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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who's Afraid of Peer Review?

By John Bohannon
Science 4 October 2013:
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 60-65
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.60

On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.

In fact, it should have been promptly rejected. Any reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted the paper's short-comings immediately. Its experiments are so hopelessly flawed that the results are meaningless.

I know because I wrote the paper.

The entire story is here.
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