Academic Publishing

Join the Committee, ignore Publication Ethics

What we often perceive as independent quality certificates of publishing ethics are sometimes apparently nothing more than a fig leaf. This is especially true for journals self-registering with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Yet most strikingly, even official paying members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) are not really bound to follow the rules of good editorial practice this organization advices. This happens with open consent of COPE, as the examples of Frontiers and also Nature Publishing Group demonstrate. In fact, the COPE council even appears partially managed by the very publisher which openly admits to ignoring its publication ethics guidelines:  Frontiers.

piggy bank

After the Swiss publisher Frontiers was listed by Jeffrey Beall as a potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publisher, the Frontiers Communications Office provided a comment under the relevant news article in Nature. It argued against Beall’s listing by mentioning the awards Frontiers received and the Frontiers membership on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). In fact, Frontiers writes on their website, under the heading Publication Ethics and Malpractice:

“Frontiers endeavors to follow the guidelines and best practice recommendations published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). […] Frontiers follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines including its recommended authorship criteria. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine is listed as a journal following ICMJE recommendations on its website.”

So how can a publisher, which journals obviously received the approval of such highly respected publishing ethics organizations as ICMJE and COPE, find itself on Beall’s list? One clue might be: because both ICMJE and COPE leave it to their subscribers as whether to actually follow their recommendations. Publishers, who choose to ignore the ICMJE and COPE advice on publication ethics, are neither requested to comply, nor are they banished if they don’t.

As a reminder, the editorial conflict at Frontiers arose because medical chief editors felt they had little influence on which papers were accepted for publication in their journals and on which criteria. They also perceived the publisher-imposed rules, which strongly discourage manuscript rejection, as hurdles to their editorial duties to prevent the publication of seriously flawed medical papers. Yet in a reply to the editorial Manifesto, Frontiers wrote:

“Frontiers practices abide by these guidelines [ICMJE and COPE]. We are now formalizing this by officially registering our journals with these associations. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, for example, is listed by ICMJE as a journal that complies to their guidelines”.

Right after the sacking of almost all medical chief editors, Frontiers biomedical and neuroscience journals were indeed enlisted en masse as “following the ICMJE Recommendations”, including Frontiers in Medicine and Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, which did not even have their accountable chief editors anymore. Interestingly, a section of ICMJE recommendations concerns “journal owners and editorial freedom”. On the latter, it says:

“The ICMJE adopts the World Association of Medical Editors’ [WAME] definition of editorial freedom, which holds that editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Journal owners should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions. Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the commercial goals of the publisher”.

I have contacted ICMJE with an inquiry, how the journals of a publisher, which seems to openly oppose the ICMJE and WAME-defined editorial independence, could become listed as following these very recommendations. This was the unsigned reply I received:

“The list includes journals whose editors or publishers have contacted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to request listing.  We are not able to confirm the actual editorial practices of non-ICMJE journals.  As is noted at our website: The ICMJE cannot verify the completeness or accuracy of this list”.

My understanding was therefore, that just because a journal has itself listed as “following the ICMJE Recommendations”, it does not necessarily mean that this journal or its publisher are also required to actually implement these. The self-accomplished ICMJE listing is obviously not really attached to the actual act or even intent of “following the ICMJE Recommendations”.

Indeed, the ICMJE Journal Listing Request Form seems to allow anyone to self-enlist as “Following the ICMJE Recommendations”, apparently without further proceedings attached to it. Also, as Darren Taichman, Secretary of ICMJE, wrote in his follow-up email to me: “ICMJE does not collect fees from or certify anyone. And, Frontiers is not a member of ICMJE”. Therefore, in the case of ICMJE one should always make a distinction in publishing ethics expectations between its proper members such as The BMJ, JAMA or The Lancet on the one hand and the “Journals Following the ICMJE Recommendations” on the other.

With the Frontiers involvement with COPE however, it is different. Frontiers COPE membership is official and it costs. Even though the Swiss publisher enlisted only 50 of its 54 journals (thus also reducing its annual membership fee from £5,353 to £3,275), it still is one of the larger contributors to the COPE budget (COPE is legally a charity and thus likely relies on membership fees and donations).

Frontiers joined COPE in January 2015. Exactly one year before, the COPE council member Mirjam Curno, joined Frontiers in her main professional occupation as journal manager. Virginia Barbour, Chair of COPE, has specified in her email to me and in comment on my earlier Frontiers article:

“Mirjam Curno is a member of COPE council – a position she was elected to when she was employed at the Journal of the International AIDS Society in 2012 and which continued (with the agreement of the COPE Council and on becoming an Associate Member of COPE) after she moved to Frontiers; she is now also a trustee of COPE.”

As aside, Curno is not the only COPE council member primarily employed by a commercial for-profit publisher, who is also simultaneously COPE member. Treasurer Chris Leonard is Head of academic and journals publishing at Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation. Former Treasurer and now Co-Vice-Chair Chris Graf works as associate editorial director at Wiley-Blackwell.

It proved rather difficult to engage with Curno on the matter of editorial ethics in regard to her current main employer, Frontiers. In August 2015, I wrote Curno an email, addressing her explicitly in her function as COPE council member (for lack of other options I used Curno’s contact email @frontiersin.org).  My inquiry was about the shortfall of editorial independence at Frontiers, as perceived by the former medical editors and detailed in their editorial Manifesto. My specific concern presented to the COPE council member Curno was, that this situation might be in conflict with the Code of Conduct for Publishers as issued by COPE. The Code namely stipulates that publishers should ”foster editorial independence” and that they

“should work with journal editors to set journal policies appropriately and aim to meet those policies, particularly with respect to:

– Editorial independence

– Research ethics, including confidentiality, consent, and the special requirements for human and animal research

[…]

– Transparency and integrity (for example, conflicts of interest, research funding, reporting standards – Peer review and the role of the editorial team beyond that of the journal editor”

Yet these were exactly the demands which the Frontiers medical editors have issued in their manifesto and for which they were collectively sacked by Fenter on behalf of the publisher.

Since that email two months ago, I never received any reply at all from my direct addressee Curno. Instead, soon afterwards, an email from Frederick Fenter, Frontiers Executive Editor arrived:

“I have learned that you have been in contact with my colleague Dr. Curno with another round of questions.  I remain your contact here at Frontiers for any such requests”.

In his follow-up email, Fenter stated the following:

“Please do not confuse COPE’s business with Frontiers’ business.  If you have queries for COPE, please use their well-established procedures.  Questions concerning Frontiers should be addressed to me. There is absolutely no conflict between our way of operating and the COPE guidelines.  The processes we have implemented are fully compliant, which is obvious to those who read publicly available information”.

Fenter then proceeded on to explain the Frontiers principles, most of which I have already relayed in a comment to the relevant article.  While I am very grateful to Dr. Fenter for addressing all my concerns rapidly and in detailed and extensive manner, he could hardly help me understand the side of “COPE’s business” in regard to Frontiers, for which I specifically have contacted Dr. Curno.

In fact, I was somewhat surprised that a COPE trustee is, for some reason, not able to correspond on her own about the implementations of COPE guidelines by its publisher members. I was left confused as to whether Dr. Curno is a dedicated academic, appointed as COPE trustee against her numerous highly qualified competitors for her engagement and contributions to publication ethics, or if she is currently rather a non-autonomous COPE delegate of her main employer, the publishing house Frontiers. The fact that all communication regarding Curno’s role at COPE happened through her employer at Frontiers, Fenter, as well as the COPE Chair, Barbour, might be interpreted as evidence for the latter.

Regarding concerns about Frontiers editorial process, Barbour (who is also one of the founding editors  and formal editorial director of PLOS Medicine), wrote in her email to me and in the COPE public statement:

“We note that there have been vigorous discussions about, and some editors are uncomfortable with, the editorial processes at Frontiers. However, the processes are declared clearly on the publisher’s site and we do not believe there is any attempt to deceive either editors or authors about these processes. Publishing is evolving rapidly and new models are being tried out. At this point we have no concerns about Frontiers being a COPE member and are happy to work with them as they explore these new models”.

However, Frontiers is not the only recent COPE publisher member which seems to openly take a stance which might be interpreted as contradicting COPE guidelines. Another such example is the much bigger Nature Publishing Group (which mother company, the German publisher Holtzbrinck, also partially owns Frontiers). NPG also has recently joined COPE, with 123 of its journals, including the flagship Nature and other Nature family journals.

Shortly before this, the journal Nature Communications has retracted a paper, with apparently the sole argument being that of authors’ disagreement over the approval of publication. I have reported on this conflict involving Jan Ellenberg, head of research unit at EMBL in Heidelberg, and his former postdoctoral scientist, Aïcha Metchat, for Laborjournal, in German. In such cases, where “there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings”, COPE retraction guidelines advise the editors to consider a correction, instead of retraction. Even Nature’s own website is quite in agreement with COPE and refers to retractions solely as “notification of invalid results”, which “are judged according to whether the main conclusion of the paper no longer holds or is seriously undermined”. Otherwise, the NPG retraction policies give no mention of authors’ conflicts over the publication of otherwise valid data.

