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The Science hoax: poor journalology reflects poor training in peer review

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 13 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7465
  1. Rajeev Kumar, additional professor, department of urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 110029, India
  1. rajeev02{at}

Rather than corruption, it is lack of training that leads to unpaid journal editors and reviewers publishing bad science, argues Rajeev Kumar, in response to the finding by the journal Science that many open access journals were keen to publish a hoax paper

Nothing gets an Indian more agitated than criticism in the foreign press. This might be true of other nationalities too, but I wouldn’t know because I have always been Indian. The immediate reaction is to assume discrimination, of being unfairly singled out. The recent publication in the journal Science of a sting operation on open access journals is a case in point.1 2 For the article, the journalist John Bohannon sent a spoof medical paper full of flaws to 304 open access journals.

In all, 157 journals sent acceptance letters, representing a wide range of publishers in many different countries. But the author chose to name the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals as …

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