PubPeer Selections: Retracted papers, published elsewhere

Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections:pubpeer

Read more about PubPeer Selections here.

2 thoughts on “PubPeer Selections: Retracted papers, published elsewhere”

    1. I wish to examine the case of dead or disappearing publishers and how scientists who have published in their journals can republish their work without having any “ethical” risks associated with republishing. In essence, a paper that was retracted and republished is equivalent to one that was lost due to publisher death and then republished, although the former is loist usually because of errors, lack of academic integrity, etc. while the latter is lost because the publisher goes bankrupt, or other unknown extraeous forces. But, in principle, a retracted, “dead” or “lost” paper all fall into a similar category. Retracted papers can be traced but “dead” or “disappeared” papers cannot. To prove my point, I once again turn to the plant sciences, in trying to understand what happened to VictorQuest Publications, listed as VICTORQUEST PUBLICATIONS LIMITED, 35 Ballards Lane, London, United Kingdom, N3 1XW. The company appears to have been dissolved ( while links from Jeffrey Beall’s lists of “predatory” publishers ( list the domain name as being on sale. In particular, there is one journal, International journal of Agronomy and Plant Production, which is supposed to be available at http://, which has just disappeared. Not a single PDF file published in the 5 volumes and dozens of issues can be traced, unless authors who published their papers there had posted their papers online in personal or institutional repositories. In other words dozens of hundreds of scientists have just lost their papers. The publisher was supposed to be open access, the publisher charged I believe fees comparable to those at Academic Journals, but it is difficult to verify anything because the web-site just simply seems to have vanished.

      So, dealing with republishing, of retracted papers, or of dead papers, bith in a bid to resurrect the science that was in those papers, is a theme that is not disccussed in detail anywhere, and that I wish to address here. There are two main questions that scientists who are in this situation might need to address:
      a) How can funding for OA fees that were paid be recovered (especially for publishers that promised OA access to papers)?
      b) If indeed VictorQuest Publications has died, or vanished, that means that all published papers basically do not exist. Scientists then have the responsibility, if they are up to the challenge, of re-submitting and republishing their papers. In that case, in order for the resubmission to be ethical, because in essence this is one type of unique “retraction”, would the following suffice when resubmitting to another journal: 1) submitting with the original PDF file of the previously published (and now dead) paper; 2) explaining to the editor and editor in chief that the paper had already been published, with all details of the journal and explain that resubmission to their journal is based on the fact that the paper doesn’t exist any longer; 3) including a section in the Conflicts of interest section that not only lists the full reference of the “vanished” paper, but also a brief explanation that the publisher disappeared.

      Any ideas and advice would be welcome as this war in science begins to expand and start to take more and more casualties, either through retracted papers, or through “vanishing” papers.

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