Yet Alice Henchley, Head of Press at NPG, has forwarded me this statement by the Chief Life Sciences Editor at Nature Communications, Niki Scaplehorn:

“Since the publication of the retraction, we have indeed become members of COPE, which provides guidance on publication ethics. The COPE guidelines do not, however, replace our editorial policies, which remain in effect as they were when the decision to retract the paper was made and are clearly detailed on our website”.

Thus, COPE members are not really that bound to precisely follow COPE guidelines. Originally, COPE was founded as “a forum for its members”, and beyond this: “COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct”. The COPE website also insists: “All COPE members are expected to follow the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors”. Yet this very Code advises that “editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions”, which Nature Communications did not. Also, in several instances the Code unmistakably stipulates the demand for editorial independence, the deficit of which Frontiers has been accused of. Understandably, as a discussion and advisory forum COPE is in no position to enforce the adherence of its members to the guidelines they have voluntarily subscribed to. But even then, do such journals and publishers have to be welcomed or tolerated by COPE as its members?

One could argue that it is a wiser approach to engage uncooperative publishers as COPE members, with the expectation that they would little by little eventually adjust their editorial practices to the COPE guidelines on publication ethics. This might be one very enticing future outcome. Another, less desirable one, could be that the new COPE members, likely together with their financially dependent representatives on the COPE council, could simply write a new set of publication ethics guidelines, which may be very different from the current one. Indeed, COPE is a constantly developing discussion forum, and the currently valid guidelines for editors and publishers were formulated by the earlier COPE members’ circle. Who knows, if in the future COPE code of conduct, a demand for editorial independence might actually be deemed as editorial misconduct. After all, there are not many industries where such high profits are being made as in academic publishing.

02.11.2015: The PLOS affiliation of Dr. Barbour has been corrected as a former one, according to her own feedback (s. below). I apologise for using outdated information from the PLOS website (http://blogs.plos.org/speakingofmedicine/author/virginia_barbour/).

89 comments on “Join the Committee, ignore Publication Ethics

  1. Big Brother working hard at PubPeer.

    Evidence of Dr. Barbour’s outdated and misleading information about her claimed association with WAME was wiped clean off the PubPeer page in 24 hours.

    This was the image.

    Like

  2. Dear Leonid,

    I am currently in a final stage to submit a manuscript in which I refer to the 2009 retraction guidelines of COPE. It turns out that there are at least five (identical?) papers in which these guidelines have been published.

    Wager, E., V. Barbour, S. Yentis & S. Kleinert, on behalf of COPE Council 2009. Retractions: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics. Journal of Critical Care 24: 620–622.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2009.10.009
    Wager E., V. Barbour, S. Yentis & S. Kleinert (on behalf of COPE Council) 2009. Retractions: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Maturitas 64: 201–203.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.09.018
    Wager, E., V. Barbour, S. Yentis & S. Kleinert (on behalf of COPE Council) 2009. Retractions: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Croatian Medical Journal 50: 532–535.
    http://www.cmj.hr/2009/50/6/20017220.htm
    DOI: 10.3325/cmj.2009.50.532
    Wager E., V. Barbour, S. Yentis & S. Kleinert and on behalf of COPE Council 2010. Retractions: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Obesity Reviews 11: 64–66.
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00702.x
    Wager E., V. Barbour, S. Yentis & S. Kleinert on behalf of COPE Council 2009. Retractions: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The Anatolian Journal of Cardiology 9: 447-449.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19965313
    http://www.anakarder.com/jvi.aspx?pdir=anatoljcardiol&plng=eng&volume=9&issue=6

    Click to access AnatolJCardiol_9_6_447_449.pdf


    no DOI?

    Do you have any idea which paper is the best option to list in the references of my manuscript?

    Like

    • My advice. Do not cite any of these copies. Only cite the original copy from the COPE site as Wager et al. (2009).

      My comments/concerns:

      1) As a scientist, if I wish to publish my ideas 5 times, with identical wording, will 5 journals allow me to?
      2) Are these 5 journals COPE members? If yes, when did they become members?
      3) How has the impact factor of these journals, where applicable, benefited from this penta-duplicate?
      4) How many times have these 5 copies been cited?
      5) How is this not self-duplication?
      6) 4 out of 5 of the papers was published in 2009, one in 2010. This suggests simultaneous submission to multiple journals at the same time. Were the editors aware of these multiple submissions to multiple journals at the time of each submission? Who exactly were the receiving and approving editors in each case?
      7) Klaas, what are the submission, acceptance and publication dates for these 5 papers?
      8) Was any peer review conducted?
      9) Did Wager et al. try to get the same paper published in more journals?
      10) Why only medical journals accepted this advertisement?
      11) If all 5 papers have identical text, why do none of them have inverted commas to show that they are identical text?
      12) Why do none of these “papers” have a conflict of interest (COI) statement? For example, the fact that Dr. Elizabeth Wager, who was not a doctor until 2010, was the COPE Chair at the time?
      13) Dr. Wager obtained a PhD in 2010. From where? Where can we find the university that awarded her this PhD? Where can we find the academic papers that allowed her to be awarded this PhD? Were these 5 papers used to reward Dr. Wager with a PhD?
      14) Finally, were any of these 5 duplicates included in Dr. Wager’s “CV” on her company web-page SideView*? I checked. They are not listed there. This makes Dr. Wager’s information on her website incomplete, misleading and dangerous. This is not the lack of transparency we expect from the ex-COPE Chair, current COPE Honorary member and most likely the world’s most prominent “ethicist” (if we consider that Dr. Wager is the leading author of the COPE guidelines now imposed on most of the biomedical science fields).

      Maybe Dr. Wager. Dr. Barbour, Dr. Yentis and Dr. Kleinert, who are all “ethical” leaders, would like to offer some transparent responses?

      http://lizwager.com/
      Specifically:
      http://lizwager.com/publications.html

      Like

      • The heat is on!

        Peer 3 at PubPeer, in response to another Peer who defends this penta-duplicate as a Creative Commons License, is angered, claiming that they appear to be real duplications, and that he/she wishes to sue Maturitas for trying to charge just under 32 US$ for a copy of the paper (incidentally, three of the papers’ DOI all link to the Maturitas paper):

        “Dear Peer 2, can you provide eus with where it is made clear on these publications that they are based on republished with Creative Commons material ?

        I am appalled for they look like real duplications to me. I am tempted at paying to get this paper from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.09.018 just to sue them after for having sold me a 100% duplication of free material! What to say merchandise material, as this totally looks like being.”

        https://pubpeer.com/publications/8056DB82F8702D4D8F65BCBE8E186D#fb46486

        Anyone requiring the 5 PDF copies to verify that these are Xerox copies, please contact Dr. Schneider. He can put you into contact with me directly.

        Like

      • There’s no “heat”.

        Material published under a CC-BY license can be repackaged for commercial purposes. The publisher has no legal obligation to the reader/purchaser to tell them that the material is available for free elsewhere.

        In fact, it is the authors’ rights that are being violated, since they are the ones who own the copyright to the material and the fine text of the CC license is not being followed by (at least some of) the publishers.

        There are no grounds for a reader to file suit here, only for the copyright holder.

        But don’t let minor things like “facts” get in the way of your crusade against COPE.

        Like

  3. Iratxe Puebla, the Complaints Administrator of COPE ( http://publicationethics.org/cope-staff ) promised me on 26 July 2015 to sent me in cc the correspondence of her with publisher Taylor & Francis about a faulty paper in a TF journal, see https://pubpeer.com/publications/7DA806A8062EF9474F1A53717B9D1D#fb36200
    .
    I have until now, 12 March 2015, not received a single piece of this correspondence. I am therefore already waiting 230 days on getting this correspondence. I have of course sent several reminders. A representative of COPE told me on 11 September 2015 that COPE would no longer open e-mails from my side. I have urged this representative a few times to forward to me the correspondence of Iratxe Puebla with publisher Taylor & Francis. This was unsuccessful.
    .
    I have therefore contacted other parties, for example publisher PLOS, the employer of Iratxe Puebla (Iratxe Puebla is currently the Managing Editor for the journal PLOS ONE). I have sent various reminders to PLOS, until now without getting the correspondence. I do have loads of auto-replies from PLOS (all of them with a different case number). Iratxe Puebla does not respond.
    .
    Dr. Kamoun and Dr. Zipfel have recently published a letter in Nature in which they state that an obvious refusal to correct errors / mistakes must also be regarded as scientific misconduct ( http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7593/full/531173e.html ).
    .
    I hold the opinion that the above listed behaviour of Iratxe Puebla falls within the definition of scientific misconduct as defined by Dr. Kamoun and Dr. Zipfel, see also http://www.tsl.ac.uk/about-tsl/scientific-integrity/
    .
    I have therefore decided to file a formal complaint at publisher PLOS against Iratxe Puebla. This complaint was filed on 28 February 2016. My decision to file such a complaint was not an easy one and the decision was taken after several reminders to PLOS remained unanswered (I only received auto-replies with new case numbers). See below for the contents of this complaint. I have until now only received two auto-replies from PLOS.
    .
    Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side.
    .
    .
    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To: plosone; Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2016 12:26 PM; Subject: A formal complaint to PLOS with serious allegations of scientific misconduct commmited by PLOS employee Iratxe Puebla

    Dear PLOS et al,

    I would like to report that Iratxe Puebla, the Managing Editor of PLOS ONE, is currently deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct.

