A Wiley journal makes another article disappear

In journalism, we have a running joke: Once something happens three times, it is a trend.

Well, one publisher’s propensity for making articles disappear from journal websites seems to be a trend. Twice this month, we have reported on Wiley’s disappearing act. Angewandte Chemie, a top chemistry journal, made an editorial decrying diversity efforts disappear. And Nursing Forum did the same thing with two letters that they said would only appear in print — but were briefly online.

Angewandte Chemie has done it again. This time the journal waved their magic wand on “What’s Hot, What’s Not: The Trends of the Past 20 Years in the Chemistry of Odorants,” published online last month. Its abstract:

This review is the sequel to the 2000 report on the recent advances in the chemistry of odorants and it summarizes the developments in fragrance chemistry over the past 20 years. Following the olfactory spectrum set out in that report, trendsetting so-called captive odorants (patent-protected ingredients unavailable to the market) are presented according to the main odor families: “fruity”, “marine”, “green”, “floral”, “spicy”, “woody”, “amber”, and “musky”. The design of odorants, their chemical synthesis, and their use in modern perfumery are illustrated with prominent examples. Featured are new fruity odorants that provide signature in the top note, as well as precursor technology. In the green domain, focus is on leafy notes and green pear. New benzodioxepines and benzodioxoles have modernized the marine family and required a revision of the existing olfactophore models. The replacement of Lilial and Lyral kept the industry busy in the floral domain with a plethora of new ‘muguets’. There was continued activity in the domain of rose odorants, especially in the area of rose ketones. Biotechnology became significant, for example, with Clearwood and Ambrofix, and the principal odorants of vetiver oil in the woody family have been found. Fourth and fifth families of musk odorants were also discovered and populated. Thus, new avenues for further explorations into fragrance chemistry have been opened.

Clicking on the link to the paper’s title will, at the time of this writing, send users to a 404 error shown above.

None of the authors — all of Givaudan Schweiz AG in Switzerland — responded to our request for comment. A Wiley spokesperson said:

The accepted article, “What’s Hot, What’s Not: The Trends of the Past 20 Years in the Chemistry of Odorants” published on May 26, 2020. An author of the article contacted the production editor for Angewandte Chemie to fix text issues in the initial PDF. The production editor took down the article to make those changes, which resulted in the 404 error message.  Once corrected, the article will be placed back online.

As we noted in a previous post:

Wiley’s publishing guidelines strongly recommend against deleting published work, but list circumstances under which it’s permissible.

These include: A violation of privacy of a research subject, errors which could endanger a member of the public, defamatory comments against others in the field or their work and when an article is retracted

  • because for example it contains errors, has been accidentally submitted twice or infringes a professional ethical code of some type.

The guidelines also add that even with deletion,

  • bibliographic information about the deleted article should be retained for the scientific record, and an explanation given, however brief, about the circumstances of its removal.

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8 thoughts on “A Wiley journal makes another article disappear”

  1. I imagine it probably contained some proprietary information, which admittedly is quite a stretch to make fall under the defamation or privacy rule. I expect the article will be reinstated soon. Otherwise I can’t imagine what a controversy worth deleting could be in the context of fragrance chemistry. I have a pdf of the deleted article so if they put it back up it will be interested to look at the difference.
    Relatedly, I have always wanted to read “Fundamentals of Fragrance Chemistry” by Charles S. Sell (former Givaudan employee, the plot thickens!) ever since it came out on Wiley.

  2. this article appeared a while ago http://retractionwatch.com/2020/06/23/a-wiley-journal-makes-another-article-disappear/

    i have checked the diffs with the original pdf, there has been some minor text revision, as far as i can see the most notable difference is that a conflict of interest note is listed, as the authors are related to Givaudan. It was also stated before this conflict of interest note that the researchers where Givaudan employees so it does not seem malicious to me.

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