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Academic Publishing

Did Frontiers help Robert-Jan Smits design Plan S?

I obtained from the EU commission evidence that Smits was at least strongly influenced by Frontiers while designing Plan S. There were meetings with Kamila Markram and other Frontiers representatives, most notably on 25 April 2018, and a string of emails, where Smits requested and received “Frontiers feedback on the transition to OA and APCs”. Smits recently accepted the invitation as speaker next to Kamila, at a Frontiers-organised conference on 29 November 2018 in Brussels.

Academic Publishing Research integrity

Fousteri affair: Dutch integrity thwarted by academic indecency

Two and a half years after Maria Fousteri was found guilty of scientific misconduct by her former employer, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), exactly nothing at all happened. ERC and Molecular Cell ignored LUMC letters from June 2016, while Fouster’s British co-authors interfered to save own papers. Of 4 scheduled retractions, none took place.

News

Linköping: scamferences no crime as long as LiU trademark protected

The Swedish Linköping University (LiU) finished their first investigation of the affair of Ashutosh Tiwari and his ongoing predatory conferences. The bureaucrats, busy covering their own professional failures, found that nobody among the grown-up men they investigated was actually responsible for their own behaviour. Not even Tiwari, who would have been LiU professor now where it not for my reporting.

Blog Research integrity

Olivier Voinnet, the new Dreyfus?

Much of French media and academia, and certainly also the international plant science community now debates a hot conspiracy theory: what if Olivier Voinnet is actually innocent, a visionary genius who fell prey to a conspiracy of fraudulent colleagues and scheming bureaucrats? I discuss here the widespread dishonesty and data manipulation among Voinnet’s co-authors and peers. Is French research culture to blame?

Academic Publishing

Bremen Rector Bernd Scholz-Reiter, a hero of Open Access?

Research by German journalists revealed whole lists of German academics engaging in predatory publishing and scamferences. Named on over 60 predatory conference papers is Bernd Scholz-Reiter, Rector of the University of Bremen and former Vice-President of DFG. Several such papers are even self-plagiarised, and were used in DFG project reports and Scholz-Reiter’s rectorship application from 2011

Academic Publishing

Robert-Jan Smits: scholarly societies “will have to bite the bullet and go Open Access”

I obtained a near-verbatim transcript of a video-conference Plan S architects Robert-Jan Smits and Science Europe president Marc Schiltz had on October 19th with Lynn Kamerin and other authors of the Appeal. It appears that Smits and Schiltz see the scientists and their scholarly societies as the reactionary elements blocking the road to the universal Open Access (OA).

Research integrity Research Reproducibility

Lopez-Otin and Kroemer: birds of a feather flock together

Following my reporting, the cancer researcher Carlos López-Otín abandoned his ERC-funded 36-member-strong “Degradome” lab at the University of Oviedo in Spain and moved in with his collaborator in Paris, France, Guido Kroemer. Yet Lopez-Otin’s data integrity issues seem as poppycock compared to what Kroemer and his life partner Laurence Zitvogel dished out to the scientific community.

Biotech Research integrity

WHO cures cancer in Photoshop?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a cancer research unit in France, IARC. Some papers from there contain impressive manipulations. The works of art are authored by Massimo Tommasino and his former junior colleague there Uzma Hasan, now tenured group leader at INSERM. Some of this research took place at the Schering-Plough Research Institute which was taken over by German pharma giant Merck.