    Numerous efforts, and already for a prolonged period of time, to convince Iratxe Puebla to stop with the above mentioned behaviour were unsuccessful. I have therefore concluded that it is intentional behaviour of Iratxe Puebla to continue with her efforts to cover up a clear case of scientific misconduct.

    I am therefore lodging a formal complaint to PLOS with serious allegations of scientific misconduct committed by Iratxe Puebla.

    The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/r39.pdf states: “It also includes the wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others.”

    That’s what is going on over here.

    The VSNU Code of Conduct ( http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organization/rules-and-regulations/algemeen/gedragscodes-nederlandse-universiteiten/code-wetenschapsbeoefening-14-en.pdf and http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organization/rules-and-regulations/algemeen/gedragscodes-nederlandse-universiteiten/wetenschappelijke-integriteit-12-en.pdf ) states:

    “Regarding the behaviour types listed below, the universities hereby declare that they categorically reject them, are actively fighting them, and if necessary will punish offenders with all the sanctions at their disposal. Violations of academic integrity include the following: (…). Permitting and concealing the misconduct of colleagues.”

    I suggest to punish Iratxe Puebla with a severe sanction.

    Backgrounds are listed in:
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7DA806A8062EF9474F1A53717B9D1D#fb36200
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/1C6B56C6600F850C0320D4161278E8#fb43193
    https://forbetterscience.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/join-the-committee-ignore-publication-ethics/
    https://forbetterscience.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/frontiers-christmas-carol/
    http://scholarlyoa.com/2016/01/12/one-problem-with-the-scholarly-publishing-industry/
    http://scholarlyoa.com/2016/01/14/another-controversial-paper-from-fronters
    https://pubpeer.com/topics/1/2E91E8916236A6EE03F372E64FBBAF
    https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/12/16/seralini-feed-contamination-study-plos-fire-not-following-guidelines-data-access/

    Thanks in advance for sending me a response in which is stated that my formal complaint against Iratxe Puebla was received by PLOS in good order.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side.

    Best wishes,

    Klaas van Dijk / Groningen / The Netherlands / https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=hmhMcScAAAAJ&hl=en

    DISCLAIMER: I am hereby declaring that that this e-mail is prepared in good faith, that this is also the case for all other e-mails from my side to PLOS and to all other parties about the ongoing issues about a faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler. I am hereby declaring that all of these e-mails from my side are 100% honest e-mails. Anyone who is claiming that I am dishonest, and/or that my behaviour is partial, and/or vexatious and/or that my statements about the paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warber are untrue / false (etc.), will first need to provide me access to the full list of requested raw research data (see https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb31538 for the full list), and will need to accept that Richard Porter and his co-workers can scrutinize this entire set of raw research data. (I, Richard Porter and all co-authors of a rebuttal of Richard Porter state the paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler is loaded with fabricated data).”

    “From: PLOS ONE; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2016 12:21 PM; Subject: Auto-Reply: A formal complaint to PLOS with serious allegations of scientific misconduct commmited by PLOS employee Iratxe Puebla

    Dear Klaas van Dijk

    Thank you for contacting PLOS ONE. We will respond to your email as soon as we are able.

    In the meantime, you may find the answer to your query here:
    PLOS ONE Video Shorts http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/plos-one-video-shorts/
    Frequently Asked Questions http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/authors/qa/
    Reviewer Guidelines http://www.plosone.org/static/reviewerGuidelines.action

    Kindest regards,

    PLOS ONE Case 04430062 PL#0N3_AR ref:_00DU0Ifis._500U0RIuz6:ref”

    “From: “PLOS ONE”; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Monday, March 07, 2016 11:11 AM; Subject: Auto-Reply: Fw: A formal complaint to PLOS with serious allegations of scientific misconduct commmited by PLOS employee Iratxe Puebla

    Dear Klaas van Dijk

    Thank you for contacting PLOS ONE. We will respond to your email as soon as we are able.

    In the meantime, you may find the answer to your query here:
    PLOS ONE Video Shorts http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/plos-one-video-shorts/
    Frequently Asked Questions http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/authors/qa/
    Reviewer Guidelines http://www.plosone.org/static/reviewerGuidelines.action

    Kindest regards,

    PLOS ONE Case 04442239 PL#0N3_AR ref:_00DU0Ifis._500U0RkFzm:ref”

    Like

  4. Dear Leonid,

    See below for copies of some of the e-mail correspondence with Griffith University about ongoing issues of Dr. Virginia Barbour, the chair of COPE. This e-mail correspondence started on 11 October 2015 and it was finished on 15 March 2016. Please note that “School of Medicine, Griffith University” is listed as single affiliation of Dr. Barbour in Barbour et al. ( http://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-015-1107-1 [recieved on 6 July 2015, published on 21 January 2016]).

    I recall to you that I was heavily turned down by Dr. Barbour et al. in the summer of 2015 when I told Dr. Barbour that I was expecting that she was always working according the VSNU guidelines (see
    http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organization/rules-and-regulations/algemeen/gedragscodes-nederlandse-universiteiten/code-wetenschapsbeoefening-14-en.pdf and http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organization/rules-and-regulations/algemeen/gedragscodes-nederlandse-universiteiten/wetenschappelijke-integriteit-12-en.pdf ). Please note that there are many similarities between the VSNU guidelines and the scientific integrity policy of the Sainsbury Laboratory ( http://www.tsl.ac.uk/about-tsl/scientific-integrity/ , see also Kamoun & Zipfel, 2016, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7593/full/531173e.html ).

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; Date: 2015-10-11 9:47 GMT+02:00; Subject: Academic Title Holder Dr Barbour is deliberately refusing to work together with me to get retracted a paper which is loaded with fabricated data To: Simon Broadley; Cc: David Ellwood

    Dear Professor Broadley,

    I am hereby reporting to you that Academic Title Holder Dr. Virginia Barbour is deliberately refusing to work together with me to get retracted a paper which is loaded with fabricated data. I fail to understand how this behaviour of Dr. Barbour is in line with the “Griffith University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research” (TRIM document 2013/0014781).

    I am hereby reporting to you that I am unable to find a COI statement of Dr Barbour on the website of Griffith University. I fail to understand how this is in line with the “Griffith University School of Medicine Conflict of Interest and Sponsorship Guidelines”, in particular because I am being informed that Dr. Barbour has a wide range of (side-)activities.

    Please send me a response in which is stated that you have recieved this e-mail in good order.

    Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk / Groningen / The Netherlands”

    “From: Simon Broadley; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 9:46 AM; Subject: Out Of Office – Business Re: Academic Title Holder Dr Barbour is deliberately refusing to work together with me to get retracted a paper which is loaded with fabricated data.

    Dear Colleagues. I am currently away as Head of School on Business and will return to the office on Monday 12th October 2015. During this period, the Acting Head of School will be Professor Gary Rogers.

    During this time, all urgent School matters should be forwarded to Professor Gary Rogers. If you are requiring: an appointment with myself or the A/Head of School or assistance with Head of School matters, please contact my PA Teresa Russo. For any Administration matters please contact Julie Saville or Tina Koutsellis. Regards, Simon Broadley”

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To: Rick Williams; Cc Andrea Bishop, Richard Porter; Sent: Monday, February 22, 2016 11:24 AM Subject: Please forward to me scientific points of view of Academic Titleholder Virginia Barbour on various queries about a faulty paper which is loaded with fabricated data

    Dear Mr. Williams, Thanks alot for your kind and friendly response of last Friday.

    (1): can you please forward to me, and as well to Richard Porter (in cc), and ASAP, the scientific point of view of Dr. Barbour (cf section 6 of part A of https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/r39.pdf ) about the statement of Richard Porter (‘the following paper was not based upon any validated scientific facts’, see attachment) on a faulty paper about the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler (see https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7 for backgrounds).

