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Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

The Washington Post announced recently (Friday, March 27), that BioMed Central has retracted 43 scientific papers due to concerns about fake peer review. According to the article, this is evidently part of a much wider peer-review scandal. Over the past few years, BioMed Central has retracted 170 papers across several journals because of fake peer reviews. A blog post on this topic from BioMed Central can be found here. The blog states that “Some of the manipulations appear to have been conducted by third-party agencies offering language-editing and submission assistance to authors. It is unclear whether the authors of the manuscripts involved were aware that the agencies were proposing fabricated reviewers on their behalf or whether authors proposed fabricated names directly themselves.”.

The Lancet have also published an Editorial on these retractions, entitled “China’s medical research integrity questioned”.


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Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.

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