Virtually each scientific journal has to retract a paper as soon as in
some time. However at Tumor Biology, when it rains, it
pours. Final month, its former writer, Springer, announced
that the journal was retracting 107 papers unexpectedly,
after discovering that the peer-review course of had been
compromised. It was the third mass retraction at Tumor
Biology, which now holds the unenviable world document for
most retracted papers,
according to Retraction Watch.
However that’s not Tumor Biology’s solely drawback.
ScienceInsider has found that the journal’s
editorial board, as printed on-line, accommodates the names of
a number of scientists who say they don’t have any relationship by any means
with the journal—together with German Nobel laureate Harald zur
Hausen. Till a number of months in the past, the board’s membership record
even included a researcher who handed away in 2013.
Tumor Biology is owned by the Worldwide
Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM), and was printed
by Springer till final yr; since January, the journal has
been printed by California-based writer SAGE. Its
editorial board is meant to evaluation submissions and provide
recommendation on editorial technique.
Springer beforehand retracted articles from the journal in 2015
and 2016—in each instances together with papers from different
journals—due to faux peer critiques. Like many journals,
Tumor Biology permits authors to recommend reviewers; in
this case, the reviewers had been both made up, or had the names
of actual scientists however false e-mail addresses. Manuscripts despatched
to those faux reviewers invariably acquired constructive critiques
that helped get the paper accepted. “We are actually reviewing our
editorial processes throughout Springer to protect in opposition to this type
of manipulation of the peer evaluation course of in future,”
the publisher said in an August 2015 statement.
The most recent retraction wave happened after an investigation
prompted by the 2016 retractions, a Springer spokesperson says.
Whereas many earlier retractions had been for articles from Iran,
all of the newly retracted papers seem to have originated in
China. Springer says there’s “some proof” that firms
specializing in manuscript enhancing and submission, utilized by some
Chinese language researchers to assist get their papers printed, performed
a job. “It’s unclear whether or not the authors of the manuscripts
had been conscious that the businesses had been proposing fabricated reviewer
names,” a spokesperson says.
However Springer acknowledges that the journal could also be partly to
blame. In not less than one case, the authors of a retracted article
declare they didn’t use an company and didn’t suggest faux
reviewers—which suggests the journal’s editors invited the faux
evaluation as a substitute. The spokesperson says that will have occurred
as a result of editors saved the contact data of faux reviewers
of their database. She says an replace to the retraction discover
will make clear the difficulty.
In the meantime, not less than 5 scientists
listed as members of Tumor Biology’s editorial
board now or earlier than the takeover by SAGE in December 2016
say they don’t have any involvement with the journal or ended their
membership a few years in the past. (ScienceInsider tried
to contact each individual listed, by e-mail or by telephone.) Zur
Hausen, of the German Most cancers Analysis Heart and Heidelberg
College, says he wasn’t conscious he was on the record, and that
to the perfect of his information he has by no means even reviewed a paper
for Tumor Biology. Isaiah Fidler from the
College of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Heart in Houston says
he has “no relationship” with the journal and has requested
Tumor Biology’s editor-in-chief, Torgny Stigbrand
of Umeå College in Sweden, to take away his identify “instantly.”
Donna Pauler Ankerst from the Technical College of Munich in
Germany says she resigned from the board in 2013, and Abraham
Fuks from McGill College in Montreal, Canada, wrote that he
“had no contact with the journal or the society for not less than
Seven members of the editorial board couldn’t be contacted, in
some instances as a result of they now not work on the institutes listed
on the journal’s web site. Manfred Rajewsky of the College of
Duisburg-Essen in Germany, who was listed as a board member
till the January takeover by SAGE, passed
away 4 years ago. (His identify remains to be on Springer’s
archived website for Tumor Biology.)
Sixteen board members didn’t reply to requests from
ScienceInsider; six others did however didn’t reply
particular questions in regards to the retractions. Stigbrand didn’t
reply to questions both.
A Springer spokesperson says accountability for the editorial
board lies with ISOBM; the society “workouts sole management of
the editorial improvement and editorial content material of the
journal,” they wrote. A number of present and former ISOBM board
members didn’t reply to questions by e-mail from
ScienceInsider; the society’s homepage is at present offline.
A spokesperson for SAGE says the corporate and ISOBM agreed in
December 2016 to restructure the board, and that modifications are
“at present being made.” The writer says it has overhauled
the peer-review course of at Tumor Biology and that
manuscripts are actually despatched to not less than two reviewers not
advisable by the authors.
Springer has stated it’s going to develop instruments for its remaining
journals that ought to make the peer-review course of extra sturdy
and assist confirm reviewers’ identities.
Source : http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/journal-holds-record-retracted-papers-also-has-problem-editorial-board-members