    (2): can you please forward to me, and as well to Richard Porter (in cc), and ASAP, the scientific point of view of Dr. Barbour (cf section 6 of part A of https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/r39.pdf ) about the statement of Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu, a member of the Editorial Board of the journal in question (“From: Çağan Şekercioğlu To: Klaas van Dijk Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 5:34 PM, I agree with you that this paper must be retracted, and I implore Max Kasparek to do so.”). See https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb42415 for the context.

    (3): can you please forward to me, and as well to Richard Porter (in cc), and ASAP, the scientific point of view of Dr. Barbour (cf section 6 of part A of https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/r39.pdf ) about the statement of emeritus professor Dumont (Gent University), another member of the Editorial Board of ZME. (“From: Henri Dumont To: Klaas van Dijk Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 10:52 AM Hoewel ik geen ornitholoog maar limnoloog ben voel ik aan dat er inderdaad iets niet klopt met de door U bekritizeerde paper. (…) en dat brengt mij tot de volgende vraag: wat bedoelt U met de ruwe gegevens die U wil zien? Ik vrees nl dat die niet bestaan.”). See https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb42415 for the context.

    Thanks in advance for forwarding me the scientific responses of Dr. Barbour on these three queries. Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side.

    Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk / Groningen / The Netherlands”

    “From: Andrea Bishop; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 11:20 PM; Subject: Re: Please forward to me scientific points of view of Academic Titleholder Virginia Barbour on various queries about a faulty paper which is loaded with fabricated data

    Dear Mr van Dijk, I refer you to the earlier correspondence from Griffith University on this matter, dated 19 February 2016. The correspondence provides the basis for our stated determination that no further action will be taken in regard to your request to remove Adjunct Prof Virginia Barbour as an academic title holder at Griffith University.

    Kind regards, Andrea, Professor Andrea Bishop, Director, Office for Research, Griffith University, Room 0.12, Bray Centre (N54), Nathan campus, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia”

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2016 10:05 AM; Subject: The Head of School of Medicine professor David Ellwood must man up and must immediately remove Academic Titleholder Dr. Virginia Barbour from Griffith University

    Dear all, There is until now no response from Mr. Williams on my e-mail of last Monday to Griffith University about ongoing issues of Dr. Virgina Barbour (see below). There is as well no response from anyone else from Griffith University. This implies for example that there are no errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side (see below).

    Dr. Virginia Barbour is still listed as Academic Titleholder at https://www.griffith.edu.au/health/school-medicine/staff/academic-title-holders (despite several requests from my side to remove her from this list).

    I recall that I have reported for the first time on 11 October 2015 to Griffith University my concerns about the behaviour of Dr. Virginia Barbour. (see below). This e-mail was received in good order by Griffith University (see below). We are right now 12 March 2016. No one has rebutted that Dr. Virginia Barbour is currently deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct.

    I have therefore concluded that professor David Ellwood, Head of the School of Medicine of Griffith University, fully agrees with my statement that Dr. Virginia Barbour, listed as Academic Titleholder at the School of Medicine of Griffith University, is currently deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct.

    I have also concluded that the non-response from the side of Griffith University on my e-mail of last Monday, and the non-response from the side of Griffith University on other e-mails from my side about these issues of Dr. Virginia Barbour, is caused by an order of Dr. Virginia Barbour that it is not allowed for anyone at Griffith University to communicate anymore with Klaas van Dijk.

    Such a behaviour is of course totally unacceptable for anyone at Griffith University. Such a behaviour is even disasterous for the reputation of a scientist (Bourne & Barbour 2011, http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002108 ).

    I therefore pledge professor David Ellwood to man up, to show leadership, to ignore the requests (etc.) of Dr. Virginia Barbour, and/or the requests of allies of Dr. Virginia Barbour (this includes requests etc. from Dr. Andrew Barbour, the husband of Dr. Virginia Barbour), and to remove immediately Dr. Virginia Barbour from Griffith University, together with a press release with the motives why Dr. Virginia Barbour has been removed from Griffith University.

    Removing immediately Dr. Virginia Barbour from Griffith University, together with a press release with the motives, is the best option to ensure to the rest of the world that Griffith University has indeed 0 tolerance towards people who are covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct. See also http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7593/full/531173e.html

    Thanks in advance for your efforts and thanks in advance for a response. Don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors / mistakes in texts from my side.

    Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk / Groningen / The Netherlands

    DISCLAIMER: I am hereby declaring that that this e-mail was prepared in good faith, that this is also the case for all other e-mails and/or texts from my side about the faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler, a paper which is loaded with fabricated data. I am hereby declaring that all of these e-mails / texts from my side, to Griffith University and to all other parties, are 100% honest e-mails / texts. Anyone who is claiming that I am dishonest, and/or that my behaviour is partial, and/or vexatious and/or that my statements about the paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warber are untrue / false (etc.), will first need to provide me access to the full list of requested raw research data (see https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb31538 for the full list), and will need to accept that I, Richard Porter, and all co-workers of Richard Porter are able to scrutinize this entire set of raw research data.”

    “From: David Ellwood; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 4:06 AM; Subject: Your email correspondence with the School of Medicine

    Dear Professor van Dijk,

    Thank you for your recent email dated March 12th, and the copies of emails to various other members of the staff of Griffith University which I have received over the last few months.

    As you are aware. Virginia Barbour is an academic title-holder at this university, which is an honorary title. Her various roles in medical publishing have no particular relevance to this position, and the School of Medicine has no connection with any of the activities which are of concern to you. We have no intention to respond to your calls to remove her from our list of academic title-holders.

    I must inform you that I consider the frequent emails about this matter, and the content of the most recent one which was copied to multiple others within the school, to be a form of harassment and request that you desist from this immediately. I do not wish to receive any further emails from you about this matter, nor do I want you to correspond with any members of the staff of the School of Medicine,

    Your Sincerely, David Ellwood

    David A Ellwood, MA, DPhil (Oxon), MB, BChir (Cantab), FRANZCOG (CMFM), DDU, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Acting Head of School & Deputy Head of School (Research), Academic Lead for Equity, Selections & Diversity, School of Medicine, Level 8.38, Griffith Health Centre (G40), Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University QLD 4222, AUSTRALIA”

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  5. Dear Leonid,

    Thanks alot for posting my recent comment with parts of the e-mail correspondence with Griffith University about ongoing issues of Dr. Virginia Barbour, an Academic Titleholder at the School of Medicine at Griffith University ( https://www.griffith.edu.au/health/school-medicine/staff/academic-title-holders ).

    Dr. Virginia Barbour, the chair of COPE, also holds positions at QUT, the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, ( https://www.qut.edu.au/ ). http://staff.qut.edu.au/details?id=barbourg reveals that Dr. Barbour is a professor at the ‘Division of Research and Commercialisation, Office of Research Ethics & Integrity’ and that she holds a visitor’s position at the ‘Technology, Information and Learning Support, DVC Office (TILS).’ Dr. Barbour is listed as Advisor of the Director of the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity at QUT (see http://www.orei.qut.edu.au/about/contacts/ ).

    QUT has a whole bunch of Research Integrity Advisors (RIA’s). “When should I speak to a Research Integrity Advisor? If you have a concern about the conduct of research at QUT or research being conducted in collaboration with QUT, you should speak to a Research Integrity Advisor. The context of your concern is important. Concerns may relate to: the ethical conduct of research (…) research practices (….).”
    See http://www.orei.qut.edu.au/about/contacts/integrityadvisors.jsp

    So I have contacted on 9 February 2016 professor Pettitt, one of the RIA’s, about the current behaviour of Dr. Virginia Barbour. There was no response. I have sent him, and the other RIA’s, a reminder on 12 February 2016. I have until now only received two auto-replies on reminder #1. I did not receive a response on reminder #2 sent on 16 February 2016 to these RIA’s. I did not receive a response on reminder #3 sent on 17 February 2016 to the RIA’s and to the nine scientists with a Featured Profile at http://staff.qut.edu.au/ There was no response on a follow-up on reminder #3, sent on 20 February 2016 to the RIA’s, to the scientists with a Featured profile, and to some other people at QUT. A formal complaint against Dr. Barbour was filed on 20 February 2016 to the Head of School / Executive Officer of the Division of Research and Commercialisation of QUT and, seperately, to the Head of School / Executive Officer of the Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support of QUT. I have until now not received a response.

    So I have until now only received two auto-replies from QUT. This implies that QUT has until now not rebutted my statement that Dr. Virginia Barbour is at the moment deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct. I have until now also not received the correspondence of COPE with publisher Taylor & Francis about the faulty paper (see my other comments in this blog post). COPE told me on 26 July 2016 that I would receive in cc this correspondence. I am thus already waiting 236 days on getting this correspondence.

    See below for the correspondence until now with QUT about the issues of Dr. Virginia Barbour.

