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Research Ethics/Article Retraction


"Deceit is a competitive advantage" -- Li Zhi

"And we have reached my assertion: many of those conferences exist not to scam attendance fees from participants, but to provide cover for a ‘proceedings submission’ — which allows the organizers to sell ‘peer reviewed’ papers easily." -- James Heathers

"The analysis shows that most journals will see 2% suspected fake papers submitted and then for journals where paper mills have been successful in getting papers accepted, they see a sharp increase in suspect submissions....Another publisher was aware they had been targeted by a paper mill known to publish papers in a specific area. They identified 19 journals for article by article analysis. 304 papers were retracted as a result." -- Paper Mills: Research report from COPE & STM

"An ISSN can be obtained relatively easily via either a national or international office as long as a journal can be identified as an existing publication. As the ISSN’s own website states an ISSN is “a digital code without any intrinsic meaning” and does not include any information about the contents of that publication. Perhaps most importantly, an ISSN “does not guarantee the quality or the validity of the contents”. This perhaps goes some way to explain why predatory journals can often include an ISSN on their websites. Indeed, more than 40% of the journals included in Cabells’ Predatory Reports database include an ISSN in their journal information.

But sometimes predatory publishers can’t obtain an ISSN – or at least can’t be bothered to – and will fake the ISSN code. Of the 6,000 or so journals with an ISSN in Predatory Reports, 288 or nearly 5% have a fake ISSN, and this is included as one of the database’s behavioural indicators to help identify predatory activity. It is instructive to look at these fake ISSNs to see the lengths predatory publishers will go to in order to achieve some semblance of credibility in their site presence." --

Like an ISSN, a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) does not imply that an article is good or bad.  Many predatory publications do have a legitimate DOI assigned.

No single nation has cornered the market on predatory publishing or unethical acts.  There are unscrupulous players everywhere, the U.S. being no exception.  No matter where research is produced and published, scholars should make every effort to ensure that the literature they are citing is authentic and a result of genuine scholarly research.

According to librarian Jeffrey Beall, "many publishers create companies in the United States- state of Delaware and use a Delaware address to make it appear they are based in my country. Anyone can create a company registered in Delaware by visiting a website and paying a small fee. The registration companies allow those who create new companies to use their addresses. So, many predatory publishers who claim to be based in the U.S. are not and are using deception to trick people..." --

"[The] studies that have raised concerns have come primarily from Iran and to a lesser extent from Egypt, China, India, Japan, and a few other countries....During the past few years, the rate at which “concerning” papers from Iran, Egypt, and elsewhere have been appearing in the medical literature seems to have increased considerably.  -- Gaby A. R. (2022). Is There an Epidemic of Research Fraud in Natural Medicine?. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 21(2), 14–18.

"China has surpassed the US to become the world leader in producing the highest-impact scientific research, according to new analysis based on the Web of Science (WoS) database and published in the journal Scientometrics...‘Although the incentives given to Chinese researchers to publish have led to an increase in the proportion of publications from China, it has also led to a large proportion of retractions from papers by Chinese researchers,’ notes research fraud expert Elisabeth Bik.’" --  Chemistry World, Rebecca Trager, 3/21/2022

"But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together..." -- Qin, Amy. "Fraud Scandals Sap China's Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower." International New York Times 13 Oct. 2017. Business Insights: Global. Web. 8 June 2022.