Publisher does a “thorough sweep” of alternative medicine journal after a paper is published in error

Last April, the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine provisionally accepted  a paper on the role of music therapy in palliative care settings. Unfortunately for authors, the article did not grab the guest editors of the supplementary issue to which it had been designated.

So far, so good. But a production error caused the paper to appear online — necessitating a retraction when the journal learned that the authors, understandably, had already found another home for their work. 

According to the notice

The article had been “provisionally accepted” for possible publication in a special issue of JACM, but by the time articles were selected for that issue, the Guest Editors determined it should not be included and the Editor rescinded the provisional acceptance. Regrettably, the acceptance was reversed after the article was processed through normal production processes and was mistakenly released to the Journal’s online platform.

After the article was posted, the publisher learned that the authors had submitted and published the article elsewhere since the provisional acceptance had been reversed. Because of this, and in keeping with standard peer review practices, JACM must withdraw the article.

It is important to note that this was an editorial error and that the authors bear no fault. The publisher of JACM and its editorial team deeply regret this error and sincerely apologize to Dr. Potvin, Dr. Hicks, and Dr. Kronk.

Kronk did not respond to a request for comment. 

Meanwhile, Sophie Reisz, the vice president and executive editor at Mary Ann Liebert, said that, in the wake of the retraction, the publisher decided to do a “thorough sweep” of the journal.

What we’ve realized, unfortunately, is that we had to replace the editor-in-chief, not specifically for that retraction but for a variety of issues.

The company has hired a new top editor for JACM — after John Weeks, the previous one, retired but stayed on as a contributing editor at the publisher’s request, he told us — as well as a new administrator for manuscript submission system ScholarOne, who oversees all peer review for the journal, and a new editorial journal publication manager: 

We decided basically to clear house and really evaluate how that journal was being managed.

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5 thoughts on “Publisher does a “thorough sweep” of alternative medicine journal after a paper is published in error”

  1. The entire notion that a journal of “alternative” medicine should even be considered to be a real journal is absurd. This isn’t science, nor technology, nor engineering, or mathematics… or any real scholastic field. It is pure hokum. As as such, a retraction in it is of no more aid to improving the quality of research as letting them publish any other of their silly trash.

    So, why should Retraction Watch bother? It would be better if we all spoke out against such pseudo-science quackery.

      1. Music therapy deserves to be studied, and supported for what it can provide. It shouldn’t be graded on a “pretend-science scale”.

    1. There is a difference between scientific study of unconventional – my preferred term – medicine and belief in alternative – in a more etymological sense – medical systems. Where do you suggest we collate data and analyses of such practices? Which other avenues do you consider “materia non grata” for scientific study?

  2. I’ve benefited greatly from midwifery, chiropractic, kinesiology, massage therapy, laser therapies, acupuncture, Arvigo technique, pelvic floor therapy, and more. The Candice Elliott sounds like Walmart, trying to bully and shame independent providers out of existence. Meanness and ignorance won’t prevail over mature, open forum and the presence of journals for a DIVERSE readership.

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