Title: Nobel Prize Physiology 2017 (for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm) is On Fiction as There Is No Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Clock Controlling the Circadian Rhythm. Circadian Rhythm Is Triggered and Controlled By Divine Mechanism (CCP – Time Mindness (TM) Real Biological Clock) in Life Sciences
What Caught Our Attention: This isn’t a retraction — rather, it’s a puzzling paper that we couldn’t help flagging for readers. From the title, to the affiliation (Das Nursing Home, India University Of God), to the reference list with only 11 entries — eight of which are written by the author himself — this is a paper that got our notice.
Granted, the journal’s publisher, International Organization of Scientific Research, was included on the now-defunct (and controversial) list of potentially predatory publishers and journals compiled by librarian Jeffrey Beall, but the journal’s website says it accepted less than 13% of submissions in its last issue. So what did the other 87% look like?
The article — criticizing current understanding about the circadian rhythm — includes a few tell-tale signs of text recycling. The first line of the Introduction includes the words “Press release” — indeed, the first four pages show marked similarity to the press release announcing the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017, about the molecular underpinnings of the circadian rhythm. The next block of text appears quite similar to a website by Stuart Hameroff (we were tipped off by the inclusion of Stuart Hameroff’s full contact information).
A few other points that an editor (or reviewer) might have noticed?
- Although the paper appears to be about circadian rhythms, it covers a wide range of topics. There’s “Divine Mechanics,” and a figure depicting “Prayer Message Formation in Brain,” including the “Atomic Transcription of Prayer Message.” And another figure about “Prayer Message Triggering in Brain.”
- Formatting is (to put it kindly) non-existent, with paragraphs indented or not, and separated by spaces, or not. Some figures, looking haphazard in their placement, have no legend, some have a legend but no number, others are numbered non-consecutively.
- Sections are given as “I. Introduction” and “II. Conclusion.” There is no middle.
In some ways, the paper reminds us of another retracted in 2012 for “no scientific content,” submitted by an author with “firstname.lastname@example.org” as an email.
Journal: IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education
Author: V M Das
Affiliation: Das Nursing Home, University of God, Fatehgarh, India
Date of Article: September/October 2017
Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science: Journal is not indexed
Hat Tip: Sanal MG
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