Abstracts flagged because conferences — including one in Wuhan in late 2019 — may not have happened

A journal has issued an expression of concern after learning that it may have published abstracts from meetings that appear not to have taken place. 

As many journals do, Basic & Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, a Wiley title, occasionally publishes meeting supplements. But according to the journal, it recently learned from several authors that a dozen of those supplements that it produced 

between 2018 and 2020 might have contained suspect work. According to a statement we received from the journal: 

A handful of authors reached out to the journal with concerns that certain authors may not have provided permission to include their abstract in the supplement and that some conferences were not held at all. In response to this situation, we worked to enhance the journal’s supplement policy, and now perform multiple new checks at the proposal stage through publication.

In all, according to Dawn Peters, a spokesperson for Wiley, six of 4,159 abstracts that appeared in four of the supplements are believed to be unreliable. Wiley was unable to provide a list of those abstracts.

The editors’ statement reads: 

editors launched an investigation of 12 conference abstract supplements published in the journal between 2018 and 2020, in response to concerns that authors may not have provided permission to include their abstract in the supplement and that some conferences were not held at all.  As part of the investigation and in accordance with COPE guidelines, our editorial staff contacted conference organizers but, either did not receive a response or the responses did not allay concerns. Therefore, we could not confirm nor refute the allegations, and as a result, issued an Expression of Concern for these abstract supplements.

Among the conferences from which the journal published abstract supplements were the 2018 Asia Pacific Conference on Medical and Health Science, held in November 2018, in Nagoya, Japan; the 2019 Sino‐US International Conference on Health Sciences and Medical Education (HSME 2019), held — putatively — in Wuhan, China, in December 2019; and the  2019 Asia Pacific Conference on Medical and Health Science, held in June 2019 in Seoul. 

Here’s the expression of concern, which appeared May 8: 

This expression of concern is for the above issue, published in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), and has been published by agreement between the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Kim Brøsen, the Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The journal was alerted to some concerns regarding the legitimacy of several abstract supplements published in Basic & Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (BCPT), which included allegations that the conferences themselves had not taken place, or that the authors published in the supplements had not given their permission for their abstract to be included. As a result, BCPT conducted an independent investigation into twelve abstract issues published in the journal. Each organiser of these abstract supplement issues was contacted to request further detail to confirm that the conference had taken place as specified, that authors’ permission was sought to use the abstracts, and whether a legitimate abstract selection process was followed. For this abstract issue, we received no further information from the organisers to help allay our initial concerns. Therefore, because we cannot say with certainty that the conference took place and that the authors of the abstracts were aware that their abstracts have been included in the issue (or gave permission for them to be included), we are issuing an Expressions of Concern.

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a one-time tax-deductible contribution or a monthly tax-deductible donation to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at team@retractionwatch.com.

2 thoughts on “Abstracts flagged because conferences — including one in Wuhan in late 2019 — may not have happened”

  1. The website for the canceled Wuhan conference http://web.archive.org/web/20200105102911/http://www.hsme-conf.com/

    “Sino-US HSME 2019 is co-sponsored by Information Engineering Research Institute,USA and Singapore Management and Sports Science Institute,Singapore. Sino-US HSME is technically co-sponsored by Fort Hays State University,USA, King Mongkut’s University of Technology,Thailand and Tokyo Institute of Technology,Japan.”

    The website for Information Engineering Research Institute


  2. Chinese Ph.D. graduates must use SCI-included dissertations. All many people send them to this SCI supplement. China’s dissertation factory: http://www.researchi.org/

    They curate a lot of SCIE SSCI (special issue) (supplementary issue) conferences. Predatory journals etc.
    ISSN: 1742-7835
    The search type is: SCI Meeting Abstract
    Charge 6800rmb/article publication fee in China…………………
    Millions of dollars in revenue a year
    Very efficient looting…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.