[open-science] Fake Cancer study published in 157 Open Access Journals

Daniel Lombraña González teleyinex at gmail.com
Fri Oct 4 06:54:20 UTC 2013

Hi there,

Today I've found this interesting article in National
a study conducted by Bohannon to test if Open Access peer reviewed
journals actually rejected a spoof study due to several important errors
(copy & paste from the original article):

The spoof study had at least three problems:
> **
>    -
>    The study drug killed cancer cells with increasing doses, even though
>    its data didn't show any such effect.
>    -
>    The drug killed cancer cells exposed to medical radiation with
>    increasing effect, even though the study showed the cells weren't exposed
>    to radiation.
>    -
>    The study author concluded the paper by promising to start treating
>    people with the drug immediately, without further safety testing.
Only 106 performed a review, while the others basically accepted the paper
for publication (PLOS One rejected it).

In the article you can feel a subtle "attack" or complain against Open
Access journals. However in the same article they say that they think it
will happen the same in non OA journals; i.e. they mention two cases where
Science, the popular journal, actually accepted two papers that were not
good (one was a faked and the other one refuted).

In summary, I think this type of articles actually reveal a problem
regarding publishing: reviewing articles is really complicated (for any
type of journal), taking into account that as a researcher you don't get
any credit for doing a proper one, and that usually the paper does not
provide all the data, information, etc, etc. to replicate the study.

All the best,

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