Monday, 1 October 2012

Fake peer reviews

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a troubling story today titled "Fake Peer Reviews, the Latest Form of Scientific Fraud, Fool Journals."  The article reports on a number of incidents in which authors got to critique their own work by suggesting reviewers with contact email addresses that belonged to the article author, and then writing "peer reviews" of their own work using another name. Apparently there have been about 30 papers to date that have been retracted because of peer review fraud. The Chronicle also reports that "What's worse, said Ivan Oransky, co-publisher of the blog Retraction Watch, which first uncovered this pattern, is that some editors saw red flags but published the papers anyway. Later retractions don't undo the harm created by introducing falsehoods into the scientific literature, he said, noting that some of these papers were published years ago and have been cited by several other researchers."

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