Journal retracted 46 articles in one fell swoop for faked peer review

In Retraction Watch world, it’s like finding long-buried and forgotten treasure.

A now-defunct journal retracted nearly four dozen papers in a single sweep, citing questions about the integrity of the peer review process for the articles. 

The Open Automation and Control Systems Journal, formerly published by Bentham, released a list of 46 articles, which it published in 2015, by researchers from various institutions in China. Bentham dates the retractions to 2016. We learned about the case from a commenter to our recent post about a mysterious incident of plagiarism

According to Bentham

The Publisher and Editor have retracted these articles [146] in accordance with good ethical practices. After thorough investigations we believe that the peer review process was compromised.

Among the papers in the list are: 

And, our personal favorite, Grey relational degree-based universities football teaching development trend study, by Li Xi, of the School of Physical Sciences at Hefei Normal University, whose abstract reads: 

In contemporary, football is loved by youth, and youth football teaching is base of a country football development. With respect to this, the paper carries out concrete study on Chinese youth football teaching. The paper makes specific analysis of Chinese sports teaching football course reformation status, and analyzes some schools add football course into syllabus or not, and then finds out that most of Chinese schools have added football teaching, which shows Chinese football has already attracted schools attention; by interviewing relative scholars, teachers, school leaders, analyzes data and gets in Chinese football teaching development, it has faculty shortage, lacks of national investment, which is considerable bad for Chinese football development; by establishing grey relational degree mathematical model, analyzes Chinese youth demands trend, and proposes that Chinese youth tends to watch football match, and lacks of interests in techniques, tactics learning. The paper provides theoretical guarantee for Chinese football development, and provides correlation effective opinions.

That kind of mess deserves a red card

We emailed Bentham for comment — and, in particular, whether the demise of the journal was linked to the bulk retractions — but have not heard back. 

To date, we’ve identified about 900 retractions resulting from rigged peer review. If you’re not familiar with how the scam works, here’s a guide.

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4 thoughts on “Journal retracted 46 articles in one fell swoop for faked peer review”

  1. Some authors manage to publish cheap work and poor review in high quality journals. How they set a trap for easy publishing needs to be investigated. Name of ghost author should be discouraged. Role of each should be enquired while submitting paper.

  2. Interesting. I wasn’t aware that Bentham Open was concerned about peer review. I’ve received curious correspondence from that company.

    1. I agree with you. Me too not aware about their peer review concerns! I think it is their another trap to seek authors(!) attention. They are truly attention seeker and they earn by this way!

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