Weekend reads: One researcher resents “cyberbullying” while another wishes peer reviewers would spank him

booksAnother busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was going on around the web in scientific publishing and related issues:

18 thoughts on “Weekend reads: One researcher resents “cyberbullying” while another wishes peer reviewers would spank him”

    1. CORRECTION: I stated that “Benjamin Hayempour… has now issued a DMCA takedown notice”. In fact it is not known who is responsible for the notice, but Andrew Oh Willeke writes that it was “no doubt filed by Hayempour or someone acting on his behalf.”

        1. Has anyone notified the NIH or the authors of the plagiarised articles yet? It would be interesting to see what would happen if the original authors were to file DMCA takedown notices of his “papers” on PubMed. Also, the NIH should probably be made aware…

          1. Note that that video now gives the “Expert” as Ayden Jacob, his new name. But the interviewer introduces him as Benjamin Jacob Hayempour.

        2. There’s an even more interesting angle to this. If the DMCA takedown was emitted in the knowledge that it was false, that is an offence. The blogger can probably sue whoever sent the takedown notice, since a proper takedown notice must target a copyright infringement (yet nothing was copied) and come from the copyright holder (or agent). Who owns the copyright in plagiarised work? The original journal in most cases. Probably not the plagiarising author… And that’s before one considers fair use.


          1. That is very interesting boog! I wonder if Andrew Oh Willeke is aware of that. He certainly should be. That would be a great twist. Is nskeptic in touch with him?

          2. I am aware of that fact, although the practicalities of pursuing that possibility are unclear at this time. I will probably wait a couple of weeks and see if the DMCA complainant files a lawsuit or allows the post to be reinstated before I take any other action.

  1. Regarding the shortest science papers, I note the two-words editorial recently published in “Evolutionary Anthropology” is behind a paywall… Fortunately, there is a 100% overlap between keywords and that editorial.
    The no-word paper (available free of charge!) is brilliant, because it makes sense and has an actual scientific content.

  2. #nature genetics #nongwas
    PLoS one is “seriously considering” to publish a scientific relevant paper
    (However the authors must still pay for it)

    1. Perhaps a little pre-emptive, but what will it cost to use “Pre-Score”? I am cautious (and so should you) about these new models and metrics that lack transparency from the word go: “We are preparing to announce partnerships with several organizations within the scholarly publishing industry.” And “The preSCORE Advisory Panel is comprised of diverse individuals with decades of experience in the scholarly publishing industry. An official announcement with bios of each Advisory Panel member will be posted shortly.” Speed is of the essence to gain trust. And if this is a paid service, who is benefitting? Iremain suspicious as there are few truly altruistic services nowadays.

  3. Re: shortest science papers:
    Shortest paper on the unsuccessful treatment of writer’s block is an exhilarating lecture, and, I imagine, one of the early cases of open review! (Referee’s comments were published in the footnote.)

    It is worth adding that the findings of this study were successfully (oh, irony!) replicated in a multi-site cross-cultural study published only recently (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2078566/).

      1. Yes, but the important point is that the consequences of this plagiarism are huge: once you consider that the Upper’s paper (1974) may be plagiarized, then you must admit that any published article plagiarizes the Upper’s article, including all articles not yet published.

        This is similar to the fundamental property of the empty set (the set for which cardinality is zero) in axiomatic set theory: because two sets are equal if they have the same element(s), there can be only one set having no elements. The empty set is thus unique, and is a subset of all sets of any kind and of any cardinality. For more accurate details, see:

        Now, the union of a set A with the empty set is A. In other words, the next article you will publish contains the Upper’s article… Do you want to retract the full post-1974 scientific literature, which massively plagiarized the Upper’s article without proper citation?

      2. That’s a toughie. But taking into account that the original study is cited, and also that this clearly isn’t the case of unattributed use of text or data, I would venture a guess that the answer is no…

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