Another slew of science papers retracted because of fraud

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The uncertainty of peer-review: A major scientific publisher has retracted 64 articles in 10 journals after discovering that the so-called independent peer reviewers for these articles were fabricated by the authors themselves.

The cull comes after similar discoveries of ‘fake peer review’ by several other major publishers, including London-based BioMed Central, an arm of Springer, which began retracting 43 articles in March citing “reviews from fabricated reviewers”. The practice can occur when researchers submitting a paper for publication suggest reviewers, but supply contact details for them that actually route requests for review back to the researchers themselves.

Overall, this indicates an incredible amount of sloppiness and laziness in the peer-review field. In total, more than a 100 papers have been retracted, simply because the journals relied on the authors to provide them contact information for their reviewers, never bothering to contact them directly.

I suspect that these retractions are merely the tip of the iceberg. Based on the garbage papers I see published in the climate field, I will not be surprised if even more peer-review fraud is eventually discovered.


  • Edward

    The article stated: “‘The particular problem of fake review comes about when authors are allowed to suggest possible peer reviewers,’ says Wager. ‘The system sounds good. The trouble is when people game the system and use it as a loophole.'”

    I am confused as to the conditions under which such a system would “sound good.” It seems to me that the only time that a publisher could benefit from a list of possible reviewers is when the publisher is not familiar enough with that field of science to know enough scientists in that field. Whenever that is the case, I don’t see why the publisher is a good fit for that paper or why the publisher should seriously consider the paper.

    It seems to me that this is how you get the publication of papers describing impossible space engines, causing the press to get excited that we are on the verge of discovering Star Trek’s warp drive. (Or maybe we should start perusing the birth announcements for Zefram Cochrane.)

    On the other hand, if a scientist’s paper cannot get published in an appropriate journal, we may be seeing a field of science behaving as fascists, shutting down evidence that opposes a preferred explanation of what is happening in nature, as the AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research is currently doing. (The Los Angeles Times likewise will not publish any letters, scientific viewpoints, or articles that suggest global warming/climate-disruption/phrase-of-the-day is not happening or is not hazardous to humans and nature.)

  • Max

    The president announced today the tightening of emission controls on methane i.e. natural gas. ( to my knowledge, cows were not mentioned )
    I have never seen an article or cause and effect science showing how methane is a global warming gas. Is this one of the fake peer-reviewed global warming baloney?
    NPR was explaining how methane is 25,000 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. (carbon dioxide)
    How is that possible? At 400 ppm, CO2 is already a rare gas. There is 200 times more CO2 then there is methane. At 1.8 ppm, it’s not a factor in the atmospheric equation. (if the atmosphere was represented by million dollars, methane would be a $1.80)
    methane is a very small molecule (CH4) and blocks/absorbs very little energy and retains practically none.
    As the president says, “there is no there there”. I suppose even a bacteria looks like a mountain under high magnification…

    If the subject of cows and methane comes up, just remind them that all the hay and grass the cows do not eat will rot over the winter time and become methane anyway.

  • Phill O

    Cows? How about all the sheep in New Zealand where a lot of activist live.

  • Max

    New Zealand is exempt from reality. So much green makes you feel sorry for the rest of the world.
    All plants and animals are part of the carbon cycle. The carbon atoms in our bodies may have been used and recycled millions of times before we inherited them. The promotion of carbon sequestration is to starve life…

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