ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesPublication ethics

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist: An Updated Review – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 15, 2019
 

A couple of years ago, I published in The Kitchen a review of what was then a new product: Cabell’s Blacklist, a directory of journals that are published using questionable, suspicious, or objectively deceitful and dishonest strategies. The Blacklist was designed to take the place of the controversial Beall’s List, which had recently shut down after being operated out of the library office of Jeffrey Beall for about five years. Beall’s List had offered a mixed bag of benefits and problems from the start, and Cabell’s (publisher of a long-respected serials directory) sought to create a more rigorous and consistent version of the same service.

We have written previously about the limitations of black and whites lists (see further reading). Even though this sounds like a promising fee-for-service tool, researchers should continue to engage in due-diligence when considering a publisher.

A very quick summary for those who may — against all odds — still be blissfully unaware of what terms like “predatory publishing or “deceptive publishing” refer to: what are commonly called predatory publishers are those who lie about their business practices for the purpose of attracting paying authors. These journals misrepresent themselves with regard to, for example, editorial board members (claiming people as editors without permission), peer review practices (falsely claiming to provide meaningful peer review), impact metrics (mostly by lying about their Journal Impact Factor), organizational affiliations (usually claiming a relationship with a nonexistent organization), etc. The common feature of all such journals is that instead of rigorously evaluating and vetting submitted articles, they will instead publish anything submitted as long as the author is willing to pay an article processing charge (APC). By injecting non-vetted content into the scholarly and scientific marketplace and misrepresenting it as peer-reviewed science, these journals contaminate and undermine both the legitimacy and the trustworthiness of scholarly discourse.
.

Thus, the introduction of Cabell’s Blacklist in 2017 was a welcome development. It promised a tool that can be used by authors needing help deciding where to publish, by academics and other employers seeking to check the legitimacy of job applicants’ claimed applications or editorial board memberships, or anyone else interested in monitoring the behavior of deceptive publishers. And for those who question the necessity of such a tool, it’s worth noting that Cabell’s Blacklist currently includes almost 12,000 journals — and its list of titles under consideration for inclusion in the Blacklist comes to over 1,000 more.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

“We got scammed:” Authors “sincerely apologize” for plagiarism they blame a ghostwriter for – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 13, 2019
 

The journal Cureus is retracting three articles by a mashup of authors from Pakistan and the United States for plagiarism, which the researchers blame on their use of a hired gun to prepare the papers.

A noteworthy element to this story is it appears the researchers have tried to explain away one breach (plagiarism) by admitting to another breach (using a ghostwriter), as well as another misdemeanour (not checking work prior to submission).  We have included links to quite a few items on ghostwriting, plagiarism and taking responsibility for a research output.

The articles were published over a roughly one-month stretch in August and September 2018 and covered an impressively polymathic range of topics, from lupus to heart disease. Although the list of authors varied, a few names remained constant. One, Asad Ali, of Lahore Medical College and Institute of Dentistry, was the first author on all three papers. Another was Malik Qistas Ahmad, whose affiliation is given as the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson although he no longer works there.
.
The papers (not in chronological order) are: “Systemic lupus erythematosus: an overview of the disease pathology and its management”;  “Neurogenic stunned myocardium: a literature review”; and “An overview of the pathology and emerging treatment approaches for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.”
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(Japan) Science retracts report on deadly Kumamoto earthquake – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 6, 2019
 

Science is retracting a 2017 paper about the deadly Kumamoto earthquake about a month after the university announced that the paper’s first author, Aiming Lin, had committed misconduct, including falsification of data and plagiarism.

Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg told us in late March that the journal had been trying to obtain more information in preparation for writing an expression of concern. Here’s today’s retraction notice:

The November 2018 Science Report, “Coseismic rupturing stopped by Aso volcano during the 2016 Mw 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake, Japan” presented evidence that the 2016 Mw 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake produced a surface rupture zone of ~40 km long along the pre-existing active fault zone and identified for the first time faults on the western side of Aso caldera, Kyushu Island, Japan. In August 2017, a confidential investigation into potential irregularities in the paper was initiated at Kyoto University. The investigation was completed in March 2019 and has confirmed that the paper contained falsified data and manipulated images. Specifically, there were multiple falsifications in Figs 1B, 1C, 2A, and 2C, and instances of plagiarism in Fig. 1C. These were the responsibility of the corresponding author, Aiming Lin. In agreement with the recommendation of the investigation, the authors are retracting the Report.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Censorship in a China Studies Journal – Inside Higher Ed (Elizabeth Redden | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 4, 2019
 

Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.

Yet another account of censorship involving a China studies journal has come to light. And the scholars involved say this case involves an insidious “blurring of boundaries” where they were misled into thinking Western publishing standards would apply when in fact the journal in question was subject to Chinese government censorship.

Lorraine Wong and Jacob Edmond, both professors at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, have written an account of the censorship they encountered when they edited a planned special issue of the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. The journal is published by the Netherlands-based publishing company Brill in association with the China-based Higher Education Press, an entity that describes itself on its website (in Chinese) as affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The journal’s editorial board lists scholars from major American and international universities — including Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Washington — and its editor in chief is based at New York University. The journal’s editorial office is located in Beijing.

Wong and Edmond wrote that the association with Brill, along with the involvement of leading scholars in the field on the editorial board, led them to mistakenly assume the publication standards would be akin to those of other journals in the field published in the U.S. What they found, however, was that the affiliation with the Higher Education Press and the location of the editorial office in Beijing means “the journal is subject to the full range of Chinese government censorship.”

Read the rest of this discussion piece

0