Dodgy Science Journals & Dodgy Science Conferences 15/5/2013
- The Learn Something Useful Everyday Blog
Intro - I came across the phenomennom of people in Turkey using dodgy journals & conferences in a similar way to people embellishing their CVs.
- Truth is important to the scientific process
- so EXPOSING the phenomenom of dodgy journals/conferences IS IMPORTANT

- (I do believe that there are such things as ULTIMATE TRUTHS and that PROPER scientific process is great cos it helps us get to them.
- Today that process is far from perfect, but phenomenom of dodgy journals/conferences damages science, slowing it down like putting sawdust in the mechanism.

- Even though people think that being published in a PROPER peer reviewed journal PROVES your conclusions to be true, that is only a start in the journey towards ULTIMATE TRUTH. There are enough problems with that PROPER process as it is :

1. The things Ioannidis exposes in his paper "Why Most Published Research Findings are False *" My notes

2. Peer review actually often being pal-review ("we know that guy, cos he reviews our papers so his systems must be fine") and there.

3. And That bloggers often pick up errors that peer reviewers failed to spot.

* Ioannidis

Sample Case

- Most people would be impressed if someone told them they had published an article in journal. But to me that's no big deal, cos JPA Ioannidis shows that 90% of published science papers don't stand up.

- Through a friend I met such a person Then when he said "they wanted him to be on the editorial board" , I changed level from not being over-impressed to being suspicious. "Sounds like the kind of thing a 'pay to publish' journal would do"
- So when I Google and find your blog lists his journal publisher as suspect.

- BUT It turns out that, he is also playing a game .. People use it like an others use an embellished" CV to get a job. If they publish a paper it in a journal he can impress the boss so they get job security and the possibility of a pay rise.

- And in a lot of countries it is difficult to get into a job in a university etc. So getting some papers published in these suspect journals will help. In Turkey getting published is important, because the Turkish government will pay people a bonus (maybe only university fellows).. wisely the Turkish government only only pays for papers which are published in Citation Index, publishing in suspect journals does not count.

CCSE Canadian Center of Science and Education
oriental chemistry mag - carried plagiarised article

CENTER is not spelled that way in Canada it is always spelled the British way CENTRE ..that is why that publisher seems to be top of the search results
- blog post shows old office was a shopping centre Speaking of apartments in far-away countries, I got some spam today from the "Canadian Center of Science and Education". Naturally I had never heard of the "journal" they wanted me to submit to, and in any event I'll submit my work to journals I already know thank you very much.

QUOTE " I was however almost tempted to give it a small amount of consideration for being based in Canada instead of India. But digging beyond the first few pages of google results, I found this and some other hits that made clear what sort of organization this is. " published by the Canadian Centre of Science and Education Canadian Newspaper writes about published by the Canadian Centre of Science and Education
- read the comments one seems copying CCSES idea says new Quebec one CSCanada is maybe connected nrw 2013 one appeats to be a copy ?

Other Notes
- Oriental Journal of Chemistry : carried
1. plagiarised article ...
2. Another plagiarised article

- This explains FREE means not free they tell people they have to pay for corrections

an article about fake impact factors

This an old list but provides a good example of whats happening dead link
- so does this

Dodgy Conferences Aswell
- I saw how an easy way to get published is to give your paper at an acadaemic conference, as it will get published in the conference proceedings. Someone presented at a conference in the USA
- "did a lot of American scientists ask you questions ?",
- "Well it was a poster presentation there were about 50 of us each standing in front on their own poster in the exhibition".
.... Well that hardly fits my definiton of presenting your paper at a scientific conference.

- So it is a case of dodgy journals & conferences being used like embellished" CVs.

BACKGROUND
- The phenomenon of dodgy science journals as highlighted by Jeffrey Beall & the phenomenon of dodgy science conferences as highlighted by Murat Eren The Turkish scientist.

