Fabricated peer reviews from the Springer journal, “Tumor Biology” —– 122 retractions in 2015-16, and now 107 more retractions !!

This (very brief note in Nature) summarizes the latest in the sad state-of-affairs in science, and scientific publications, in these new predatory journals. Can we ever again return to honest science and integrity –– without so much fraud and corruption..?? L

Fake peer review

Academic publisher Springer said on 20 April that it is retracting 107 papers from its journal Tumor Biology after finding that they had been accepted on the basis of fabricated peer-review reports. The problem has affected publishers including Springer before: investigations in 2015 and 2016 into irregularities in Springer’s peer-review process led to 122 retractions in various journals, including Tumor Biology.

The latest papers were identified through extra screening processes put in place after those investigations. Springer stopped publishing the journal at the end of 2016; it is now published by Sage Publishing in Thousand Oaks, California.

The latest retractions, all of papers by Chinese authors, have led to soul-searching in China. The state-run People’s Daily newspaper blamed a lack of serious punishment for academic misconduct and pressure on overworked clinicians to publish. (Springer is part of Springer Nature, which also publishes Nature.)

Nature 27 Apr 2o17; 544: 398

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