Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

More shoes drop for Chinese author who made up peer reviewer addresses

with 5 comments

Last month, we brought you the story of Guang-Zhi He of the Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, an enterprising fellow who got caught faking the email addresses of potential peer reviewers. At the time, Elsevier, who published journals where He published, told us there would be several retractions other than the one we reported on.

Three of those have appeared, in the same journal, Experimental Parasitology, and saying the same thing:

This article has been retracted as the author fabricated information during the review process to obtain a favorable review. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

The retracted papers are

The fake email address approach may not quite be a trend yet, but this retraction comes on the heels of our post Friday about a South Korean scientist who faked reviewer emails so he could pass judgment on his own papers.

Comments
  • YouKnowBestOfAll August 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    It is good to see that Elsevier is so strict in dealing with “a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system” like faking the email addresses of potential peer reviewers.

    It will be even better if Elsevier can demonstrate consistency with their policy that: “One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. The re-use of material, without appropriate reference, even if not known to the authors at the time of submission, breaches our publishing policies” and retracts such papers promptly, as the abuse of the scientific publishing system is MUCH GREATER in these cases.

  • nskeptic August 29, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I wonder how many more of these review-it-yourself cases are out there undiscovered. A lot I bet.

    • YouKnowBestOfAll August 29, 2012 at 4:48 am

      If I may say “A lot“ is rather broad and unclear term, which can be very misleading.

      My suggestion is:
      Let’s put a number on it (review-it-yourself cases);
      Let’s make it open for everyone at RW to present evidence about it.
      Let’s see (at end of the year) who was closer to the truth (RW will announce the results).

      So, as opening bid, I’d say that “review-it-yourself cases ” (please note that this number is not for all of them, but only those which will be revealed on RW by 31 Dec 2012) could be 24, 680 (twenty four thousand six hundred and eighty).

      Any other suggestions?

      • chirality August 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

        I think you are way off mark. Have some faith in scientists’ integrity!
        BTW, my bid is 24, 678.
        I think that in the case of DIY reviews, the offending paper should not be retracted straight away. The manuscript should be sent to a legit reviewer and if he or she leans towards publication, the paper should stay. Otherwise, it should be retracted. Of course, in either case the author should be made to answer for the misconduct he perpetrated.

  • YouKnowBestOfAll September 1, 2012 at 12:30 am

    In reply to chirality , August 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

    RE: DIY reviews

    YES! Totally agree with your proposal that “The manuscript should be sent to a legit reviewer and if he or she leans towards publication, the paper should stay.” and that “the author should be made to answer for the misconduct he perpetrated.”

    RE: 24,678 or 24,680

    Let’s kick-off the contest with something really special.
    I nominate the paper below for three categories:
    (i) DIY review
    (ii) Duplication publications
    (iii) Copyright irregularities

    Paper: “What we mean by social determinants of health”
    Author: Vicente Navarro

    According to PubMed website the above paper appears twice, but with different PMIDs:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=What%20we%20mean%20by%20social%20determinants%20of%20health :
    What we mean by social determinants of health. Navarro V, Int J Health Serv. (2009)
    PMID: 19771949 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
    What we mean by social determinants of health. Navarro V, Glob Health Promot. (2009)
    PMID: 19276329 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    Arguments for the above nomination:
    (i) DIY review:
    Vicente Navarro is Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Health Services (IJHS).
    (ii) Duplication publications
    The entire text of the paper (i.e. 100%) appears also in Global Health Promotion (GHP).
    Please note that the paper has been cited many times and some authors prefer to cite GPH’s publication (which is the earlier), while most prefer to cite IJHS’s publication (which is the later).
    (iii) Copyright irregularities
    Both journals: IJHS and GHP claim simultaneously copyright on the very same material?!?

    I’ll leave to somebody else all the glory for revealing precisely how many DIY reviews Vicente Navarro has in his journal IJHS.

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