Frontiers is a somewhat unconventional open access publisher, which likes to have it both ways: playing scientific elite while accepting almost anything from paying customers. My regular contributor Smut Clyde will tell you below how some anti-vaccine scare-mongers managed to sneak in some rather dangerous works thanks to Frontiers’ unofficial “we don’t judge, we just charge” quasi-policy.
The last act of the Ashutosh Tiwari travesty at Linköping University (LiU) in Sweden took place. Tiwari, the fake professor and master of predatory conferences, tripped only over his vanity of gift co-authorship on 3 papers by his Allahabad mate Prashant Sharma, a shameless nanotechnology data faker with presently 26 retractions.
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”. Updates at the end of this article supply evidence that not only Frontiers did advise Smits on Plan S from spring 2018 on, they were the only stakeholder to do so.
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.
A new Open Letter against Plan S appeared on the internet. Presently over 600 scientists are protesting against what they see as a bit totalitarian Open Access initiative by Robert-Jan Smits and his partners from Science Europe. Among the Open Letter signatories are many early career researchers and tenured academics, including two Nobelists.
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
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).
This is a story of a plant scientist in France, Steffen Reinbothe. He and his sister Christiane used to hold academic positions in Germany, but now they both returned to France, to Grenoble. The move might have had to do with a dossier from 2009, made by a former lab member and circulated among peers.
Whatever concerns any peers might have had: Steffen and Christiane Reinbothe could rely on the “contributed” track at PNAS.
This is Appeal by several European scientists protesting against Plan S, recently revealed by the EU and a coalition of European research funders. Lynn Kamerlin and her coauthors worry that Plan S will deprive them of quality journal venues and of international collaborative opportunities, while disadvantaging scientists whose research budgets preclude paying and playing in this OA league. They offer instead their own suggestions how to implement Open Science.
Elite journal Nature Cell Biology (NCB) requests deposition of raw data, in particular original scans of western blots and other gel analyses. Spanish star cancer researcher Carlos López-Otín, winner of 2017 Nature Mentoring Award, instead deposited whatever odd gel picture his lab had available, counting that nobody will bother to check. Yet readers did.