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Good Practices

Repercussions of investigations

Recently there have been repercussions with regard to the investigations into an unusual kind of fraud in which the article revision process adopted by some publishers was manipulated by a criminal scheme (see Pesquisa FAPESP Issue nº 201).  Hindawi, a Cairo-based publisher responsible for more than 400 open-access publications, announced the results of an audit that analyzed 57,000 articles published from 2013 to 2014.  It concluded that 32 papers in the fields of molecular biology and computer engineering had been recommended for publishing by reviewers who did not actually exist: fake résumés and fictitious e-mail accounts had been inserted into the databases of the periodicals.  According to a Hindawi communiqué, the fraud was perpetrated by three editors: the Iranian Amir Kajbafvala, of the Journal of Nanoparticles, the Chinese Yuxin Mao, of Mathematical Problems in Engineering, and the South Korean Jason J. Jung, of the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks.  In another development, the United Kingdom’s BiodMedCentral platform changed the text of the retraction of an article that had been manipulated by the scheme and published in Diagnostic Pathology to warn of the lack of evidence that the authors of the paper had participated in the fraud.