Fake peer review, made-up author take down a paper

Manipulated peer review strikes again, this time with a 2015 article whose authors appear to have created a straw mathematician to make their work seem more legit. 

The paper, “Fixed point theorems and explicit estimates for convergence rates of continuous time Markov chains,” appeared in Fixed Point Theory and Applications, a Springer Nature title. 

Its authors, purportedly, were affiliated with institutions in China and Japan. According to the acknowledgements for the article: 

This article was written during a short stay of the corresponding author at the Graduate School of Mathematics of Nagoya University as a visiting professor. I would also like to thank the Graduate School of Mathematics and their members for their warm hospitality.

The corresponding author — the listed one, anyway — is Ikudol Miyamoto. 

Per the abstract: 

In this paper we give Banach fixed point theorems and explicit estimates on the rates of convergence of the transition function to the stationary distribution for a class of exponential ergodic Markov chains. Our results are different from earlier estimates using coupling theory, and from estimates using stochastically monotone one. Our estimates show a noticeable improvement on existing results if Markov chains contain instantaneous states or nonconservative states. The proof uses existing results of discrete time Markov chains together with h-skeleton. At last, we apply this result, Ray-Knight [no, not THAT Ray Knight] compactification and Itô excursion theory to two examples: a class of singular Markov chains and Kolmogorov matrix.

But here’s the retraction notice:

The Editors-in-Chief have retracted this article [1] because it showed evidence of peer review manipulation. In addition, the identity of the corresponding author could not be verified: Nagoya University have confirmed that Ikudol Miyamato has not been affiliated with their Graduate School of Mathematics.

The authors have not responded to any correspondence regarding this retraction.

We couldn’t find any other papers by an “Ikudol Miyamoto.” But a search of the email address linked to that name turned up a document listing a Ikudol Miyamoto in the math department at Chiba University in Japan. However, no such person appears on the university’s website.

A message sent by us to that email address has not had a response. And the editors of the journal have not responded to us, either.

Springer Nature is no stranger to manipulated peer review, having retracted scores of papers because of the problem in the past. After retracting 64 papers at a go in 2015, Springer said it was tightening its procedures for manuscripts to prevent doctored reviews from occurring.

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3 thoughts on “Fake peer review, made-up author take down a paper”

    1. Ikuko, not Ikudol Miyamoto is/was (there are no publications from him since 2009) a mathematician at Chiba University. The document mentioned clearly refers to him.

      But that has nothing to do with the fake author Ikudol Miyamoto.

      1. I would not assume Ikuko Miyamoto is male. Ikuko sounds like a female name, actually. Not that it matters for the retraction, but still.

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