The problem, said editor Keith D. Lillemoe, is that the address was delivered in April by previous ESA president Marek Krawczyk in Polish. According to an email Krawczyk sent to ESA leadership, which Lillemoe forwarded to us, Krawczyk says the pronoun “his” can include women in Polish.
Still, Lillemoe told us, the journal believed it needed to quickly retract the paper:
From time to time, academics will devise a “sting” operation, designed to expose journals’ weaknesses. We’ve seen scientists submit a duplicated paper, a deeply flawed weight loss paper designed to generate splashy headlines (it worked), and an entirely fake paper – where even the author calls it a “pile of dung.” So it wasn’t a huge surprise when Katarzyna Pisanski at the University of Sussex and her colleagues found that so-called “predatory” journals – which are allegedly willing to publish subpar papers as long as the authors pay fees – often accepted a fake editor to join their team. In a new Nature Comment, Pisanski and her team (Piotr Sorokowski, Emek Kulczycki and Agnieszka Sorokowska) describe creating a profile of a fake scientist named Anna O. Szust (Oszust means “a fraud” in Polish). Despite the fact that Szust never published a single scholarly article and had no experience as a reviewer or editor, approximately one-third of predatory journals accepted Szust’s application as an editor. We spoke with Pisanski about the project.
Retraction Watch: What made you conceive of this project, and what did you hope to accomplish?
Journals have retracted five papers by a materials researcher based in Poland after concluding the peer-review process had been faked.
According to the retraction notices — which all appear in Elsevier journals and contain the same text — the papers were accepted due to “positive advice of at least one faked reviewer report,” which were submitted from fictitious email accounts for reviewers suggested by the author.
All five studies were solely authored by Mariusz Książek, who is based at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology in Poland, and has denied any wrongdoing.
A spokesperson from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology confirmed that the university “has taken legal actions.”
The editors of ACS’s Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data have sunk a paper on halogenated alkanes after realizing that “a significant amount” of the data was “inaccurate,” thereby “invalidating” the paper.
Nearly two decades after a Polish researcher plagiarized the work of a Turkish team, her theft has been exposed and the paper retracted.
According to an article in Polish-language paper Gazeta Wyborcza, Jolanta Rzymowska of the Medical University of Lublin was the subject of two disciplinary hearings, the first in February 2014, following the discovery of her plagiarism by well-known Polish fraud hunter Marek Wronski. It was determined that her 1996 paper contained word-for-word text from a paper by a team at the University of Ankara.
If we had a Retraction Watch headquarters (other than the diner where we occasionally meet for breakfast), we would have had to have closed up early today, because we both swooned when we saw a retraction notice from the Journal of Polish CIMAC this morning.
The notice, signed by the journal’s editor-in-chief Jerzy Girtler, of Gdansk University of Technology, reads: