Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Caught Our Notice: A nearly unreadable paper criticizing 2017 Nobel pick

with 14 comments

Via Wikimedia

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 “ohm@budweiser.com” 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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Written by Alison Abritis

November 8th, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Comments
  • John Hagedoorn November 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Well, you haven’t even seen his great work on ‘The materialization of Allah’ and ‘The origin of God’.

  • Marco November 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Prime example of predatory open access journals. It appears that Dr Das does have a bit of money to spend, as he has quite a few such publications.

    Those who wish to get a sample can go to his academia page
    https://heaven.academia.edu/vijaymohandas

    In the meantime, his Researchgate profile suggests he is at a Nigerian University and has a MS in surgery.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vijay_Das3

  • Linda Ferrazzara November 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Too funny! Thanks for brightening my day! (“There is no middle.” (Hillarious!!!))

  • Steven McKinney November 8, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    “Hence dead cell could be made Alive only by Highest center of the universe (Almighty B.B.B).”

    Who knew the Better Business Bureau had such a talents!
    

  • Josh November 8, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I learnt that PFC goes BING!!! when it reaches the thalamus.

  • Josh November 8, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Of the other 3 references, one is to a press release at the Nobel website and another to a youtube clip….

  • OT November 9, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Well, similar case happened before when a so-called regenerative medicine scientist sued the Nobel Committee over a 2012 Nobel prize on reprogramming mature cells.
    Here you can find a cover of the story for your weekend entertainment reading:

    http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34705/title/Snubbed-for-a-Nobel-/

  • Adam November 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    The author has published the same papers about many other Nobel prizes almost all in the same issue:
    http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jrme/pages/v6-i6.v.5.html
    The complete list can be retrieved from his CV, which is just amazing.
    http://heaven.academia.edu/vijaymohandas/CurriculumVitae

    • Gary November 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

      heh – please have a look at the book page from the CV….you might have to zoom in to read it. I particularly liked the fact that cancer is caused by “abnormal thought expressions”. Luckily there’s a cure – atomic genetic engineering… phew!

  • mph November 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    initially i thought it is a “fake” paper, but this person is real. I browsed through his cv on the the link provided above. No one questioned about the university where he is a faculty member.

  • Deepak November 10, 2017 at 12:11 am

    OMG … this makes me laugh like crazy. Rolling on the floor !! 😀
    Thanks for brightening up the day !!

  • Peter November 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Soumitra_Mallick/publications

    The String Theory of Indian Stock Market Nanostructure System

  • H November 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    The picture at the bottom of page 97… goodness me.

  • StephenLaudig November 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Predatory and unreadable oftentimes go together. As the much-missed “Beall’s” grows increasingly dated, perhaps the successor such be called “Endall’s List of the Execrably Edited or otherwise Unreadable Tripe” or somesuch. Though in fairness, tripe is nutritious.

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