A computer scientist in Malaysia has lost two papers for faked peer reviews, and another for duplication. A fourth paper on which he is a co-author appears to have simply disappeared.
One retraction lays the blame for the fake reviewer on corresponding author Shahaboddin Shamshirband at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the journal, Shamshirband — who has co-authored more than 200 papers and book chapters, despite receiving his PhD in 2014, according to his biography on Vitae — supplied a fake email for the reviewer during the submission process.
Here’s the retraction notice for that paper, issued by the journal Measurement:
Continue reading Computer scientist loses at least three papers, two for faked reviews
Recently, the editors of a journal about management science received a submission from a prominent Dutch economist. But something didn’t feel right about it.
For one, the author submitted the paper using a Yahoo email address. So the editors contacted the author via his institutional email; immediately, the researcher denied having submitted the paper — and said it had happened before. And then things got really interesting.
The editors — Yves Crama, Michel Grabisch, and Silvano Martello — decided to run a “sting” operation, pretending to consider the paper, and even submitted their own fake reviews, posing as referees. They accepted the paper via the electronic submissions system, then lo and behold:
Continue reading A new way to fake authorship: Submit under a prominent name, then say it was a mistake
Earlier this month, BioMed Central and Springer announced that they were retracting nearly 60 papers for a host of related issues, including manipulating the peer-review process. Recently, we were contacted by one of the reviewers who was impersonated by some of the authors of the retracted papers.
The scientist wants to remain anonymous, but provided us with emails that supported his version of events.
In case you need a refresher on the “events” that took place: The two publishers recently pulled 58 papers from authors mostly based in Iran, citing evidence of plagiarism, and manipulating the peer-review process and allocating authorship positions inappropriately.
It all started with a seemingly simple question, the scientist told us: Continue reading How fake peer review happens: An impersonated reviewer speaks
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.”
Książek told Retraction Watch why he doesn’t agree with the decision to retract his papers: Continue reading Researcher denies faking reviews for 5 newly retracted papers
A journal has retracted a 2015 study about lung cancer after learning the peer-review process had been compromised.
The paper was published in March, 2015 — the same month publisher BioMed Central (BMC) pulled 43 papers for fake reviews.
According to the retraction notice in the European Journal of Medical Research, the authors’ institution in China informed the publisher that the authors had used a third party to help with copyediting and submission to the journal, raising concerns about the authorship of the paper.
Here’s the retraction notice, published in August: Continue reading Medical journal retracts study over fake review, authorship concerns
In a massive cleanup, Springer and BioMed Central announced today they are retracting 58 papers for several reasons, including manipulation of the peer-review process and inappropriately allocating authorship.
The papers appeared in seven journals, and more are under investigation.
In a release issued today, the publishers note: Continue reading Springer, BMC retracting nearly 60 papers for fake reviews and other issues
A researcher is claiming that her former PhD students impersonated her to remove her name as a co-author on a 2015 study.
According to an editor’s note, published in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, the journal received confirmation from all three authors that the aforementioned researcher should be removed from the author list during proofing stage. However, the researcher whose name was omitted — Nahid Nishat of the Jamia Millia Islamia in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, India — later contacted the journal claiming that she didn’t okay this move.
Nishat told Retraction Watch that she believes the two listed authors on the paper wrote to the journal on her behalf to remove her name: Continue reading Who wrote this chem paper? Author claims her name was removed without consent
No country is immune to misconduct — but some are being more proactive than others.
China, for one, has issued a policy dubbed the “5 don’ts of academic publishing,” which appear to specifically target the ways in which researchers have subverted the peer-review process or hired outsiders to help them with their manuscripts.
An announcement signed by the The Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Health and Family Planning Commission, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academy of Engineering, and the Natural Science Foundation stipulates: Continue reading Ever heard of China’s “five don’ts of academic publishing?”
A spectroscopy journal has retracted a 2016 study after concluding that its editors had been misled by a fake review.
According to the retraction notice, the journal — Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy — accepted the paper due to positive feedback from someone assuming the identity of an expert reviewer, using an email address provided by the author of the study.
An official from the author’s institution in Turkey informed us that it will conduct an investigation.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Diagnosis of cervical cancer cell taken from scanning electron and atomic force microscope images of the same patients using discrete wavelet entropy energy and Jensen Shannon, Hellinger, Triangle Measure classifier:” Continue reading Peer review manipulation fells another study
PLOS ONE has retracted three papers after the first author admitted to submitting the manuscripts without co-authors’ consent, and an investigation suggested that two out of the three papers had received faked reviews.
Last August, the same author — Lishan Wang of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University — lost two more papers (one in Tumor Biology and the other in Gene), also after the peer review process was found to be compromised. All five papers — which share other authors in common — were originally published in 2013, and four list Wang as the first author. The retractions follow an investigation by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Here’s the retraction notice for two of the PLOS ONE papers, issued on July 26: Continue reading Author loses five papers, most for “compromised” peer review