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“Sting” catches research journals publishing reports without vetting

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Kevin Kirby, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    With the increasing number of "open-access journals" in our own and in other medical fields, this article from World Science may make one think a little harder about believing the research contained in these types of journals without careful scrutiny.

  2. When journals start accepting money for publications, this kind of thing is inevitable. IMHO, paying for publication is wrong. I was discussing the potential for corruption in "open access publishing" with Javier Pascual just last Monday, here it is- proof perfect of my contention.
  3. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    Kevin, perhaps equally bad, are the Podiatric/Medical conferences that allow speakers that have something to sell the opportunity to pay to lecture. These speakers are very persuasive and influence the attendees to get on board with what they are hawking.

    The vast majority of attendees have no idea that these so called expert speakers have not been invited to speak but pay a high fee for their live info commercial. You never see paid speakers at your high end, prestigious conferences nor should you see them at any professional conference, IMO.

    Love your epic posts, Kevin, have a good weekend.

  4. You mean speakers who are paying to the organisers to speak as oppose to the organiser paying their invited lecturers to speak?
  5. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    What the heck did I write?? I blame it on being up all night in a Poker Tournament at the Hard Rock Casino. I came in 27th place out of 220, should have done better. I am trying to be a professional Poker player, but its not looking good. Anyway, thanks Simon, I do need to bring clarity to what I wrote.

    At your high-end, prestigious and credible conferences, Podiatrists are invited to lecture by the organization on the strength of their credentials, publications and experience. These Podiatrists are also paid to lecture as well as for their travel expenses. Dr. Simon Spooner and Dr. Kevin Kirby are included in this category of course.

    At your lower-end conferences, Podiatrists are allowed to pay a fairly high fee to the organization to lecture and of course pay for their own expenses. These Podiatrists are lecturing for the sole purpose to promote their personal agenda of selling their products. The majority of the Podiatrists that attend the lecture have no idea that the Podiatrist lecturing has paid a fee to the organization.

    I hope that is more clear.

  6. blinda

    blinda MVP

    I don`t think we should tar all open access journals (particularly those that do not require a fee paid by the author) with the same brush. Let`s face it, there are a number of `pay as you go` journals which overtly lack the scrutiny of qualified reviewers and yet `publish` what can only be described as Chuffin Bobbins. We have a couple of posters here on the Arena who regularly refer to their `work` in such publications.

    The review of clinical practice that Ivan and I published in MDPI was open access. Every minute detail was critically analysed with a fine tooth comb by recognised peers, relative questions were answered and subsequent alterations made. I deliberatley sought out an open access journal as I personally feel that research should be accessible to ALL practitioners, not just those with ATHENS accounts or an affiliation with a uni or work within the NHS. I fund my own research and, thus far, have made a financial loss yet still feel passionate enough to want to learn more (without charge) and share (without charge) my knowledge. Is that so bad?

    Oh, and I didn't pay the journal for publication, at least not in monetary terms. Just the usual blood, sweat and tears.
  7. Bel:

    All open access journals are not the same. There are some very reputable ones and they charge a fee for publication to cover the costs of the staff, website, etc. However, some open access journals accept papers and have a nonexistent or poor peer review process, presumably just to make money.

    I don't know what the answer is to the problem. However, I certainly think that open access journals do have a larger potential for being poorly reviewed and the submitted papers being under-scrutinized than traditional scientific journals where the subscribers to the journal are paying a yearly fee and, as a result, expect excellent peer-reviewed journal content for their hard-earned money.

    Your paper on Falknor's verrucae needling technique, Bel, was excellent and provides a good example of why the open access journal needs to exist. However, podiatrists should still be careful of the content of all journals, open access or not, since the people reviewing these papers are all human, and we all know just how imperfect those animals can be!
  8. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    There have been many good quality reputable peer reviewed journals who have over time also published questionable papers.

