals International

From: Richard Poynder <richard.poynder_at_btinternet.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 16:29:16 -0400

I read the recent post by Scientific Journals International on this mailing
list with interest, but I am puzzled about the company's claims that I have
"misrepresented the facts and suppressed the truth", since the message I
posted (https://arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OAForum/Message/4498.html) was - given
Professor Ahmed's refusal to speak to me (despite my making a number of
separate requests, and calling him by telephone) - as accurate a description
of facts and events as it was possible for me to give. The questions I asked
are questions that the wider research community is asking. And since public
money is involved it is in the public interest to ask the questions.

What I can now say is that I have learned that SJI does send papers out for
review. However, I have still to locate anyone who can confirm that they
have actually reviewed a paper, since those members of the SJI editorial
board who have responded to me have invariably said that the papers sent to
them were not within their area of speciality or interest, or "too generic
to be considered scientific", and so declined to review any of them. One
also commented that not enough time is offered to reviewers to review papers

I welcome the offer in the SJI post to speak to me, but I note that it is a
conditional offer. I am not clear what "libelous statements" I am being
asked to apologise for, or retract, in order for Professor Ahmed to consent
to an interview. Indeed, if anyone is guilty of libel here it is undoubtedly
the author of SJI's post, which suggests that I am a racist, and an opponent
of Open Access.

It is entirely unclear to me how my post (or the emails I exchanged with
Professor Ahmed) could possibly be held up as evidence of racism.

It is also strange that - in claiming that the business model of OA
publishers like BMC and PLoS is unsustainable - the SJI post supports its
argument by linking to commentary by Walt Crawford
(http://pln.palinet.org/wiki/index.php/Open_access_controversies) in which
Crawford cites a blog posting of mine
(http://poynder.blogspot.com/2008/06/open-access-doing-numbers.html). SJI's
post even uses the figures I published in that blog post in order to make
its point. If it is true that I have no understanding of the open-access
publishing world, why would SJI cite my arguments (as an authority) in order
to make its case?

As I say, I would welcome a conversation with Professor Ahmed, and I look
forward to arranging a date and time of mutual convenience.

Richard Poynder

    [ Part 2: "Attached Text" ]


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Received on Fri Aug 22 2008 - 21:30:46 BST

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