A journal has its version of an NBA moment

Authors are calling “no traveling” on Liver Research for changing their affiliation without permission.

Editors at the publication changed the affiliation of a group of researchers from several institutions in Taiwan– including the Taipei Veterans General Hospital and the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, also in Taipei — to mainland China. 

The notice for the article, “Do different bariatric surgery procedures impact hepassocin plasma levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus?,” reads:

The authors would like to withdraw the manuscript entitled “Do different bariatric surgery procedures impact hepassocin plasma levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus?” due to unauthorized alteration of authors’ affiliation by the Editorial Office of Liver Research. The Editorial Office of Liver Research takes the full responsibility and apologize to the authors for this oversight.

Except, of course, “unauthorized alteration” can’t be an “oversight.” And how do we know how the authors wanted to be identified? This article about a very similar subject, from MDPI’s Reports, gives hints.

Liver Research is published by KeAi, a collaboration between Elsevier and China Science Publishing & Media to promote Chinese research. The copyright statement reads:

© 2019 The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. Publishing Services by Elsevier B. V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co., Ltd.

A search of the journal’s archives produced no results for “Taiwan,” but a few for Taipei — including two members of the editorial board: Shyr-Yi Lin and Yun Yen of Taipei Medical University in Taipei … China.

The same search of Science Direct, Elsevier’s journals portal, returns thousands of results.

An Elsevier spokesperson referred us to the journal for more information:

The article content and withdrawal text is provided by the editorial office of LIVRES. 

Guihua Chen, one of the editors of the journal, has not responded to our request for comment.

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