Scientific integrity matters! Fabricated peer reviewers lead to 60 retractions.
Thanks to The Week‘s report, I was alerted to the 60 retracted articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control. The explanation and list of retracted papers is here. More saucy details can be found here.
Kudos to the Editor-in-Chief Ali H. Nayfeh and SAGE for carrying out the investigation and retracting the papers. This episode demonstrates the commitment that the Editorial Boards and publishers of many scientific journals have to integrity.
The retraction notice:
In 2013 the Editor of Journal of Vibration and Control and SAGE became aware of a peer review ring involving assumed and fabricated identities that appeared to centre around Peter Chen at National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan (NPUE). SAGE and the Editor then began a complex investigation into the case during the rest of 2013 and 2014. Following an unsatisfactory response from Peter Chen, NPUE was notified.
NPUE were serious in addressing the Journal and SAGE’s concerns. NPUE confirmed that the institution was investigating Peter Chen. SAGE subsequently uncovered a citation ring involving the above mentioned author and others.
We regret that individual authors have compromised the academic record by perverting the peer review process and apologise to readers. On uncovering problems with peer review and citation SAGE immediately put steps in place to avoid similar vulnerability of the Journal to exploitation in the future. More information may be found at www.sagepub.co.uk/JVC_Statement_2014.
The Journal and SAGE understand from NPUE that Peter Chen has resigned his post at NPUE.
The following articles are retracted because after thorough investigation evidence points towards them having at least one author or being reviewed by at least one reviewer who has been implicated in the peer review ring and/or citation ring. All authors have had an opportunity to respond to the allegations and proposed actions.