The journal that recently published a bogus study showing the health benefits of chocolate has been kicked out of a membership organization for open access journals.
According to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the International Archives of Medicine was removed from the list of member journals August 20, due to “suspected editorial misconduct by publisher.”
is still was listed in PubMed until November 2014.
According to the DOAJ website, membership to the organization serves as a stamp of approval for OA journals:
A DOAJ Membership is a clear statement of intent and proves a commitment to quality, peer-reviewed open access. DOAJ is co-author to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (Principles) and DOAJ members are expected to follow these principles as a condition of membership. DOAJ reserves the right to reject applications for membership, or revoke membership if a member or sponsor is found to contravene the Principles.
A DOAJ representative told us they don’t “discuss individual cases with anyone apart from the publisher.” That sentiment is echoed on their website:
To assist libraries and indexers keep their lists up-to-date, we make public a list of journals that have been accepted into or removed from DOAJ but we will not discuss the details of an application with anyone apart from the applicant. Neither will we discuss individual publishers or applications with members of the public unless we believe that, by doing so, we will be making a positive contribution to the open access community.
Publisher Carlos Vazquez told Retraction Watch:
We just respect the decision of DOAJ since we understand this is an independent database and they have communicated with us in a proper way.
We are paying a high price for a mistake we made (a paper we published by mistake) and we have taken measures to prevent these mistakes from happening again.
We are completely committed to serious publishing. We adhere the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, the joint statement of DOAJ with COPE, OASPA and WAME and WAME’s Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals.
We hope we can be listed again in DOAJ in 12 months.
John Bohannon, a co-author of the chocolate study, told us that DOAJ is fighting an uphill battle to identify all of literature’s “fake journals:”
[I]t’s a huge and important task that they’re undertaking with a tiny staff and very little funding! We all owe them several million Euros to do the job right.
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