Scientific journal retracts 60 papers linked to sock-puppet peer review


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This incident picked up by climate change deniers in 3, 2, 1…

In seriousness though, I’m glad for the retractions and the transparency (insofar as this sort of thing can be transparent).

I hope that every other peer reviewed journal will start an audit of just exactly who those “peers” are.


IANAS, but I always thought the journals picked the reviewers - not vice-versa.


Truly a sad day for sock folk everywhere.


This is not just fertile ground for climate change deniers but creationists, who love to cite “Piltdown Man” (from 1912, mind you) as evidence of science’s inherent fallibility.

As an academic editor (besides being a practicing genomicist), the editors choose the peer reviewers. Typically the authors can give suggestions of possible reviewers, but the whole point of being an academic editor is that you know the subfield enough to recognize names and pick relevant ones to review papers that are relevant to their work (bearing in mind that there are feuds and so forth between certain groups that may treat each others’ manuscripts unfairly). While the sock-puppetting author has committed fraud, the academic editors who simply blindly picked non-existent peer reviewers are also to blame.


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