Mass retractions after fake peer reviews

Dozens more journal articles from open access publisher BioMed Central (BMC) have now been retracted as part of an ongoing investigation launched late last year into a deliberate scheme to deceive journals.

“The apparent intention was to deceive editors and positively influence the outcome of peer review by suggesting fabricated reviewers,” said Elizabeth Moylan, BioMed Central’s senior editor for research integrity, in a recent blog post.

“Although we originally found only a handful of affected published articles, a subsequent extensive and systematic search of all of our journals identified 43 articles that were published on the basis of reviews from fabricated reviewers.”

This brings the total to around 170, according to Retraction Watch, a blog which tracks retractions in the scientific literature.

In their “systematic and thorough” investigation, BMC found suggestions that third party