Major Medical Journal Retracts Numerous Scientific Papers After Fake Peer-Review Scandal

Tyler Durden's picture

A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications. As The Washington Post reports, BioMed Central - a well-known publication of peer-reviewed journals - shows a partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China. The Committee on Publication Ethics stated, it "has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals... that need to be retracted."

Peer review is the vetting process designed to guarantee the integrity of scholarly articles by having experts read them and approve or disapprove them for publication. With researchers increasingly desperate for recognition, citations and professional advancement, the whole peer-review system has come under scrutiny in recent years for a host of flaws and irregularities, ranging from lackadaisical reviewing to cronyism to outright fraud.

And as The Washington Post reports,
  BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications...

A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a lot of robust research of China. We see this as a broader problem of how scientists are judged.”

Meanwhile, the Committee on Publication Ethics, a multidisciplinary group that includes more than 9,000 journal editors, issued a statement suggesting a much broader potential problem.

The committee, it said, “has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals across different publishers.” Those journals are now reviewing manuscripts to determine how many may need to be retracted, it said.

Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, the co-editors of Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks research integrity and first reported the BioMed Central retractions, have counted a total of 170 retractions in the past few years across several journals because of fake peer reviews.

“The problem of fake peer reviewers is affecting the whole of academic journal publishing and we are among the ranks of publishers hit by this type of fraud,” Patel of BioMed’s ethics group wrote in November.


“The spectrum of ‘fakery’ has ranged from authors suggesting their friends who agree in advance to provide a positive review, to elaborate peer review circles where a group of authors agree to peer review each others’ manuscripts, to impersonating real people, and to generating completely fictitious characters. From what we have discovered amongst our journals, it appears to have reached a higher level of sophistication. The pattern we have found, where there is no apparent connection between the authors but similarities between the suggested reviewers, suggests that a third party could be behind this sophisticated fraud.”


In a blog post yesterday, Elizabeth Moylan, BioMed Central’s senior editor for research integrity, said an investigation begun last year revealed a scheme to “deceive” journal editors by suggesting “fabricated” reviewers for submitted articles. She wrote that some of the “manipulations” appeared to have been conducted by agencies that offer language-editing and submission assistance to non-English speaking authors.

Perhaps most astonishing was the fact that...

Ultimately, when they tracked down some of the scientists in whose names reviews were written, they found that they hadn’t written them at all. Someone else had, using the scientists’ names.

But that Chinese Micro-cap Biotech stock is definitely still worth buying... even after rising 3000% YTD.

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Millivanilli's picture

Medical research where the most bullshit occurs.   May cause swollen lymph nodes, aneurysms, shortness of breath, impotence.  Blah blah blah.


And the root cause is many times found in the food that researchers have deemed safe for human consumption- high fructose corn syrup, bleached flour etc.


The corporate fucks want people to be sick, constipated, impotent, restless, and full of dis ease.  

Then they can cure us...

sleigher's picture

You mean then they can treat the symptom?  There is never any money in a cure...

Millivanilli's picture

When I was growing up I noticed that when I ate hydrogenated fats in chips, I'd get terrible acne.   I put two and two together and stopped eating those foods and voila great skin.  All the while gps and dermatologists were telling people that diet had nothing to do with acne.  Pfffft.


Later they determined that hydrogenated fat was a direct cause of heart disease.   


They knew it all along,   Fuckers.

Ginsengbull's picture

That hasn't been confirmed by peer review.


Their peers know that it would be financially advantageous, for their peers, if they ignored that evidence.


And I concur on the fuckers designation for all them fuckers.

Never One Roach's picture

" Gulp one liter of Roundup and call me in the morning. "

TeamDepends's picture

Hide the decline, under-inflated footballs, born in Kenya, I am not a crook, I did not have sex with that woman, "Adam Lanza", Gabby Giffords got her head blowed off just like Jeff Bauman got his legs blowed off, Flouride is good for you, the Federal Reserve represents the working man, the gold fringe around the flag is fun, Cloward and Piven had good intentions, Michelle gave birth to two beautiful daughters, the TPP will benefit all mankind, Jade Helm will jump-start the economy, ISIS welcomes homosexuals, I love Big Brother Hillary....

greenskeeper carl's picture

Shit like this is exactly what I think about every time my kids doctor wants to stick him with something. No thanks.

I don't even want to think about what was in those anthrax shots I had to get many years ago. Hurt like shit, left a weird, hard lump under the injection sight for a couple weeks sometimes that felt like a deep bruise when something hit it.

old naughty's picture

I don't just think about it...

Fuckers and muppets, takes two to tango...they deserve each other.

Walk away.


Ginsengbull's picture

Chris Rock said that YEARS ago.

bonin006's picture

There seems to be money in the Hep C cure - about $86,000 per patient.

Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Climategate, University of East Anglia, Phil Jones: “We will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redifine what the peer-review literature is!” 

suteibu's picture

FIFA-like attack on China?

Whatever, isn't the same peer review corruption happening in the "science-is-settled" climate change research? investigation of that?

Reaper's picture

Power corrupts. Editing corrupts. Peer review corrupts. Government funding of medical research corrupts. Trust is a sedative. Doubt is wisdom. Universal lies are the beginning of the end.

JR's picture

Collectivist like Franz Boas and other Jewish scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould often dominate universities and thus pack department heads and are the primary presenters and selectors of scholarly papers. There is a form of censorship in scholarly journals right here at home. 

At the same time their dominance provides abundant sources for peer reviews which are complementary to their positions. In addition, this university dominance by Leftist scholars can keep opposing scientific papers from appearing in journals or if they do appear in a scientific journal the peer review process can come down hard on them, even hounding their authors out of their profession.

The integrity of the publishing journals is of paramount importance.  Are they controlled by the same faction that owns the major media? IOW, if you are not a member of the chosen scholar pool in American universities, are you barred from being published?

It was German-Jewish immigrant Franz Boas (1858-1942) who “almost single-handedly established the current contours of anthropology, ridding it “almost single-handedly of all biological explanations for differences in human culture or behavior… advocating an ideology of cultural pluralism as a model for Western societies…the ‘invisible subject’ of American anthropology.”

“By 1915, Boas and his students controlled the American Anthropological Association and by 1926 they headed every major American university anthropology department. From this position of dominance they promoted the idea that race and biology are trivial matters, and that environment counts for everything. They completely recast anthropology so as to provide intellectual support for open immigration, integration, and miscegenation. They also laid the foundation for the idea that because all races have the same potential, the failures of non-whites must be blamed exclusively on white oppression.” This became the justification for enormous government intervention programs

Any differing opinion - such as IQ as a biological factor - was censored without proof because it did not lend support that environment counts for everything: “Samuelson (1975) describes several areas of Leon Kamin’s scholarly malfeasance, most notably his defamatory discussion of H.H. Goddard, Lewis M. Terman, and Robert M. Yerkes in which these pioneers of mental testing are portrayed as allowing political beliefs to color their data.”  -- F. Samuelson, On the science and politics of the IQ. Social Research 42: 467-488

Michael Ross’s (1989) The Mismeasure of Man notes that the very prominent theme of Stephen Jay Gould (also a critic of sociobiology) was “how hereditarian views on intelligence had been used by ‘Teutonic supremists’ to discriminate against Jews early in the century,” according to Prof. Kevin MacDonald. “Gould’s views on the IQ debates of the 1920s and their link to the immigration issue and eventually the Holocaust bear scrutiny. They illustrate how skill as a propagandist and ethnic activist can be combined with a highly visible and prestigious academic position to have a major influence on public attitudes in an area of research with great implications for public policy.

What I am asking is that in all fairness we also need to examine here at home the research integrity of  Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, the co-editors of Retraction Watch’.

Reaper's picture

"If everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all." Academic journals become authorities to advance agendas. Appeal to authority or following the scientific journal bandwagon are logical fallacies.

Max Cynical's picture



brockhardman's picture

They are way behind the corrupt studies which are approved in the U.S...Slackers.

nmewn's picture

And now, for the patented feigned shock response to this most disturbing development in academe:

"Why, this changes everything we thought we knew!!!"

No it doesn't you cocksuckers, you knew it all along and so did I.

Happy Camper's picture

How you say "pump and dump" in Mandarin?

ISEEIT's picture

Gee Wally....It's good that this stuff doesn't happen in the 'Global warming' field of 'science' huh?

Gosh if it did then 'President' obama would look even more like a psy-op.


Maybe the CIA should start looking into this stuff huh?

The_Prisoner's picture

Where's Flakmeister? The bitch loves deriding everyone who is not a scientist for questioning the AGW scam. probably on a taxpayer sponsored conference

tarsubil's picture

Exactly. That was one of my big points with him. Everyone on the inside knows corruption and fraud is rampant. They just don't want to be honest and hurt the gravy train.

aVileRat's picture

I would pay for a department head to write a book someday of all the shit that is swept under the rug during a "publish or perish" career. It would be half LA Confidential, half Good Will Hunting.


To kick it off:

- Bribes to Referees. Do you honestly think Tier 1 Academics 'resend' in their papers ?

- Tit for Tat academic vouching: You take 1 of my students, I take 1 of yours.

- Collusion amid lab upgrades (Name the physics professor who purchased a 2003 911 GT with a license plate not called "proton". He is pretty easy to find on Google Scholar. )

- Celeberity (sic) private sector endorsements outside your chair & speciality (you guys know which curly haired Cat Prof I'm talking about)

- Offering exam bank access to College athletes or Golden children.

