Thursday, May 07, 2009

I guess this is the week for "Peer Review"

So it was more than just the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine. The Scientist is now reporting that a total of 7 different such "journals" existed in the early part of this decade, all sponsored by corporate entities, all starting with "Austalasian...". The sponsors are not named, but I suspect that it won't take much detective work to ferret them out. After all, the point of these articles is to use them as a reference, so I'm sure somebody has a copy or two hanging around their office.

What are the long-term ramifications of this? What can be done to prevent this in the future? I wish I knew. I gave the FDA a brow beating the other day for their minimal standards in the use of publication as sales literature, but they certainly set the bar high enough to not allow this stuff through. A boycott of the publisher would be of dubious value.

A letter to the editor? Their website has a feedback option. Take advantage of it. In a time when the line between news/entertainment/opinion is being blurred in the popular media, having a scandal like this in scientific media is horrific.

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