N – Gifts for good reviews

The publishing company Elsevier has confirmed that it was a mistake to offer $25 Amazon gift cards to academics contributing to the textbook Clinical Psychology to encourage them to post favourable reviews, the BMJ reports. An email sent by the company offered to pay them for positive online reviews. A spokesman for Elsevier said that the email did not reflect company policy and said that it had been a “mistake.” He said, “Encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn’t outside the norm in scholarly publishing . . . But in all instances the request should be unbiased.” (BMJ 2009;339:b2841, doi:10.1136/bmj.b2841)