- Building rights in exchange for legacy entrance. Bloomberg did a whole investigative piece on this, but never delivered the finishing blow on why so many seats fill with alumni. 

- Data suppression. So what if your labor model fails to fit the data set. Are YOU going to tell your Chair backers the results were not in line with the endowment? Fuck no.

- Ghost written PHD's. Because nothing says hilarious like when that Chinese princeling with a 98% average tries to write a paper explaining the bond market, and thinks 'FI' is a beta variable.

- Misreported lab tech. Every state university has a Water White. If you don't know who your Main Man is, you may be out of touch. Ever seen a 2 million mass spec vanish? It happens more often than you think.

- Academic slush funds hiding in dead end research. Ever wonder how that 1 State University makes a bond payment each month? and keeps a AA credit rating, despite having sub 30% job placement? They know 1 funny trick. Bond holders hate them for this.

- Sex for seats. Like your drug cooking prof. every summer semester has at least 1 hook up. Tenure, almost as good as Diplomatic Immunity. More than one major Business Anchor was passed around in college before she landed (sic) her first Wall St. job.

- Selling the exam bank to university dealers, or 'exam cram' programs. Because lets face it, you don't even know the answer to the last question.

- Fake credits, or phony instructors. Ever look at a Southern University Sports Med. endowment? Want to see how many people took "walking" as a class option before a local newspaper blew it wide open ? It still happens. Every faculty has at least 3 classes like it, with a "A" and a "B" side class syllabus. Take the "Winter" version, "trust me".

- The dash for cash. If you think every faculty from Earth Atmospheric Sciences to English Lit. suddenly took interest in Climatology, you need stronger crack. Defrocking Academia, or at least their accounting would do wonders to clean up the Tuition bloat, and bad education in NATO schools.

- Academic Sports. This would be a whole Eyes Wide Shut TV show that would put Game of Thrones on Sunday viewing. Player abuse, not just wages for facial recognition is pretty rife. Our firm once saw a Head Coach beat his Son with a helmet following a loss, in front of the dressing room. Guy retired the following year, kid moved out. We pulled our funding to the department. Never again will we condone or support a sports program.








Colonel Klink's picture

Maybe Felchmeister wants to address the part where NOAA manipulated the data to erase the lull in the globull warming numbers.  Globull warming isn't about the planet, it's about MONEY!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Maybe you forgot the part where you prove there is such manipulation as no data has ever shown a slow-down in global warming at all, and no claim of it slowing has ever had a data-source to match:

Lordflin's picture

Why should the sciences any less corrupt than the rest of society?

When I was 4 years old it occurred to me that the truth was the truth and it couldn't be changed by claiming it to be something else... you would only confuse yourself. As I have aged, I am now 63, I have come to realize that humans, with rare exception, are not motivated by truth, but rather expediency.

On the other hand, the truth is still the truth, and we, as a collective group of creatures, have become very confused.

Sad really... truth is really quite a beautiful thing. It is the one thing that makes life truly worth living.

Anusocracy's picture

In the world of man, truthiness describes a bell curve.

tarsubil's picture

How does university research work?

A professor gets a lab, writes a grant, gets funding, hires 4 grad students to work highly skilled jobs for next to nothing, and then those 4 grad students are supposed to find their own lab and hire 4 students of their own in the giant ponzi scheme of research. It used to be that people became professors after a couple years of grad school. Now, it takes much longer to get your degree and you'll have to work 2 or 3 post docs before you'll become a professor.

This corrupt environment might encourage fraud so much that over half of all peer reviewed articles are bullshit. I wouldn't be surprised.

Handful of Dust's picture

These authors are simply building their resume so they can apply to the BLS.

SgtShaftoe's picture

China has mastered the art of copying innovations and products. They are the go-to place for fake plated or laminated bullion. However they seem to have trouble with the finer points. I am convinced that the US will be remembered for a long time for the fabrication of bullshit research, bullshit "science" (especially economics, "democracy", food and medicine).

I keep waiting for an embargo on DC and NYC to start. Starve the fuckers.

Arnold's picture

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Japan was in much the same position after the Second world war and became a world power again (in many aspects) adapting American models. Reverse engineering of much of their technology and improving on it. Today we imitate them in economica models adopted over the mid and late twentieth century.


China is in growth mode, and following our template, corruption is rampant, if not blatant.

This should not be news, our 'Robber Baron' era was also our greatest growth and innovation era.

Reverse engineering our and Soviet technology has gotten them on the game board in a noticeable and elbows out and flying way.

We were the same citing the 'Great White  Fleet' as just one example. In many perspectives we are an outstanding model, certainly not mistake free.


To the topic at hand, even one of my historical heroes, Tesla had stuff published that was pure crap, unverifiable, unpeer reviewed, unreplicated. He had many concepts that were monetarised and are in use today.

