“The peer review process was compromised”: Inflammation drug paper pulled


A paper that screened for antibodies that target TNFα, a major source of inflammation, has been retraction after an investigation revealed the peer-review process may have been compromised.

We’ve seen the peer review process “compromised” in a handful of ways — from a mathematician who oversaw the process on several of his own papers, to some 250 papers subject to outright fake peer review. The note for this paper, published in Amino Acids, doesn’t go into details, so we can only wonder what happened in this particular case.

Here’s the note for “Structure‑based development and optimization of therapy antibody drugs against TNFα:”

The Publisher and Editor retract this article in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). After a thorough investigation we have strong reason to believe that the peer review process was compromised. In addition some author identities and given institutional addresses could not be confirmed.

A spokesperson for Springer told us that no other papers were affected by whatever peer-review issues occurred in this particular study. She declined to provide more details:

For information about the retraction, please refer to the retraction notice that is published alongside the original article, which you obviously have already seen.  No other papers are affected.  We do not want to make any further statements.

This paper has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We’ve reached out to the corresponding authors Yajun Guo, who is affiliated with the The Second Military Medical University, and Augus Bethune at the Tianjin Joint Academy of Biomedicine and Technology. We will update this post with anything else we learn.

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One thought on ““The peer review process was compromised”: Inflammation drug paper pulled”

  1. I think the publisher and editors should tell us the details in this kind of misconducts, rather than just put a retraction note on the website. We are tired of hearing relavant news like this. If the publisher and editorial office really want to prevent this from happen again, they should not accept suggested reviewers even the review er is real. By the way, I think the ip address testing could be the most useful method to track fake reviewer. cause it is so simple to prevent self-review, i dont know why this kind of things could happen this.year.

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