Thursday, April 04, 2019

Fake scientific publishers/meeting organizers lose to FTC on summary judgment; face $50 million damages

From Ars Technica, concerning OMICS and iMedPub, LLC :

The practices of the companies, as documented by the FTC, are pretty egregious. While the OMICS Group claims that its publications are peer reviewed, two different journalists have submitted nonsense papers to its publications and had them accepted without revision. Scientists who have submitted articles indicate that they came back from review in a matter of days; the court recognized that peer review typically takes months. In some cases, the manuscript was simply published without warning after submission.

Although the victims are stated to be

a mixture of genuine scientists who are unwary, people who want to pad their publication records, and fringe scientists who just want to see their ideas in the literature regardless of their lack of merit.

one notes there are other reasons scientists might be driven to less prestigious journals.

Note text in a 2015 post in IPBiz

LBE served on the "Ethics Task Force" of the American Chemical Society from 2000-2002. At the time, there was no procedure for third party correction of mistakes that appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
LBE was victimized by this procedural failing, by a paper published in JACS, which made a false statement about LBE's work on (poly(carbon monofluoride)), also published in JACS. Of patent relevance was an inaccurate paper in JACS which played a significant role in the litigation of SKB's US '639 on nabumetone (Relafen).

See As to "promote the progress," note issues in scientific journals--Misconduct and poor laboratory practice in science threatens the scientific progress

From a 2009 post on IPBiz:

B. Science issue

The inability of a journal to correct a mistake in a published paper leads to later workers overlooking key issues, here the large second moment of the F-19 NMR absorption, which cannot be reconciled with the chair model.

Earlier discussion:


In my own experience, I came across one episode which illustrated the inability of the scientific
community to deal with each side of the coin. In a paper by D. L. Wertz and M. Bissell, Energy &
Fuels, 1994, 8, 613-617 on the diffraction of the graphene layer ["(002)"] peak in bituminous coals, the
authors stated that the diffraction peak was "far too intense to be caused by amorphous scattering and far
too broad to be caused by conventional diffraction." The authors cited three papers to justify this
assertion. Of three papers relied upon to prove the statement, which was the key assumption in the
paper, one was non-existent, one was irrelevant and one supported a contrary position. Following use of
the key assumption, the authors utilized an undefined short range interference function to manipulate the
x-ray diffraction data of the paper. The modified data led to a remarkable conclusion: that analysis of a
peak related to interference between aromatic entities (sp2 hybridized carbon) could predict the amount
of aliphatic carbon (sp3 hybridized carbon). Pertinent prior work on diffraction of "poorly crystalline"
carbonaceous systems with sp2 and sp3 carbon was ignored.

I contacted the editor of the journal. Of the non-citation and mis-citation issues, nothing was
done, and in fact the mis-citation was repeated in a later paper.

From L.B. Ebert, A Tale of Conflicting Models;
THE COMING SKIRMISH ON THE IP FRONTIER, Intellectual Property Today, p. 20 July, 2001

The Journal of the American Chemical Society has a policy of not allowing mistake correction by third parties, and the present author has direct experience with this policy. This author wrote a paper on the calculation of the second moment of the fluorine nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of solid poly (carbon monofluoride), which led to the conclusion that the structure contained an infinite array of cyclohexane boats, rather than the expected chairs, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1974, 96, 7841, which boat structure was reproduced in the Cotton and Wilkinson, 4th edition. Five years later, different workers, who also published in JACS, criticized the calculation, on the basis that it involved a single integration, rather than a double integration. Although the allegation had no basis in the text of the 1974 paper, and was untrue, the journal (which did not dispute the truth of what this author said) would not allow a comment to be published. Five years later, this author did publish a comment, which appeared in the Proceedings of the Workshop on Electrochemistry of Carbon, pp. 595-607, Electrochemical Society Proceedings Series, Volume 84 No. 5 (1984). (Poly(carbon monofluoride) is a useful cathode for high energy density lithium batteries.)


The Ars Technica link:


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