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

Paweł Szczęsny ps at pawelszczesny.org
Fri Oct 4 14:53:22 UTC 2013

On Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM, Egon Willighagen <egon.willighagen at gmail.com
> wrote:

> But the paper *does* *not* show a cause-effect between OA and this
> problem. They just did not do the correct experiment for that. A
> reviewer should have caught that... but, oh wait, peer review is
> broken as the paper found out...
In principle I agree, however Klaus points out in quite an interesting
direction. Gold OA (APC version) _enabled_ or _let flourish_ (choose your
version) particular predatory business model. Before introduction of OA and
article processing charges pushing weak paper through the journal willing
to 'cooperate' wasn't that easy, as the transfer of benefits wasn't as
automated as today (it was just harder to _pay_ to get your bogus paper
"published"). Apparently, intrinsic problems of peer review (the same for
OA and non-OA publishing) are much easier to be exploited in Gold OA (APC

For example, if I were predatory publisher I would start to optimize ratio
between image/impact/IF and rejection rate to maximize income (maybe you
could trade a bit of IF but have much smaller rejection rate than PLoS
One?). Such strategy seems to guarantee long-term survival on the market,
as long as APC dominates Gold OA.

Of course, the original piece doesn't reach that far. However, maybe, when
speaking out on the issue, we should mention PeerJ, as an example of OA
journal that removes a direct incentive for the publisher to publish more
at the cost of quality? The fact that PLoS One rejected the bogus paper
does not help much, as the predatory journals and P1 have in principle the
same business models.

Best wishes
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