Academic journals accepted fake study: Report



QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

There is an "emerging Wild West" in academic publishing and open-access journals might not always offer the most accurate information, an investigation by Science magazine journalist John Bohannon has found.

Bohannon admitted in a story Friday he wrote a paper under the pseudonym Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara, Eritrea, and over a 10-month period, sent 304 versions of it to open-access journals.

He noted many of the journals said studies are peer-reviewed, and they also require a fee from the author if a study is accepted for publication.

Despite the fact the study was made up, and neither Cobange nor the Wassee Institute of Medicine exist, the paper was accepted by half of the journals, his investigation found.

He said after a paper was accepted, he would contact the editor to explain he had discovered "an embarrassing mistake" in the study which "invalidates the conclusions" and would withdraw the paper.