Weekend reads: A journal ends accept/reject in peer review; more of a Nobelist’s work comes under scrutiny; CNRS director says what he thinks of sleuths

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up to 266. There are more than 36,000 retractions in our database — which powers retraction alerts in EndNoteLibKeyPapers, and Zotero. And have you seen our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions lately — or our list of top 10 most highly cited retracted papers?

Here’s what was happening elsewhere (some of these items may be paywalled, metered access, or require free registration to read):

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A journal ends accept/reject in peer review; more of a Nobelist’s work comes under scrutiny; CNRS director says what he thinks of sleuths”

  1. How bizarre, one of the most spectacular case of imposture, the Banat’s Journal of Biotechnology (https://www.bjbabe.ro) – (Web of Science Core Collection, Emerging Sources Citation Index) simply disappeared from the web! Not affiliated, the domain bought by a private person, classified in the field of Animal Sciences (https://www.citefactor.org/journal/index/157/banats-journal-of-biotechnology), but (falsely mentioned as) edited by a department of “Exact Sciences” and having as editors some agronomists, chemists, mechanical engineers, with international editors with no affiliation etc. The citations seems to be an ode dedicated to members of the Romanian publishing team, a team of enterprising friends! It is not at all clear how WoS/Clarivate could accept this hoax!

    1. Yes, but somehow different. Using public simple tools as Waybackmachine, you will find that:
      – The domain expired on October 22nd, 2022 (“Domain Name: bjbabe.ro; Registered On: 2012-09-21; Expires On: 2022-10-20; Registrar: Claus Web SRL; Referral URL: http://www.clausweb.ro; DNSSEC: Inactive; Nameserver: ns.clausweb.ro”). Just in time.
      – The problem is that a Core collection indexed Journal, since Jan.-Jun. 2015, can not evaporate. Why would that happen since everyone who published here would want as many citations as possible?
      – The Exact Science Department existed in the University of Agricultural Sciences in Timisora untill 2013 September, but if you google, you will find this department mentioned as the home-editor for BJB after this date;
      – After 2013 September 27th, the jurnal doesn’t appear on the Timisora university website among scientifical local publications. The library section (https://biblio.usab-tm.ro/reviste/) does not mention any print issue in its periodicals collection. (Why?) A search with the journal ISSN on https://portal.issn.org/ gives 0 results.
      – All e-volumes of the journal mention “Publisher: Timisora, Romania” and not the university in Timisora (there are some universities in this city, Google says).
      – The Banat Biotechnology Journal stoped at issue 22 (2020, December), but the WaybackMachine shows many modifications in 2021 and 2022! Someone may ask why. I have some hypotheses but I have no time to investigate.
      So, with the disappearance of the journal from the web few days ago, its publishers and editors proceeded de facto to a stealth retraction. Clarivate, EBSCO, CABI etc. should respect this choice and do the same (and retract any citation of any article published in Banat Biotechnology Journal) since in extenso articles are no more available.
      In conclusion, is nothing “spectacular”, just another case of fraud in nowadays science. Except the unit of measure is not the article, but the journal.

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