Weekend reads: Peer review, troubled from the start; how to survive as a whistle-blower

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured news that one in 25 papers in a massive screen includes inappropriate image manipulation, and of the eighth and ninth retractions for a neuroscience team. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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2 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Peer review, troubled from the start; how to survive as a whistle-blower”

  1. Medical Archives 2014; 68(4): 228-230
    doi: 10.5455/medarh.2014.68.228-230
    A New Example of Unethical Behaviour in the Academic Journal “Medical Archives”
    Izet Masic.

    “three of my mails to the author from which I requested to comply with the rules that are written and publicly accessible by the mentioned association and to be followed by every editorial board of scientific journal which want to be taken seriously and which are transparently published on the website of the journal and listed in the Instructions for authors, ended in his spam box. Unfortunately, the main argument that I mentioned to the authors is that they could not send the same article, completely identical by content, in other journals and that they did not officially make a request to me as Editor of Medical Archives to withdraw the article from their own motives and reasons. The authors did not even want to accept certain steps that are obligatory, published on the official website through which their article is submitted.”

    Hatixhe Latifi-Pupovci responds.

  2. Regarding “A BioMed Central journal mistakenly asked a scientist to review his own paper”, this might be an argument for ORCID author disambiguation. I don’t know the particulars of BMC, but I expect all the majors use a workflow management software that flags authors so you can’t send a submission to a co-author to review. That’s how ScholarOne works anyway, and I expect the competing systems are similar. But if the author names were not entered identically to the database registry, this safeguard wouldn’t work.

    This does raise a question how peer review works for the disciplines that tolerate mega-author papers with hundreds or thousands of authors? (Authors in name, anyway). I suspect there may not be any peer review in the usual way, but the editors simply work out details of clarity with whomever submitted it.

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