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To: A. Pettitt; Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 9:01 PM; Subject: [Research Integrity Advisor] Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    Dear professor Pettitt, I would like to report that professor dr. Virginia Barbour is currently deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct. Please contact Dr. Barbour for the details and please forward to me the response of Dr. Barbour. Please remove ASAP Dr. Barbour from QUT in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to change her current behaviour. Thanks in advance for your co-operation and for a response. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”
    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To: RIA’s; Cc: A. Pettitt; Sent: Friday, February 12, 2016 10:08 PM; Subject: [Research Integrity Advisor] Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    Dear RIA of QUT, There is as yet no response from professor Pettitt (in cc) on my e-mail of last Tuesday to him. Also Dr. Barbour has not contacted me. I am therefore sending you a reminder. Please contact Dr. Barbour for the details and please forward to me the response of Dr. Barbour. Please remove ASAP Dr. Barbour from QUT in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to change her current behaviour and/or when Dr. Barbour is unwilling to communicate with me about the topic in the subject of this e-mail. Thanks in advance for your co-operation and for a response. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”
    “From: Bianca Capra; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Friday, February 12, 2016 10:08 PM; Subject: Automatic reply: [Research Integrity Advisor] Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    Thank-you for your email. I am on Parental leave from the 22 January until 28th November inclusive. I will only be checking my email sporadically during this period. Cheers”
    “From: Martin Sillence; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Friday, February 12, 2016 10:08 PM; Subject: Automatic reply: [Research Integrity Advisor] Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    I am currently overseas on business and leave and will have intermittent access to email while I am away. I shall attend to your email witin a few days, or soon after I return on Feb 17. If the matter is urgent please either contact the School Office on (..), or leave a message on my mobile (..) and I shall return your call as soon as possible.”
    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To: RIA’s; Cc: A. Pettitt; Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 9:05 AM; Subject: [Research Integrity Advisor] Reminder RE: Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    Dear RIA of QUT, There is as yet no response from professor Pettitt (in cc) on my e-mail of last Tuesday to him. There is as yet also no response from professor Pettitt on my reminder from last Friday to him. I only received two auto-replies. Also Dr. Barbour has not contacted me. I am therefore sending you a reminder. Please contact Dr. Barbour for the details and please forward to me the response of Dr. Barbour. Please remove ASAP Dr. Barbour from QUT in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to change her current behaviour and/or when Dr. Barbour is unwilling to communicate with me about the topic in the subject of this e-mail. I would like to thank Dr. Capra and Dr. Sillence for sending me an auto-response on my e-mail of last Friday. Both auto-responses imply that my e-mail of last Friday was received by QUT in good order. Thanks in advance for your co-operation and for a response. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”
    “From: Klaas van Dijk; To RIA’s and to the nine scientists at QUT with a Featured Profile; Cc: A. Pettitt; Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:51 AM; Subject: Reminder 3 that Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct
    Dear all, There is as yet no response on my e-mail to RIA professor Pettitt. I only received two auto-replies on reminder #1 from last Friday. There is as yet no response on reminder #2 from yesterday. I am therefore sending reminder #3. Also Dr. Barbour has not contacted me. Please contact Dr. Barbour for the details and please forward to me the response of Dr. Barbour. Please remove ASAP Dr. Barbour from QUT in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to change her current behaviour and/or when Dr. Barbour is unwilling to communicate with me about the topic in the subject of this e-mail. I would like to thank Dr. Capra and Dr. Sillence for sending me an auto-reply on my e-mail of last Friday. Both auto-replies imply that my e-mail of last Friday was received by QUT in good order. Thanks in advance for your co-operation and for a response. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”
    “From: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 10:48 AM; Subject: Dr Virginia Barbour of QUT is deeply embroiled in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct (…)

    Dear all at QUT, There is as yet no response from anyone from QUT on reminder #3, and on reminder #2, in which I report to various members of the staff at QUT that Dr. Virginia Barbour of QUT is currently deeply involved in covering up a clear case of scientific misconduct. There is also no follow-up from anyone from QUT on my e-mail to professor Pettitt, sent to him on 9 February 2016, and on a reminder (reminder #1, sent to the other RIA’s of QUT on 12 February 2016).
    Also Dr. Barbour has not responded. (…..). Part B of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research ( https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/r39.pdf ) states: “Research misconduct (…) also includes the wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others.” That’s what is going on over here. Part B of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research states as well: “Repeated or continuing breaches of this Code may also constitute research misconduct”. Please note that there have already been numerous contacts from various parties to persuade Dr. Barbour that she must change her behaviour. Until now without a result. Please remove ASAP Dr. Barbour from QUT because Dr. Barbour is deliberately engaged in a “wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others.” Please contact Dr. Barbour for the details and please forward to me the response of Dr. Barbour and please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side. Thanks in advance for your co-operation. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 12:34 PM; Subject: Formal complaint to the Division of Research and Commercialisation of QUT with serious allegations of scientific misconduct commited by Dr Virginia Barbour
    Dear reader of this e-mail, I am hereby lodging a formal complaint to the Head of School / Executive Officer of the Division of Research and Commercialisation of QUT ( https://www.qut.edu.au/about/contact/d/division-of-research-and-commercialisation and http://www.resacom.qut.edu.au/redirect-index.html ) with serious allegations of scientific misconduct committed by Dr. Virginia Barbour ( http://staff.qut.edu.au/details?id=barbourg ).

    See below [= see above] for the “revelant information” (cf 2.7.4 at http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/D/D_02_07.jsp ). Much backgrounds about the current behaviour of Dr. Babour in this case have also been posted online. See
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7DA806A8062EF9474F1A53717B9D1D#fb36200
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/1C6B56C6600F850C0320D4161278E8#fb43193
    https://forbetterscience.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/join-the-committee-ignore-publication-ethics/
    https://forbetterscience.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/frontiers-christmas-carol/
    http://scholarlyoa.com/2016/01/12/one-problem-with-the-scholarly-publishing-industry/
    http://scholarlyoa.com/2016/01/14/another-controversial-paper-from-fronters
    https://pubpeer.com/topics/1/2E91E8916236A6EE03F372E64FBBAF

    The contents of these blog posts, and the comments, are an integral part of this formal complaint against Dr. Barbour. This formal complaint against Dr. Barbour is based on item 2.7.4 at http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/D/D_02_07.jsp (and a follow-up after there was no response from any of the RIA’s).

    Please remove immediately Dr. Barbour from QUT in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to send me a rebuttal and in case Dr. Barbour is unwilling to start to work together with me to ensure that the faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warber, a paper which is loaded with fabricated data, and a comment, will be retracted, ASAP and fully in line with the guidelines of COPE.

    DISCLAIMER: I am hereby declaring that that this complaint is lodged in good faith, that this is also the case for all other e-mails from my side to Dr. Barbour, and to all other parties and/or allies of Dr. Barbour, about the ongoing issues of the faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler. I am hereby declaring that all of these e-mails from my side are 100% honest e-mails. Anyone who is claiming that I am dishonest, and/or that my behaviour is partial, and/or vexatious and/or that my statements about the paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warber are untrue / false (etc.), will first need to provide me access to the full list of requested raw research data (see https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb31538 for the full list), and will need to accept that Richard Porter and his co-workers can scrutinize this entire set of raw research data.

    Thanks in advance for sending me a response in which is stated that my formal complaint was received by the Head of School / Executive Officer of the Division of Research and Commercialisation of QUT in good order. Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”

    “From: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 12:05 PM; Subject: Formal complaint to TILS of QUT with serious allegations of scientific misconduct commited by Dr Virginia Barbour. Dear reader of this e-mail, I am hereby lodging a formal complaint to the Head of School / Executive Officer of the Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support of QUT ( https://www.qut.edu.au/about/contact/groups/division-of-technology-information-and-learning-support ) with serious allegations of scientific misconduct committed by Dr. Virginia Barbour ( http://staff.qut.edu.au/details?id=barbourg ). [………]. Thanks in advance for sending me a response in which is stated that my formal complaint was received by TILS of QUT in good order. Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side. Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”

    DISCLAIMER: I am hereby declaring that that this comment was prepared in good faith, that this is also the case for all other texts from my side about the faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler, a paper which is loaded with fabricated data. I am hereby declaring that all of these texts from my side are 100% honest texts. Anyone who is claiming that I am dishonest, and/or that my behaviour is partial, and/or vexatious and/or that my statements about the paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warber are untrue / false (etc.), will first need to provide me access to the full list of requested raw research data (see https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7#fb31538 for the full list), and will need to accept that I, Richard Porter, and all co-workers of Richard Porter are able to scrutinize this entire set of raw research data. Please don’t hesitate to contact me when there are errors and/or mistakes in texts from my side.

