Targeting problematic papers, not countries

Because I recently posted concerns about a set of over 50 papers from a Chinese immunologist, several journalists and scientists have asked me why I targeted a specific professor from a specific country. My answer is that I search for problematic papers, regardless of what country they are from.

As of today, I have posted concerns on PubPeer about 1300 papers. About half of these, 775, were posted in the last 6 months (1 June 2019 – 23 November 2019). I started scanning the biomedical literature for image duplications, plagiarism, and other concerns in 2013. Because I quit my job earlier this year, I now have much more time to spend on finding and reporting papers, which is why more than half of these posts were done in the last 6 months. In total, I have found over 2,000 papers, but I have not yet reported all of these to PubPeer.

My 775 PubPeer posts from the last 6 months discussed papers in 32 different countries on six continents (as determined by the affiliation of the first author). Of these, almost 200 are from the US, and 106 are from China. Here is a map:

My most recent 775 PubPeer posts were about papers from 32 countries, shown here in red. Map created with

So no, I am not specifically targeting anyone or any country. I am, however, targeting problematic papers, no matter where they come from.

One thought on “Targeting problematic papers, not countries”

  1. M Foucault , the finest of critical thinkers words are apt for this publishing frenzy .

    People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.



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