Here’s the brief statement from the publisher:
An internal review of the journal Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics has revealed a pattern of inappropriate and compromised peer review. As a result, the scientific integrity of the journal cannot be guaranteed. As a first measure, in addition to launching a thorough investigation, we have placed the journal on hold effective immediately. We will be providing further information on springer.com as events warrant.
Last year, the publisher had to retract 16 nonsense papers generated by a computer program. In August, the journal retracted a paper about anesthesia waste gases for plagiarism.
The journal has an impact factor of 2.380, according to its site, and ranks 124 out of 185 in the cell biology category of Thomson Scientific’s Journal Citations Reports.
A Springer spokesperson told us the publisher couldn’t comment further, as the investigation is ongoing.
We’re trying to reach editor in chief Edward J. Massaro and will update with news as we learn it. [See update.]
Update, 3:35 p.m., 3/13/2015: We’ve spoken with Massaro, but the conversation didn’t clear things up. Massaro told us he was not informed about the reason for the hold, nor has anyone from the journal contacted him since it happened more than a week ago:
I honestly have no idea.
what the publisher’s move is all about, he said, but he denied having done anything unethical regarding peer review.
I have enough information to know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.
Massaro called the stoppage “completely idiotic” and said it threatened to seriously undermine the journal’s standing.
I’m deadly afraid of the fact that having closed down my journal we may be losing a lot of primo people [who will submit to other publications].
Like Retraction Watch? Consider supporting our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, and sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post.