Now, although we’ve covered a few retracted press releases, we don’t typically write about such events. This one, however, struck us as odd: Is reviewing a paper really the bar for sending out a press release? What if every university did that every time one of their faculty was asked to review?
The May 2 press release, issued by Penn State, of which Penn College is a part, begins:
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A member of the sociology faculty at the Pennsylvania College of Technology has been invited to evaluate a manuscript for publication in the journal Contemporary South Asia.
The page now redirects to a 404 error. We asked Penn State’s public affairs office why the release was retracted. Paul Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, said:
The press release was published in error and has been taken down from our news website.
That leaves us guessing, of course, but it strikes us that one possibility is the fact that the release included the name of the manuscript Bahl is reviewing. That’s a no-no, if the journal uses blinded review.
This isn’t the first time Penn College has issued a press release about the sociologist, Vinay Bahl, reviewing a manuscript. They did the same in September.
Hat tip: Joel Berkowitz