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  6. Copy/pasted from https://www.facebook.com/james.c.coyne (posted on 22 March 2016, readable for all):

    “Eventually I am going to have to blog about how much a waste of time it is to complain to Committee on Publication Ethics [..] concerning abuse by editors or the need to retract papers. COPE is only in the business of advising its member journals. In the end, it often ends up protecting bad behavior and bad outcomes and bad science.”

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  7. Dear Leonid,

    Adam Jacobs ( https://twitter.com/statsguyuk ) posted on 23 March 2016 a comment on the Facebook page of James Coyne (see above). “What splendid timing that I managed to restore my old blog just the other day. It means I can now point you to a blogpost I wrote some years ago about exactly the same thing. Sad to see nothing has changed.” This comment of Adam Jacobs refers to http://dianthus.co.uk/quis-custodiet-ipsos-custodes

    Some quotes from this blog post: “I had hoped that the Committee on Publication Ethics would be able to rule on the matter. Sadly not. They did agree to look at the case, but gave an utterly bizarre response. They claim that they investigate breaches of their code of conduct, but they also told me that they will not comment on the facts of the case. And apparently, without considering the facts of the case, they determined that their code had not been breached. I cannot see how they could possibly know whether their code had been breached without looking at what actually happened. Presumably they just took the journal’s word for it.”

    “In any case, as their process was conducted behind closed doors and no detailed reasons for their decision were given, how they arrived at their decision is destined to remain a mystery. For an organisation that claims to be concerned with publication ethics, of which transparency is such an important part, to have such an opaque decision making process is deeply worrying.”

    “I really cannot understand why an organisation that claims to be an authority on publication ethics feels the need to conduct their affairs with such secrecy. Doing things in secret is not good publication ethics.”

    The paper in question is Spielmans & Parry, 2010, From Evidence-based Medicine to Marketing-based Medicine: Evidence from Internal Industry Documents, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 13-29, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-010-9208-8 A letter by Adam Jacobs can be downloaded at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-010-9226-6 A response from the authors is not open access http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-010-9241-7

    Adam Jacobs also has published a paper about this issue in the journal “The Write Stuff” (volume 20, 2011, page 108-109), Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Getting away with publication misconduct: A ghostly tale, see http://dianthus.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/COPE-article-published-version.pdf

    “(….) all this assumes good faith on the part of the journal editor. What happens if that good faith is lacking? In this case, it is clear that the journal editor, Kate Cregan, had not simply been guilty of an inadvertent omission. She was perfectly aware that the article was inaccurate: even the authors of the article agreed with this. She never attempted to claim that the allegations in the article were true. But despite that, for whatever reason she may have had, she chose to let an inaccurate article remain uncorrected in her journal.”

    There is also a report with much background information about this case on the website of EMWA ( http://www.emwa.org/Documents/Resources/Shashok%20-%20Web%20Editorial.pdf ). This report (“Evading responsibility to readers and third parties: How an international bioethics journal failed to correct the record of publication”) was composed by Karen Shashok. It seems to me that this report was published in the end of 2011 (I was unable to find a date when it was published). I have no idea if there exists an update and/or if another version of this report has been published.

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  8. Dear Leonid,

    Dr. Virginia Barbour, chair of COPE, is also one of the authors of “Ten Simple Rules for Building and Maintaining a Scientific Reputation”, Philip Bourne & Virginia Barbour, published 30 June 2011,
    http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article/comments?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1002108

    See below for the text of a so-called ‘Reader Comment” on this article which I have posted today.

    “Do Not Ignore People (rule 3) and Do Not Ignore Criticism (rule 2), Posted by Klaas van Dijk on 25 Mar 2016 at 09:39 GMT. Dr. Bourne, the first author of this paper and one of the EiC’s of this journal, was informed by me for the first time on 9 October 2015 that I was at that moment unable to locate the details of the competing interests statement of Dr. Barbour. This e-mail was sent in cc to Dr. Nussinov, the other EiC of this journal, to ploscompbiol AT plos.org and to data AT plos.org. I did not receive a response. A reminder was sent to Dr. Bourne on 12 October 2015. This reminder was sent in cc to Dr. Nussinov, to ploscompbiol AT plos.org, to data AT plos.org and to plosone AT plos.org I have until now only received an auto-reply from plosone AT plos.org on my reminder (Case 04210052). Last week, I became aware that ‘PLOS Computational Biology Staff’ had posted a comment with the lacking details about the competing interests statement of Dr. Barbour. My e-mail of 9 October 2015 contained also other questions. I fail to understand why there is until now no response on my e-mail of 9 October 2015. No competing interests declared.”

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  9. Pingback: April Fools: Elsevier pledges integrity, sacks Marcus, Horton – For Better Science

  10. Dear Leonid,

    Cope is currently seeking new Council members. Copy/pasted from http://publicationethics.org/news/vacancies-cope-council :

    “Vacancies on COPE Council.
    Due to expansion of Council, we are seeking nominations for seven new Council members. We are specially seeking candidates from Mainland Europe, South America and Asia, and with expertise in any of the following areas: finance, the humanities, educational resources, membership relations or book publishing.

    COPE Council is an active, working council. Council meets three times a year; two of the meetings are held by webinar, with the other being a 3 day residential meeting incorporating subcommittee meetings and a strategy day. It is expected that all COPE Council members will attend all of these meetings. Annual seminars and workshops are held in a number of locations worldwide and it is hoped that Council Members will participate in at least one of these.

    Council is divided into subcommittees, and Council Members will be expected to join a subcommittee of interest and actively help to achieve the subcommittee’s objectives. Other general Council tasks, such as the Forum and responding to member queries, are undertaken electronically. It is anticipated that the work of Council Members should amount to about 1–2 days per month, in addition to attendance at meetings.

    Council Members will be appointed by COPE Council for 3 years, with the possibility after further election of an additional 3 years. These are voluntary unpaid positions. It is expected that your employer will cover any expenses as part of your professional development; if this is not feasible, please contact the COPE Administrator for guidance.

    In accordance with COPE’s constitution, the candidate, or the organisation they represent, must have been an ordinary member of COPE for at least 1 year.

    Candidates for Council membership will be short-listed by the nominations subcommittee. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed. Council Members shall be elected by the Full and Associate General Members with voting rights or (if the candidates are unopposed) by the approval of the Council.
    Further details, including a job description, can be found below. If you wish to apply, please contact the COPE administrator.for full details. The closing date for applications is: 15 April 2016

    COPE Council Member: role description
    Purpose of role
    • To be responsible, together with other council members, for the activities of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
    Key responsibilities
    • Attend and take a full part in meetings of Council by webinar, and attend and take full part in the annual residential meeting
    • Attend and contribute to quarterly Forum meetings by webinar
    • Take part in additional policy and advisory discussions (usually electronically).
    • Take part in subcommittees and other tasks, as agreed by Council.
    • Represent COPE externally when required to do so by Council.
    Person specification
    • Experience of scholarly publishing (in particular, gained as the editor or publisher of a peer-reviewed publication).
    • Understanding of ethical issues in scholarly publishing (eg, having published on or with experience of such matters).
    • Experience of committee work or involvement with charitable organizations.
    • Other expertise that will benefit COPE, such as writing, editing, research, publishing, producing educational resources etc. is welcomed
    • Sufficient time to commit to COPE activities, including attending meetings and contributing to the work of Council as required.”

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  11. Dear Leonid, readers of your blog might be interested to know that Dr. Mirjam Curno is listed as moderator for a session about “Handling and understanding misconduct” at the 13th EASE Conference in June 2016 in Strasbourg (France). Dr. Curno is one of the the members of the Gender Policy Committee of EASA ( http://www.ease.org.uk/about-us/organisation-and-administration/gender-policy-committee ).

    Copy/pasted from http://www.ease.org.uk/ease-events/13th-ease-conference-strasbourg-france :

    “The main theme of the 13th EASE Conference is “Scientific integrity: editors on the front line” along with many other hot topics. (….).

    Parallel sessions Sunday 12 June 2016. Handling and understanding misconduct (08:45-10:15)
    3A: Managing cases of misconduct. Moderator: Mirjam Curno, Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Council; Frontiers, Switzerland.
    On the art of whistleblowing (Christiaan Sterken)
    Navigating ethical cases: from the role of publishers to collaborating with other editors (Elizabeth Moylan).”

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  12. Dear Leonid,

    Dr. Mirjam Curno is last author of a recently published paper in the new journal ‘Research Integrity and Peer Review’ ( http://researchintegrityjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41073-016-0007-6 ). This paper was submitted on 3 November 2015 and it was published on 3 May 2016. Dr. Curno lists ‘Affiliated with Journal of the International AIDS Society’ and has declared that there were no competing interests. It seems to me that this affilation is (heavily) outdated. I am also wondering why Dr. Curno has not listed that she is currently employed by publisher Frontiers and that she is one of the Trustees of COPE.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26361171 is recent paper with Dr. Curno as first author. This paper was submitted on 16 November 2014 and it was accepted on 1 June 2015. This paper lists “Formerly International AIDS Society, Geneva, Switzerland; Frontiers, Lausanne, Switzerland” as affilation of Dr. Curno. Dr. Curno is listed as corresponding author and the PDF (open access) lists an yahoo account as contact address for Dr. Curno (“Mirjam J. Curno, PhD, Frontiers, EPFL Innovation Park, building I, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland, (e-mail …”).

