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意得輯觀點 Editage Insights - Stolen identities? What authors can learn from the case of SAGE's mass retraction
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SAGE撤稿事件帶來的啟示

發表研究論文於高影響因子國際期刊對學者與研究人員的重要性日益增加,莫怪乎有人會使出各種手段以達成發表的目的。其中一個不正當手段是付錢讓自己可以掛名成為作者。2014年7月初,知名期刊發表集團SAGE撤銷了60篇發表於the Journal of Vibration and Control的文章,此消息一出全球譁然,也揭露出了另一種不正當發表手段 – 利用偽造身份操縱同儕審閱結果 – 一個偽造身份代表一位同儕審閱員,他們提供對論文有利的意見,推薦刊登發表該研究。部落格Retraction Watch率先披露這個事件,此篇文章被數個有影響力的出版業者刊登包括華盛頓郵報,報導指出130個偽造身份幫助許多稿件順利通過同儕審閱並成功發表。其中一個案例是作者利用偽造身份審閱自己的論文。



SAGE事件調查工作仍持續進行中,這次事件提醒了研究人員,您的研究身份如姓名和研究單位有可能在不知情的情況下被冒用。以下三個方法或許可以幫助您避免遭遇研究身份被冒用的風險:

  • 雖然感覺起來有點虛榮,但最好定時在網路上搜索自己的名字和單位,看看搜索結果中沒有可疑的部分,比如說您看到自己的名字被列在期刊的審稿人名單中(有些期刊會公開年度審稿人姓名以表示感謝)。
  • 將自己的名字設成 Google Alert 的提醒關鍵字
  • 雖然論文被引用是件值得高興的事,但最好查看一下什麼論文引用了您的文章,因為有些作者會拿己經發表的數據進行一些修改,然後用在自己的論文裡發表。


Contributors
Stolen identities? What authors can learn from the case of SAGE's mass retraction

As publishing a paper in journals with a Thompson-Reuter impact factor becomes increasingly important for academics and researchers, it should come as no surprise that they will go to any length to publish. One such means that has come to the fore in prior scandals is paying to have one’s name appear as one of the authors of a paper. The recent announcement by a major publisher, SAGE, that it is retracting as many as 60 papers in one go that appeared in the Journal of Vibration and Control, has exposed yet another unethical means to easy publication - rigging the review process using false identities. These fake names represent independent reviewers who can be guaranteed to provide a favourable review, recommending publication. The blog Retraction Watch broke the story, which was picked up by several influential publications including The Washington Post, which reports that the ring involved ‘up to 130 [such fake identities] in an apparently successful effort to get friendly reviews of submissions and as many articles published as possible’. In one case, the author reviewed that paper himself using a false identity he had created earlier. The Education Minister of taiwan, Chiang Wei-ling, has resigned in the wake of the scandal, as his name appears on several of the retracted papers.


Regardless of how further investigations proceed, the SAGE case highlights the need for academics to be alert, because in some instances real names and real institutions were used without the knowledge of the scientists thus impersonated. Here are a couple of tips that may help you avoid such situations:

  • Although it may be seen as vanity, it is better to run a search with your name and that of your institution once in a while to see what turns up: for all you know, you may see your name featured as a reviewer (some journals publicly thank their reviewers by publishing the names of all those who reviewed for that journal in a given year).
  • You could even set up a Google Alert with your name as a search term.
  • Although it is good to see your paper being cited, make it a point to look up the citing paper. This is all the more important because there have been cases of authors taking published data, making minor modifications, and using the data to publish a different paper.


Contributors