Medical Writing Medical Education Peer review fraud

Volume 25, Issue 4 - Medical Education

Peer review fraud


The hijacking of peer review by authors who create false referee profiles in order to deliver favourable reviews of their own work has received prominent recent coverage in several leading journals. At the time of writing, over 300 articles had been retracted by affected publishers, including the likes of Elsevier, Springer, and SAGE.


  1. Ferguson C, Marcus A, Oransky I. Publishing: The peer-review scam. Nature. 2014;515(7528):480-2.
  2. Haug CJ. Peer-review fraud—Hacking the scientific publication process. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(25):2393-5.
  3. McCook A. Retraction Watch. What pub - lishers and countries do most retractions for fake peer review come from? 2016 [cited 2016 Oct 12]. Available from:
  4. Cohen A, Pattanaik S, Kumar P, Bies RR, de Boer A, Ferro A, et al. Organised crime against the academic peer review system. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;81(6):1012-7.
  5. Lv MY, Deng SL, Long XF. Retraction. rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in-hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta-analysis. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;81(1):174-85.
  6. No authors listed. Retraction: ‘rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in-hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a metaanalysis’ by Ming-Yi Lv, Shu-Ling Deng and Xiao-Feng Long. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;81(5):1005.
  7. Wager E, Barbour V, Yentis S, Kleinert S, on behalf of COPE Council. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Guidelines for retracting articles. 2009 [cited 2016 Oct 12]. Available from:



Medical Education
President's Message
Writing for mixed-media training programmes
Lessons from building an accredited medical conference: Design and delivery
Medical education in a medcomms agency
Patient education in clinical trials and throughout the product lifecycle
Writing, publishing, and disseminating a medical review
CME in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt and the development of multiple choice questions for medical educational purposes
Covering a medical advisory board meeting and creating the report or publication: The role of the professional medical writer
Peer review fraud
News from the EMA
Journal Watch
In The Bookstores
The Webscout
Good Writing Practice
Medical Communications
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Profile: An Interview with the organisers of the first Internship Forum
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