Elsevier acquired Mendeley. It's not as bad as I thought.

Mendeley was recently acquired by public enemy Elsevier in a puzzling move. Some of you may remember that I’ve announced that, should this acquisition happen, I’ll be out of here. Actually, I’ve switched to Zotero a while back and never ever looked back. But still. Mr. Will Gunn himself asked me to do a follow-up post, on the basis that it’s not as bad as I feared. And as much as I am pained to admit it, that is entirely correct. The acquisition of Mendeley by Elsevier is not as bad as I thought.

It’s way worse. Hey Mendeley, do you seriously expect that we are going to take the sale of our usage data to Elsevier with a smile, because of some PR speak, and an attempt to mitigate the reactions on twitter? Do you think anyone will be fooled by the same usual litany of “But we are bringing value to the user”? Let’s face it, if you sold out to Elsevier, you are also going to turn a profit on the user data. It takes a lot of nerve to go on twitter and the blogs, and say that everything is fine, after that.

I stand by my initial reaction on twitter:

Seriously, Mendeley. Selling out to Elsevier is bad. Don’t make it worse than it is by thinking that your userbase will fall for your PR speech. Most of the people talked to this morning will not fall for that, and felt really insulted by your constant reinsurance that you will change the world for the better now. Not everything is shiny. But thanks for the reminder of a harsh reality. In the business of science, scientists are the only one still not making a profit. I thought we were the smart guys…

PS: If you want to leave Mendeley for good, just go here, and click on the link at the very bottom, called Delete my account. Don’t forget to tell them why.

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