Fraud has always been rampant in 'science'. Piltdown Man is a historical example. Rigorous peer review put it to the academic graveyard.


Having sympathetic peer review is a sewer, 

Having unsymapthetic peer review is also a sewer.

Using The Zero as an non 'science' example of peer review, free informed debate is the only way to go , no matter how much our panties get in a twist, feelings hurt or worst of all receiving down votes.ald


Colonel Klink's picture

Can't even trust the fucking doctors and scientists these days!

zhandax's picture

Klink, you haven't been able to trust the doctors and scientists since around 1910 when Rockefeller commissioned the Flexnor Report to turn medicine into a cartel.  By way of example, the cartel managed to stifle the work of Royal Rife who had developed technology in the 30's to view live cancer cells.  Electron microscopes kill the cells.  Being able to view live cells real-time enabled determination of which treatments slowed or killed the cells.  At first Rife was the darling of the medical community until he ran afoul of Morris Fishbein by making it clear he would not cede control of his technology to the cartel.  Fishbein had acquired all the stock of the AMA by 1934.  Rife died broke in 1971.

Being a man of principle and concern for the good of mankind certainly does not seem to play too well with the medical cartel.

buzzkillb's picture

Anyone familiar with SEO, knows that science journal backlinks are a great way to game search engines. And if you look at the questionable articles, guess what, they link back to some other outside site.

pocomotion's picture


Kill me twice, PRICE L-


MedicalQuack's picture

Ivan writes a good blog with retraction watch.  He started it when he was still with Reuters.  

Previvor, if you catch the disease you get off the Island, a TED video he did a couple of years ago that explores how diagnosing goes overboard.  Yes we are all doing to die he says but do we diagnose that too as a chronic condition? There's a lot of money made with diagnosing a "pre-condition" and what are the odds you will really get the disease...has a lot of people worried for no apparent reason.


MrBoompi's picture

Nobody pulls off the massive scams the US pharma giants do.

Seek_Truth's picture

It would be nice if that were true.

There is a greater scam:

Fiat, fractional reserve currency, derivatives, etc.

And an even greater one:

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist.

I Write Code's picture

Good science is hard.

Even good science journalism is hard.

Sturgeon's Law applies even to peer-reviewed stuff: 80% of everything is crap.

Trust but verify.

Super Hans's picture

The family queen bee is a major player...

just forwarded her this post.




mijev's picture

The "Peer review process" is something that was once a critical part of keeping science honest in much the same way that ratings companies like S&P would attest to the financial integrity of companies and investments. They have both become an instrument to corrupt and thus we end up with monstrous fallacies like A+++ mortgage derivatives and AGW.

Clowns on Acid's picture

This is what Fed money printing accomplishes. It's satanic influence travels like a global virus. Trial and jail for Bernanke and Yellen. 

dirty belly's picture

It's all quite simple. 

You keep your intestine and bowels sparkling clean.


Look at all the foods and beverages you consume.


How much of what you consume contains any kind of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Eliminate those foods from your diet.

Meat it soaked in antibiotics.  Antibiotics can cause this to explode in your entire body head to toes:

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Candida albicans

Candida albicans   (Yeast):

Here is a quote from another website:

[Antibiotics: Common Candida cause

The main cause of Candida Albicans infection is antibiotics. The longer and more often you take them, and the higher dose you take, the greater the risk of an opportunistic Candida infection – especially when you alternate or combine antibiotics of a different family. The reason for this is that Candida is always present on the skin, in the colon and on mucous membranes, but it is kept in check by bacteria that also live there.]

This candida albicans is affecting a great deal of the population, and it is exploited by the medical community and given many different names.

It can be beat.

No sugar, no meat.  Lay off the poultry and eggs, bleached white flours and gluten.

Keep your intestine and bowels sparkling clean, meaning you have to run some water and vinegar up in there.

Apple cider vinegar at least two times a day and OIL OF OREGANO strong POWERFUL anti-fungal.  You get the liquid oil of oregano and small vegetable caps, and drop about 10 or more drops in the cap, wash it down with 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a full filtered glass of water.

Colon Blow:




_SILENCER's picture

I use Global Healing Center's OxyPowder to flush out my guts once very two weeks.  It turns the sludge in your pipes to slurry and out it comes. The cleaner your diet, the less often you'll eventually have to do it.


I agree about the sugar, artificial sweetners, soda pop, flour and gluten. Slow poison.

I try to find the cleanest organic non-cornfed eggs I can. Can't give those up. They're Superman food along with raw goat milk. Eat lots of dark green leaves. Curb your pork intake. Screw a lot if possible. It all helps.

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

This why we wear tinfoil hats:


It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of TheNew England Journal of Medicine."