    We are in a time of much necessary personal scrutiny of anything put before our eyes.
  9. Paul:

    And because of this fact, I wrote this sentence also in that same post you quoted:

  10. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Yeh Kevin Agreed I was just throwing 2 cents in.....not criticizing your statement :)
  11. Paul and Colleagues:

    Would you say that there is more potential for abuse of publishing poorly reviewed papers in journals that charge money to have papers published or more potential for abuse of publishing poorly reviewed papers in journals that don't charge money to have papers published? And why?
  12. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Potentially a big topic... & a controversial one Dr Kirby. In short, some have agendas... & go to alarming lengths to have such agendas mainstreamed... whatever class of medium they can get away with (the bigger the better would be their goal I dare say).

    However, I like to think human consciousness for upholding truth & integrity will always prevail. A couple of pertinent (& encouraging) quotes I recently came across...

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    - George Orwell (1903-1950).

    “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.”
    - Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948).

    To think the above quotes were penned decades ago where I was inclined to feel "universal deceit" wasn't quite as rampant as it is today... but hey, maybe it has... maybe it has been with us for a long time. In fact the more I think about it, the more I realize it has been... & yet maybe it is because we are more enlightened to it in this day & age we can readily see it & have the potential to expose it (albeit, sometimes at a cost).

    This discussion reminds me of another thread on Pod. Arena: Reproducing scientific results... with the following article: Good Scientist! You Get a Badge - Precious research money is wasted on unreal results, but we can change the culture of science.
  13. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I think we all need to recognised the above posts, step back, and recognise that the editors decision is final. Just like many of you, I have done battle with editors, and have had several refusals for publication. one Diabetes Journal once said to me "the world is not ready for you!" How dare I use multivariate statistics to solve a diabetic foot issue! But still, that was their right. I had one of my daughters on Skype last night, in tears - after months of wrangling, she had been turned down. Well life is a **** - **** happens; I have been turned down at least 20 times. Frankly, the editor's position is unenviable.
  14. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Not wanting it to seem that I am shying away from the question, I would say that it depends but rest assured they both will if the climate is right.

    I am attaching a Wiki article on The Cheating Culture, based on a book published in 2004. The books focus is on the USA but undoubtedly since then because of the free market and mondialisation, improved communication and the internet it applies to the whole world.

    The following extract from the article sums it up for me. ".....cheating breeds upon a dynamic between a "winner class", an upper-class so influential they effectively are exempt from most rules and standards, and an "anxious class", often compelled to cheat during a period of downward social mobility, downsizing, and within a cultural climate that values money and power above personal integrity".

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead is a nonfiction book, authored by David Callahan and published by Harcourt in 2004.[1][2]
    The main thesis of the book is that the current state of American society, characterized by rampant inequality and a winner-take-all philosophy, produces the cheating that has been observed in business, law, academia, journalism, entertainment and medicine.
    Cheating, of both illegal and legal forms, is pervasive in an American society where incentive-driven structures (e.g. stock options, production-based pay, fast-track career options) have gone haywire: Instead of promoting productivity and "fair play", they reward deception and chicanery. Callahan provides multiple examples of this phenomenon in recent American history:
    In the 1990s, when Sears instituted a production quota for its auto repair staff, mechanics began performing unnecessary and costly maintenance.
    Overbilling is common within the legal profession. Pressed to bill as much time as possible, young lawyers may overcharge clients.
    In the medical profession, physicians may overstate the symptoms of managed care patients, else insurers would deny coverage.
    Not restricted to professions, cheating now appears in all facets of American life. According to Callahan, cheating breeds upon a dynamic between a "winner class", an upper-class so influential they effectively are exempt from most rules and standards, and an "anxious class", often compelled to cheat during a period of downward social mobility, downsizing, and within a cultural climate that values money and power above personal integrity.
    Callahan shows, however, that large-scale cheating is most prevalent among the "Winner" upper class. Despite their high salaries and opulent lifestyles, they live in constant comparison with those who have more than them, and therefore exhibit lives characterized by high spending, severe anxiety, and countless opportunities and temptations to cheat.
    The author, however, also notes that blame for the cheating phenomenon does not lie upon a single class of people. Rather, it represents the individualistic ambitions of the amorphously-defined "Me" generation, mixed dangerously with laissez-faire principles espoused by the 1980s neoliberals, and implemented, to America's detriment, during the "get-rich-quick" era of the 1980s and 1990s.
    While speaking about the book in Denver, Colorado, Callahan made the following statements about American society:
    The level of the public's trust is low to the point of being "poisonous". Throughout his book, he states that cynical attitudes and lack of trust in others produce cheating. For example, one expecting to be "screwed" by others is more likely to cheat others, in order to compensate.
    Members of higher socio-economic groups frequently victimize members of lower socio-economic groups.
    The 1980s and 1990s were characterized by an emphasis on self-interest, maintaining the individualism and anticonformism of the 1960s but shedding the community-oriented ideals of social responsibility and personal integrity.
    American society has a "schizophrenic personality": it tends to cyclically alternate between a spirit of self-interest, and an attitude of communal interest. The last period of vulgar self-interest, according to Callahan, was during the American 1920s, prior to Black Tuesday and the onset of the Great Depression.

