Browsing further back into the journal’s archive I found an interesting supplemental issue from 2016 that consists of 20 papers on psoriasis – all written by the same group of prolific authors.
The papers are not without problems. Lack of IRB approval, lack of patient consent to have their photos published, unclear patient recruitment and trial locations, inclusion of children in experimental drug testing, and to top it off, incorrect statements about conflict of interest. All papers heavily promote the same product line of herbal ointments and gels – and the founder of the company is one of the authors!
In the study, Dr. Huizenga describes nine COVID-19 patients whom he treated with a mixture containing nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
Unfortunately, Robert Huizenga failed to disclose that this mixture is sold by a company founded by his brother, Joel Huizenga. He also treated these patients without the approval of an institutional review board (IRB).
Yesterday, it published an obviously fake study that claimed that hydroxychloroquine could prevent push-scooter accidents – but only in Marseille. The paper has a lot of references to French scientists and politicians, and one of the authors is a famous French dog.
The paper got retracted today, but not before many had a good laugh at it on Twitter.
From the job description: “This person will oversee all correspondence regarding potential misconduct in all ASBMB publications and oversee all decisions in accordance with ASBMB policies.” “This is a position requiring advanced studies in the biomedical sciences, excellent organizational and writing skills, the ability to conduct thorough investigations, regular coordination with various stakeholders and institutions, sound judgment, and some familiarity with and willingness to become an expert in libel and defamation.“
I am not applying (loving my current independency!) but this might be a great career option for anyone interested in science integrity and a career in scientific publishing. You can read more here: [Data Integrity Manager]
Time for a new type of post here on Science Integrity Digest: Updates!
What happened to the papers discussed here, a year or more after reporting them to the journals and the institutes? Which journals care about scientific rigor, and which journals do not give a fork? What are the authors up to now?
In this post, let’s take a look at the Space Dentist papers.
The Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents (JBRHA) is a puzzling scientific journal. It published the now-withdrawn bizarre paper on 5G and Coronavirus that caused a lot of commotion (“brouhaha“, meaning commotion or uproar). It is indexed in PubMed, giving it the appearance of a true, National Library of Medicine-approved scientific journal. But the editorial board consists mainly of dead people, the Editor in Chief’s affiliations are unclear, and the content of the journal is mainly empty. We might as well call it the JBRouHAha.
After an anonymous tip about some papers by the Şen Research Group with possible duplicated graphs, I started digging around a bit more. And I found a couple more papers with duplications. And more. Quite a lot more. As of now, the SRG has 84 papers flagged on PubPeer. [Excel spreadsheet; PDF version]
A group of authors has found a way to crank up the number of papers on their resumes. The complete “Global Dermatology” September 30, 2019 issue of the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences is filled with papers from the same group of authors, headed by Torello Lotti and Massimo Fioranelli, both from the University of G. Marconi in Rome, Italy.
Some of these papers contain photos of patients without consent, others contain duplicated images, and some papers are full of extraordinary claims without any evidence. Just a bunch of pretty diagrams.
A short post highlighting a small set of papers (currently five) that all share some interesting features. As before, these might all have been produced by the same paper-writing entity, a so-called “paper mill”.
Similar to the Tadpole paper set, where all Western blot panels showed the same background noise, most wound healing assay photos in this mini-mill share the same microscope irregularities. And all of them describe a group of 48 patients.