    Dr. Shirin Heidari is the first author of the paper published on 3 May 2016. Dr. Heirari lists “EASE Gender Policy Committee/Reproductive Health Matters” as affiliation. Dr. Heidari is the last author of the other paper. She lists “Formerly International AIDS Society, Geneva, Switzerland; Inforia, Geneva, Switzerland” as affilation. Do you happen to have any idea about the current status of something which is called Inforia? It seems to me that http://www.inforia.org is inactive.

    Both Dr. Curno and Dr. Heidari are members of the Gender Policy Committee of EASE. Dr. Heidari is listed as chair of this Committee. Dr. Heidari is also one of the members of the council of EASE. http://www.ease.org.uk/about-us/organisation-and-administration/council-members lists “Journal of the International AIDS Society, Geneva, Switzerland” as affilation of Dr. Heidari. I was unable to locate the name of Dr. Heidari at http://www.jiasociety.org/index.php/jias/about/editorialTeam

    http://www.ease.org.uk/about-us/organisation-and-administration/gender-policy-committee lists: “Shirin Heidari, Director and Editor Reproductive Health Matters, http://www.rhmjournal.org.uk“. I was able to locate the name of Dr. Heidari at http://www.rhm-elsevier.com/content/edboard

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1889150 is another paper with Dr. Heidari as first author and with “Inforia, Geneva, Switzerland” as her affilation. This paper was published in mid 2014.

    So what’s going on over here and why do I get so much outdated and/or conflicting information about affilations?

    Like

  13. @ Dave Fernig (comment #609, March 17, 2016 at 13:33, “I recommend a thorough reading of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” (or if you are Francophone, “En attendant Godot”. You can then, like the rest of us, apply to play Estagon, as we have a lot of experience!”):

    We received on 16 June 2016 a formal response from Taylor & Francis on a request from 21 June 2015 to them to give us accces to a specific set of raw research data of the faulty paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler. Deborah Kahn, publishing director, STM journals, told us: “Like the majority of scientific journals, this one does not compel the author to provide the raw data of the research to anyone. We will not be responding to your request to provide you with this.”

    So the raw research data of this paper are not available for vetting / validating / scrutinizing / verifying etc. Our request of 21 June 2015 was a follow-up on an email of 15 June 2015 from the first author in which he told us that he refused to give us access to this set of raw research data.

    I fail to understand why we needed to wait 361 days to get this response. Several reminders had been sent to several people at TF about this issue. These reminders only yielded auto-replies (or no response at all). Deborah Kahn also stated in her e-mail: “no-one in this organisation will respond further to your emails.”

    Like

  14. Dear Leonid,

    Publisher Taylor & Francis has published yesterday (5 July 2016) a formal “Expression of Concern” which refers to the 2013-paper on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler. See http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09397140.2016.1208389

    “”We have been informed of a question of the reliability and validity of the data reported in the above work. We note that the data described in this article have not been independently verified, and we recommend that readers take this into account when reading the paper or performing further work based on this study.”

    It seems to me that this Expression of Concern is a direct result of the recent release of a thorough investigation into serious allegations of fabricated and/or falsified data in this 2013-paper and in a 2015-comment by the same authors. The report if this investigation is since 1 July 2016 in the possession of the publisher and the EiC of the journal.

    Like

    • This report of a thorough investigation into serious allegations of fabricated and/or falsified data in Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) is not confidential. Please contact me if you would like to get a copy.

      The investigation was focused on:
      (a) getting access to raw research data reportedly collected in the years 2006 and 2007 and reportedly collected for the statement “males are often polygynous (42.9%, n= 317 observed males)”;
      (b) getting reviews from experts about the allegations;
      (c) getting responses from the authors and their affiliations on preliminary versions of the investigation;
      (d): getting a good picture of the role of the three authors and their affiliations.

      The main findings of the investigation are:
      (a) the set of raw research data is unavailable. The first author refuses to release them, the last author and his affiliation have never properly responded on requests to release them. The data are also not in the possession of Taylor & Francis, the publisher, and Max Kasparek, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal;
      (b) all responses from the first and the last author and from the affiliation of the last author are invalid and/or insufficient and/or unsatisfactory;
      (c) lots of experts, including members of the editoral board of the journal, support the views of several organisations and of a large amount of ornithologists and others that the papers contain fabricated and/or falsified data;
      (d) we were unable to find experts who endorse the views of the first and of the last author that their papers are based on solid scientific data;
      (e) we were unable to locate a university in Saudi Arabia who had endorsed this study;
      (f) there is no conclusive evidence about an involvement of the second author, there is no conclusive evidence of an endorsement by the affiliation of the first author.
      .
      We have asked publisher Taylor & Francis and the EiC of the journal ZME to sent us in due time a point-by-point rebuttal (of an expert with a name and contact details in case we want to have a scientific dialogue with this expert) in case they disagree with (one or more items of) the report. We are always willing to have a scientific dialogue with anyone who is not endorsing the conclusion of this investigation. We invite all opponents to join the debate at https://pubpeer.com/publications/CBDA623DED06FB48B659B631BA69E7

      Like

      • Dear Leonid,

        See below for a slightly redacted version of an email about this topic which was sent on 15 July 2016 to Publisher Taylor & Francis.

        “From: Klaas van Dijk; To Deborah Kahn; Cc: Max Kasparek; Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 12:38 PM; Subject: Basra Reed Warbler papers in TandF journal ZME: an urgent request to sent us a formal retraction note.

        Dear Ms Kahn,

        We would like to thank you very much for your email of 16 June 2016 in which you confirm that the requested set of raw research data of a paper in a TandF journal on the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler is not available (RE: our email to Dr. Kasparek, the EiC of ZME, dated 21 June 2015, also sent in cc to members of the staff of Taylor & Francis).

        We also would like to thank you very much for your quick initial response on the outcome of our final investigation on the allegations of fabricated and/or falsified data in Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015). This report was sent on 1 July 2016 to four members of the staff of Taylor & Francis, to Dr. Kasparek and to some members of the Editorial Board of ZME, and to other interested parties. (The report is not confidential).

        Your initial response was the publication of an Expression of Concern on 5 July 2016. The core of your response is: ‘We have been informed of a question of the reliability and validity of the data reported in the above work. We note that the data described in this article have not been independently verified, and we recommend that readers take this into account when reading the paper or performing further work based on this study.’

        Our report states that you (publisher Taylor & Francis and EiC Max Kasparek) have a limited amount of time (5 days) to provide us with a point-by-point rebuttal of an expert (an expert with a name and contact details in case we want to have a scientific dialogue with this expert).

        It is right now 15 July 2016. We have not received such a point-by-point letter. We have not received another response from you. We have thus concluded that all at Taylor & Francis, in the widest possible sense, endorse the conclusion of the final investigation that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) contains fabricated and/or falsified data and that therefore Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) must be retracted. A point-by-point rebuttal was not received from Dr. Kasparek. Another response was not received from Dr. Kasparek. (Also others have not provided us with opinions / statements (of experts) with opposing views). We have thus concluded that Dr. Kasparek endorses the conclusion of the final investigation that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) contains fabricated and/or falsified data and that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) must be retracted.

        We therefore urge you to ensure that we get in due time, (a) a formal letter from the responsible Managing Editor (see attachment for an example) in which it is stated that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) will be retracted, or (b) an e-mail from Dr. Kasparek with a similar statement.

        We reiterate that we are always working within the framework of the VSNU ‘The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice’. The details can be found at http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organizat…ning-14-en.pdf and at http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organizat…teit-12-en.pdf (item 10 of the Preamble of the Code links both documents with each other).

        (…). Best wishes, Klaas van Dijk”

        Like

  15. Nicholas Collin Paul de Gloucester

    Klaas van Dijk asked: “[. . .] Anyone any idea what to do next?”

    Hast thou complained about COPE to the Charity Commission of the United Kingdom or the Charity Commission for England & Wales or a similar organisation? Hast thou considered suing COPE under charity law (to e.g. get a judge to strip it of its supposedly charitable status)? Is legal aid (lawyer paid by a state on thy behalf instead of paid by thee) available for this?

    I quote de a judgment of an ex-court case of England and Wales (that was not about charity law) referring to another ex-court case: “lawyers specialising in charity law, namely Geldards LLP.” Perhaps the lawfirm Geldards LLP could be helpful.

