The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a scientific society that doubles as one of the world’s largest scientific publishers, is retracting nearly 30 articles from a single journal after finding “evidence of systematic violation of IEEE’s policies governing peer review of articles.”
In a statement, IEEE said:
Earlier this year, IEEE received an allegation of misconduct in the peer review process for IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. An extensive investigation found evidence of systematic violation of IEEE’s policies governing peer review of articles. Three volunteer editors identified during the investigation as involved in the misconduct have been permanently excluded from IEEE membership. They have been prohibited from publishing with IEEE in the future and no longer hold any positions on an IEEE publication.
IEEE declined to provide a list of the 29 articles, the names of the three editors, or details of what specific violations they found. The organization said that its board of directors “has established a committee to examine all aspects of peer review practice across the organization and make recommendations for improvement.”
As we reported in a package of stories for Science last month about our database, IEEE has retracted more than 7,300 conference papers for reasons that are unclear. That figure is about 40% of the 18,000-plus retractions in our database. As we noted,
… several years ago, in its decades-old catalog of abstracts, IEEE staff started to notice thousands of summaries that “did not meet our guidelines,” according to a spokesperson. The spokesperson wouldn’t disclose how they noticed the issue, “for reasons of operational integrity.”
Update, 1730 UTC, 11/20/18: A commenter below points out that a search of the journal for retractions reveals 29 items. While we can’t be sure those are the same 29 papers, here they are. All but three were authored or co-authored by Antonio Orlandi, the now-former editor in chief of the journal.
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