Peer review fraud—it’s not big and it’s not clever

Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, Dec 2015

Shamima Rahman, Matthias R. Baumgartner, Eva Morava, Marc Patterson, Verena Peters, Johannes Zschocke

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Peer review fraud—it’s not big and it’s not clever

In recent months several publishing houses have retracted published articles after fraudulent reviews were dis- covered Hindawi concludes an in-depth investigation into peer review fraud. Hindawi Publishing, July Peer review fraud-it's not big and it's not clever Shamima Rahman 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Matthias R. Baumgartner 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Eva Morava 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Marc Patterson 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Verena Peters 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Johannes Zschocke 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Shamima Rahman 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 Department of Pediatrics, Tulane University Medical School , New Orleans, LA , USA 1 Division of Metabolism and Children's Research Center, University Children's Hospital , Zürich , Switzerland 2 Mitochondrial Research Group, Genetics and Genomic Medicine, UCL Institute of Child Health, and Metabolic Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital , London , UK 3 Division of Human Genetics, Medical University Innsbruck , Innsbruck , Austria 4 Centre for Paediatric and Adolescence Medicine, University of Heidelberg , Heidelberg , Germany 5 Division of Child and Adolescent Neurology, Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, Mayo Clinic Children's Center , Rochester, MN , USA 6 Department of Pediatrics, University Medical School of Leuven , Leuven , Belgium Conflict of interest None. - system to obtain favourable peer reviews. More concerning are agencies who not only provide a writing service for authors but also, once the manuscripts have been submitted, create fake reviewer identities to write positive reviews for these same manuscripts. What are the Editorial Team at JIMD doing to guard against peer review fraud? We would like to reassure our readers, authors and reviewers that we have robust procedures in place. We have a three tier review system, with an initial editorial screen followed by communicating editor assessment plus formal peer reviews, and then a final overview of the reviews by the Editorial Team. In this extensive review process, an overly positive review of a manuscript should be flagged as an ‘outlier’ warranting closer examination. We work in a small field where most experts are known to each other. Our board of communicating editors are selected carefully and all known to us as experts in their fields. These communicating editors appoint reviewers known to them who are also experts. We avoid using reviewers recommended by authors, but in those rare instances where we do use authors’ suggested reviewers, we use email addresses that have been independently entered into our editorial manager system, to avoid the inadvertent use of false email addresses. All manuscripts undergo checks to identify any financial or other conflicts of interest and to ensure compliance with ethical standards (https://www.springer.com/de/partners/society-zone-issues/ springer-s-guide-publishing-ethics-for-journals/15064). Although we have never retracted a JIMD paper because of fraudulent peer reviews, we will not be complacent but remain vigilant to attempts to hack our peer review process. We strongly disapprove of peer review fraud and will take severe measures if we discover it (Freckelton 2014) . Compliance with ethical standards All authors were compliant and followed the ethical guidelines, according to the requirements of JIMD 2 Ferguson C , Marcus A , Oransky I ( 2014 ) Publishing: the peer-review scam . Nature 515 ( 7528 ): 480 - 482 . doi: 10 .1038/515480a Freckelton I ( 2014 ) Criminalising research fraud . J Law Med 22 ( 2 ): 241 - 254 Haug CJ ( 2015 ) Peer-review fraud-hacking the scientific publication process . N Engl J Med McCook A ( 2015 ) 64 More papers retracted for fake reviews, this time from Springer journals . Retraction Watch (http://retractionwatch. com/ 2015 /08/17/64-more -papers-retracted-for-fake-reviews-thistime- from- springer-journals/)


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Shamima Rahman, Matthias R. Baumgartner, Eva Morava, Marc Patterson, Verena Peters, Johannes Zschocke. Peer review fraud—it’s not big and it’s not clever, Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 2015, 1-2, DOI: 10.1007/s10545-015-9905-x