Stings, Hoaxes and Irony Breach the Trust Inherent in Scientific Publishing
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- Al-Khatib, A. & da Silva, J.A.T. Pub Res Q (2016) 32: 208. doi:10.1007/s12109-016-9473-4
Trust has traditionally been a cornerstone of traditional science publishing. However, events over the past few years, an increase in the number of retractions and the fortification of the vigilant science movement, coupled with better tools to detect and report or publicize misconduct and/or errors in the literature, has revealed that this pillar of trust has in fact not always been present, or has been severely abused or compromised. Further disintegration in the integrity of academic publishing by no or almost non-existent peer review in so-called “predatory” open access publishers has given reason to increasingly distrust the accuracy of the published academic record. Finally, a topic that tends to invoke mixed reactions, but which we feel adds to the overall level of mistrust and erosion of ethical values in science publishing, is the use of stings, hoaxes and irony academic journals. We focus on six such cases, providing a rationale why such studies undermine trust and integrity and why such bogus publications are best left to blogs or non-academic forms of publishing science-related topics.