    Jump up ^ "Cheaters never prosper? Not so". Los Angeles Times. January 26, 2004. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
    Jump up ^ "Dirty cheaters". Houston Chronicle. March 26, 2004. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
    External links[edit]

    The Cheating Culture website
    Categories: 2004 books
  15. It would be nice if we could stay on topic on this thread.

    I will rephrase my question:

    Would you expect a poorly reviewed scientific paper to appear more in an "open-access journal" where the author must pay a fee to be published or in a traditional journal where the author is not required to pay a fee to be published? Why?

    Here are some more articles on the sting operation on open-access journals for those that are interested.




  16. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I didn’t think it took that much effort to see that it is directly applicable to the subject at hand.
    In the extract I gave modify ‘cheating’ to include ‘white lie’, eg the quality of the review, both publishers will argue that: their review process is more than adequate; it is acceptable for editors to be author; the editors judgement is not influenced by money changing hands.

    Modify “winner class” to include some editors and publishers and “anxious class” to include the other publishers and editors and it becomes absolutely on topic
    ".....white lies breeds upon a dynamic between a "some editors and publishers", an upper-class so influential they effectively are exempt from most rules and standards, and an "other editors and publishers", often compelled to cheat during a period of downward social mobility, downsizing, and within a cultural climate that values money and power above personal integrity".
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  19. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    After reading through the above cited links i.e. the PZ Myers article - "Stones, glass houses, etc." (of which I thought the title was rather ironic considering his history/philosophy & the nature of the subject matter :rolleyes:)... I was reminded of a video. It may not be as exciting as cancer eating Lichen but we should also be interested in the likes of optimal soil integrity via... "a drawn reciperocation dingle arm to reduce sinusoil depleneration"... for better global plant based nutrition... which will increase phytochemical/bioflavonoid (antioxidant) consumption thereby reducing cancer rates.

    The following is the transcript... for your future reference on the Retro-incabulator (working wonders on the arid soil of central Persia)...

    Hope this will be of help; after all, with the likes of Monsanto destroying soils/crops... we need to be seriously thinking about supplying our own food.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  20. Very true. In every culture.
  21. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Nobel Prize Winner Blasts Leading Science Journals - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/817597?nlid=42283_1842&src=wnl_edit_medp_wir&spon=17 (I think you may need to log into Medscape to read the full article)

  22. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    There has been some needed critical reviewing taking place within science of late... or more to the point - more sloppy, poor, unethical research is being produced & subsequently being exposed. This was a recent one: The Extent and Consequences of P-Hacking in Science ... (Scientists unknowingly tweak experiments). However, the following issue is more in line with this thread re:. issues with the peer review process...

    Inappropriate manipulation of peer review:

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