In the red (ink) corner: The editors of Neurosurgery, who misclassified the article, leading to an abbreviated version appearing in print.
This article was incorrectly designated as a Case Report instead of the article type ‘‘Clinical Report,’’ which resulted in the truncated version appearing in print and the full article appearing online only. The journal regrets the error.
So do the authors.
We reached Michael Levy, a neurologist at the University of California, San Diego, who led the study. He was more than a little peeved by the affair:
They blew it. It was an invited paper. It wasn’t a case report — there was no case in it.
Levy said the paper, which he called the first comprehensive analysis of boxing-related mortality, could have been a contender. Well, what he really said he and his colleagues thought it would be an “important” piece of research showing that shorter bouts mandated after the 1982 death of Duk Koo Kim do not seem to have made boxers any safer. “This wasn’t a fix,” he told us. “People are still dying.”
He blamed the snafu on a recent change in editorial management that seemed to have left the offices punchdrunk.
It was entirely their mistake. I’ve never had an experience like this before. There was never an issue with the old editorial staff. They did a shitty job.
Levy, who is on the editorial board of Neurosurgery and has published “more than 20” papers in the journal, said he threatened to take the article to another title but was mollified when the editors said they would reprint it in full. But he said he wasn’t clear that in doing so they would retract the original.
I didn’t realize that it would make us look bad. But I figured it was easier than resubmitting and waiting for another review.
We’ve made several attempts to contact Nelson Oyesiku, Neurosurgery‘s editor-in-chief, but haven’t been able to connect yet. We’ll keep trying.
As Levy said with a mix of exasperation and bemusement:
It’s just so silly.