“Would you be prepared to review the proposal for us?”

Here is the text of an email I have just sent in reply to one of Elsevier’s publishers, who asked whether I would be prepared to review a book proposal for them.

Dear [redacted],

Thanks for getting in touch. As someone who has dedicated their whole career to ending the corporate control of knowledge, and wishes to see the end of the profit motive in scholarly publishing, the idea of providing free labour for Elsevier is quite hilarious to me.

Perhaps you didn’t Google my name before sending your query; almost every article and talk I have ever given has included explicit criticism of Elsevier. In particular, I refer you to an attempt to notify the competition authorities about its anti-competitive practices. Elsevier even tried to put pressure on my employer to sack me when I used a legitimate legal mechanism to publish the amount spend on journal subscriptions.

So, no – I will not review the book proposal.

Kind regards,

Stuart

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