    Lydia Maniatis:
    “[. . .]

    I’m sure there are many such cases. How ironic that Frontiers innovative transparency policy (publishing editors’ names) should end up revealing that they are corrupting corruptible editors…”

    Identifying editors and referees by names is not innovative. The “Journal of Geophysical Research” used to do this decades ago.

    Like

  16. Nicholas Collin Paul de Gloucester

    Dear Klaas van Dijk:

    May I suggest not using
    “There is as yet no response [. . .] on my e-mail”
    and instead using
    “There is as yet no response [. . .] to my e-mail”?

    “Both auto-responses imply that my e-mail of last Friday was received by QUT in good order.”

    Learn how to command an email client to request Delivery-Status Notifications so as to have evidence that emails were delivered. (Return receipts (Message-Disposition Notifications) are also nice.)

    Regards,
    Paul Colin de Gloucester

    Like

  17. Nicholas Collin Paul de Gloucester

    Michael Pyshnov complained about immorality of “Nature” and the Committee on Publication Ethics. The first time he heard of me was via an email that I sent during November 2012. He replied to this email with:

    “[. . .]

    I looked at your comment in Nature. I wrote several times there and most of my comments were deleted, Nature
    does not allow the URL of my web site, period. I had correspondence with their editor, to no avail. My firm
    opinion is that the crooks in “sci. integrity” are everywhere. They allow all talk and comments except
    mentioning a concrete documents. This mary-go-round is going on for decades.

    I believe that looking for the answers in official places is a mistake. Writing to people in official positions
    is a mistake. There is, first, a need to open a forum for whistleblowers in Sci.Integrity or better in
    Sci.Fraud. This forum should not publish theoretical “research” on research integrity, but publish DOCUMENTS OF
    INDIVIDUAL CASES. It can be called this: Science Misconduct/Fraud Individual Cases or:
    ScienceMisconduct/Whistleblowers or something similar. The problem is that there is no any pressure unless such
    documents collected in a forum. Again, officials will only answer to such collection of documents that also
    will show that currently official reaction is a sham. Enough begging.

    Michael”

    I had not referred to “Nature” in this email that first made him aware of me. I infer that he searched the Internet for me and found an online message by me on Nature(.com).

    On a webpage he reported:
    “Correspondence with the
    Committee on Publication Ethics
    I wish everyone who is worried by the growing fraud in scientific research and publications will understand the following correspondence. Such documents are rarely, if at all, made public. It is important to understand how scoundrels in the industry of “ethics and integrity” are perverting and falsifying academic law to cover up the fraud of the scoundrels in scientific laboratories and scientific journals. To make clear some points that may escape the attention of readers, I give my comments, following the emails, and, my general remarks at the end.

    [. . .]”

    Like

  18. Nicholas Collin Paul de Gloucester wrote on July 22, 2016 at 18:06: “Learn how to command an email client to request Delivery-Status Notifications so as to have evidence that emails were delivered. (Return receipts (Message-Disposition Notifications) are also nice.)”

    Thanks alot for your recommendation.

    Deborah Kahn, a high-ranked employee of publisher Taylor & Francis, wrote to me on 16 June 2016: “no-one in this organisation will respond further to your emails.” (see my comment #1614, posted July 6, 2016 at 11:11). It seems therefore that all at publisher Taylor & Francis are at the moment unwilling to sent me ‘Delivery-Status Notifications’ and/or ‘Message-Disposition Notifications’.

    My email of 15 July 2016 to Deborah Kahn (see my comment #1762, posted July 19, 2016 at 10:16) was therefore also sent to some other employees of publisher Taylor & Francis. Three auto-replies show that my email of 15 July 2016 was received by publisher Taylor & Francis in good order.

    “From: Barbara Costello; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 12:40 PM; Subject: Automatic reply: Basra Reed Warbler papers in TandF journal ZME: an urgent request to sent us a formal retraction note. Thank you for your email. I have left for the day, back in the office Tuesday 19th July, I will respond to your email on my return. Please note my working hours are Monday-Thursday, 9am to 2pm.”
    “From: Ailsa Marks; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 12:40 PM; Subject: Automatic reply: Basra Reed Warbler papers in TandF journal ZME: an urgent request to sent us a formal retraction note. Thank you for your email, I am out of the office attending conferences between 6th July to 22nd July, with intermittent access to emails. During the period 11th – 15th July I will be on annual leave with no access to emails. If you have an urgent query or need further assistance please contact Helen Brown on [redacted].”
    “From: Ashlynne Merrifield; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 12:40 PM; Subject: Automatic reply: Basra Reed Warbler papers in TandF journal ZME: an urgent request to sent us a formal retraction note. Many thanks for your email. I am currently out of the office with no access to email. I will get back to you as soon as possible when I return to the office on Monday 18th July. Best wishes, Ashlynne.”

    The name Barbara Costello was derived from an auto-reply of Deborah Kahn: “From: Deborah Kahn; To: Klaas van Dijk; Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2016 10:41 AM; Subject: Automatic reply: On the persistent refusal of Taylor and Francis to retract a paper about the breeding biology of the Basra Reed Warbler which is loaded with fabricated data. Thank you for your email. I am away on leave until 31st May and will not be checking email regularly. I will respond on my return. If your message is urgent, please contact Barbara Costello [redacted] who will direct it to someone who can respond.”

    The name Ailsa Marks was derived from an email from the EiC of the journal, Dr. Max Kasparek: “From: Max Kasparek; To: Klaas van Dijk; Cc: Ailsa Marks; Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 6:40 PM; Subject: AW: serious concerns on the credibility of data on Basra Reed Warblers in two recent ZME papers.” The name Ashlynne Merrifield was also derived from an email of Dr. Kasparek: “From: Max Kasparek; To: Richard Porter; Cc: Ashlynne Merrifield; Date: 19 February 2016 at 10:04:23 GMT; Subject: Basra Reed Warbler”.

    I have until now not received other responses from publisher Taylor & Francis on my email of 15 July 2016. Please don’t hesitate to make more comments on the contents of my emails.

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  19. Deborah Kahn is the publishing director STM journals at publisher Taylor & Francis. She is also chair of the Ethics Committee for the whole of Taylor & Francis journals.

    Deborah Kahn has sent on 22 April 2016 an application letter to COPE in which she has asked COPE to get listed as one of the candidates to get elected as one of the new members of the Council of COPE. Attached to this letter is an extensive CV. COPE has decided that Deborah Kahn fulfilled the criteria to get elected. She was therefore put on a list of 13 candidates on which members of COPE could vote to get elected. There were in total 8 vacancies. Voting was open until 17 June 2016. Deborah Kahn was one of the eight persons who got elected.

    Seven of the eight elected candidates are already installed as new members of the Council of COPE. The installation of Deborah Kahn is at the moment ‘on hold’. COPE published on 7 July 2016 (10.22am) a statement about Deborah Kahn ( http://publicationethics.org/news/results-cope-council-election ):

    “Deborah Kahn applied to be a member of COPE Council and has been elected by the General Membership. However, Deborah will not be taking up her position until an ongoing case involving Taylor & Francis has been resolved.”

    I am hereby urging Deborah Kahn to ensure that we receive within the shortest possible period of time a formal retraction note from a Managing Editor at Taylor & Francis in which it is stated that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) contain fabricated and/or falsified data and that therefore Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) will be retracted.

    I note that until today no one has challenged the findings of the Final Investigation that Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015) contain fabricated and/or falsified data. I reiterate that this Final Investigation has been sent to publisher Taylor & Francis on Friday 1 July 2016.

    Like

  20. The contents of the url http://publicationethics.org/news/results-cope-council-election is not anymore accessible for non-members of COPE. The statement about Deborah Kahn is however also accessible through http://publicationethics.org/cope-newsletter/2016/jul/cope-digest-publication-ethics-practice-july-2016-vol-4-issue-7

    “Deborah Kahn (Editorial Director, Taylor & Francis, UK) applied to be a member of COPE Council and has been elected by the General Membership. However, Deborah will not be taking up her position until an ongoing case involving Taylor & Francis has been resolved.”

    Deborah Kahn has not yet been installed as member of the Council of COPE ( http://publicationethics.org/about/council ). The faulty papers (Al-Sheikhly et al. 2013, 2015) in a Taylor & Francis journal have not yet been retracted ( http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tzme20/59/2 ).

    Guy Kirwan is one of the 14 authors of a comment and a rejoinder on Al-Sheikhly et al. (2013, 2015), see http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09397140.2015.1023424 and http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09397140.2015.1023426 Guy Kirwan wrote on 8 May 2015 in a thread about the this topic on http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=303435 :

    “Unfortunately, those responsible for the publication of the Basra Reed Warbler paper appear to value truth in science less than some other journal publishers.”

    Like

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