EXPERT 1 : Jeffrey Beall

- a librarian at University of Colarado Jeffrey.Beall(at)ucdenver.edu his blog
- He explains in : Nature magazine
- The Scientist Magazine

- his FB page
his blog is called "Scholarly open access" @Jeffrey_Beall, G+
He is librarıan at University of Colarado
the list originates in a journal article Beall, Jeffrey Update: Predatory Open-Access Scholarly Publishers. The Charleston Advisor., 2010, vol. 12, n. 1, p. 50. [Journal Article (Print/Paginated)]

PROBLEM HIS BLOG APPEARS UNPROFESSIONAL
Someone questions Beall but then accepts
interviewed
- you'll notice he gets attacked in the COMMENTS section, but this too could be fake as well as one scientist writes in his blog
opening up a whole lot of other posts e.g.
post 1
post 2 etc

EXPERT 2 : Murat Eren

Murat Eren meren(at)mbl.edu The Turkish scientist who warned about Science Conferences which were also suspicious
- published in Turkish newspapers
- example 2 - translated
He writes 2 times in English in the comments section of this page

- This article is the best summary of the dodgy journals stuff

He wrote : "Unfortunately scientific integrity is something extremely rare in Turkey".

Murat's New Report

- He has recently published a report about The Tolerance of Poor Ethics at Turkish Universities (Turkish Version ).

- I note that report didn't cover the 2 topics I am interested in Dodgy Science Journals and Dodgy Science Conferences too much except in passing, which he has covered in his articles in Turkish newspapers and, which have not yet been translated.
- However since his report highlights a culture of ignoring unethical practices I summarize it below :

- It mainly focuses on bad-behaviour in the submitting of PhD theses. Documenting problems like :
1. PhD Students and Advisors Conspiring to Break rules
2. Cover Up ? It is Difficult to Access Theses Published in Turkey
3. Get away with it. There's No Clear Reaction to Scientific Theft in Turkey

- In PhD Rule-breakers :
1. students theses sometimes contained plagiarised parts from outside sources or from other students (even sometimes in the same year, same course !)
2. sometimes 2 theses would be basically the same (perhaps showing that 2 students were cooperating on the same project)
3. That some of the same PhD advisers who obviously knew about those problems had also sometimes participated themselves in other unethical practices e.g. submitted plagiarised articles to Science journals, published papers in journals they themselves edited, organised dodgy conferences
- The common theme is that even though caught read handed, all the PhD advisors seem to continue in their jobs.

- In Cover Up : He shows that, cos only PhDs after 2006 are kept online, and cos you have the right to keep some material off the record.. people can steal from older theses and it 's quite difficult to prove. Also if today some academics malpractice come to light it is often impossible to go bad and check their pre-2006 theseis, cos of bureaucratic obstactles thrown in the way.

- In getting away with it : He mentions 2 BIG cases : the 65 plagiarized papers case from 2005 and Bengü Sezen being stripped of a Columbia University PhD due to massive fabrication around 2000-7; yet almost all parties are now happily working at Turkish universities seemingly unpunished AND that just is not the way it happens in other countries where instead the offenders are disgraced and punished..
- Both exisiting regulations & the call to action by the State Auditing Board are IGNORED

He concludes by warning that this tolerance of unethical practices is perpetuated as todays's "let-off" students, become tomorrow's professors.

- I thank Murat for making me think about the picture and that ethical problems such as Dodgy Science Journals and Dodgy Science Conferences are symptomatic of a wider problems of negative pressures against ethics in the world of academia. we are all slaves of to own cultural contexts
.. and that in todays university world there are a number of negative forces .. and perhaps in Turkey where there are other cultural dynamics like a non-tradition of openess and a disfunctional legal system then these negatives forces may be stronger. However I have seen positive forces like people who care about ethics & who don't want to give students easy passes etc.

- He concludes with a call for action. I second that : This bad practice or cheating devalues the other PhDs awarded in Turkey and so it hurts legitimate students and the good name of Turkish Universities.

- An Extra Page Perhaps Symptoms of Inherent Problems With The University System ?

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a Stew Green opinion
Out of the box thinking
- from someone who was never in the box in the first place

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