Tag Archives: science journals

Another slew of science papers retracted because of fraud

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 In total, more than a 100 papers have been retracted, simply because the journals relied on the authors to provide them contact information for their reviewers, never bothering to contact them directly.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.

A bogus scientific paper, with numerous errors, was accepted for publication by more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific journals.

A bogus scientific paper, with numerous errors, was accepted for publication by more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The scientist purposely wrote a paper that should have been unacceptable for publication in order to see if peer-review would spot the problems. What he found was that more than half the journals to which he submitted didn’t notice or care, and accepted the paper as is.

The journals in this case were open-access, meaning that they are free to readers but charge authors money for publication. Thus, rejecting papers is against their financial interest. Nonetheless, the number of journals willing to be unethical is quite disturbing, and reveals a rottenness lurking in the heart of the science field that no one wants to talk about.