OMICS Journal Publishes Pseudo-Science Vaccine Paper

OMICS Pseudo-science

Pseudo-science

OMICS Publishing Group has once again provided evidence that it is merely a scholarly vanity press. OMICS just published a paper entitled,

“Prevalence of Autism is Positively Associated with the Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes, but Negatively Associated with the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, Implication for the Etiology of the Autism Epidemic”

The paper is available here [PDF] and is published in volume 2, number 3 of the OMICS journal Open Access Scientific Reports.

The article is reviewed in the blog SkewedDistribution, whose anonymous author claims to be a university epidemiologist. A recent post in the blog completely trashes the article.

The blog post is entitled, “More ‘proof’ that vaccines cause autism? Seriously. This paper sucks.”

The blogger begins by saying:

Today I would like to walk you through the latest steaming turd of a “study” being bandied about by the anti-vaxxers, which they tout as the holy grail: an allegedly peer-reviewed article showing that vaccines unquestionably cause autism. The paper is written by one John B. Classen, and is such a horrific pile of non-science that it is hard to know where to begin a critique.

The author goes on to tear apart the paper’s methodology and finds that the paper’s conclusions are not supported by the data the paper presents.

In concluding, the blogger states,

Thus, we have a gentleman [the paper's author] who potentially stands to profit directly from sowing fear of vaccinations. This type of person generally stimulates cries of “Pharma Shill!” from the anti-vaxxers, yet for some reason he has been accepted into the warm, yet stupid, embrace of the anti-vax community.

It’s likely that no honest, quality, peer-reviewed journal would ever publish such an article, so that’s why the author probably chose OMICS as the publisher.

In my opinion, honest and conscientious scholars should not submit their work to any of OMICS’ many journals. No scholar wants his work to appear in the same journal that publishes pseudo-science. Publishing such rubbish devalues all the other papers in the journal.

5 Responses to OMICS Journal Publishes Pseudo-Science Vaccine Paper

  1. Yurii says:

    Actually the name of the authors is rather notorious in the field. At your leisure do read the following link and links therein. At some point the author of this paper sued a number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies (I think the idea was to do it in alphabetical order) for an alleged patent infringement in a classic case of “patent trolling”.

    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/glaxosmithkline-v-classen-immunotherapies-inc/

    and here

    http://about.bloomberglaw.com/law-reports/solicitor-general-recommends-cert-denial-in-hatch-waxman-safe-harbor-patent-case-2/

    The authors of the manuscript published a number of “studies” in so-called peer-reviewed journals on the subject, and, unfortunately these reports has been republished with no critical analysis in mainstream media, eg The Wall Street Journal.

    The research activities of the authors were extensively discussed in
    “Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All”
    By Paul A. Offit, which I believe is available on googlebooks.

  2. Gayle says:

    On reading the article one can only say OMG, there is no science at all here correlating Diabetes 1 or 2 to autism, only loose data! Bizarre!

  3. Thanks for this post. The article really is garbage; there is just no other way to say it.

  4. Jill says:

    Thank you so much for this post, since I receive an email from an OMICS journal about once a week. And thanks Yurii for the background information. I am forwading this post to my fellow biology instructors.

  5. Wayne Dawson says:

    Having been one who chose to publish a work in one of the OMICS journals, this adds further disappointment. Whoever is in charge of responding to complaints and requests for corrections always seems to be sound asleep at OMICS.

    Still, each journal has different editors. Not all these people are bad. Some of the editors on their editorial boards have published good work. As an author, I certainly have confidence in my own work that was published there. As Benjamin Franklin said of his work to an editor “If my hypothesis is not the truth, it is at least naked; for I have not with some of our learned moderns disguis’d my nonsense in Greek, cloth’d it in algebra or adorned it with fluxions.” I stand by that, though my work does have Greek symbols, algebra and derivatives (fluxon notation is still used for time derivatives in mechanics but the more common notation is the one developed by Liebnez).

    On the published work mentioned in this blog, it is odd that an editor would agree to pass this without much serious scrutiny. The title might have jargogled (hoodwinked) the editor, but the citation list (aside from some compendiums) consists of nearly half self references. It is fair for an author to cite his/her own work. However, just on the face of it, a red flag should have popped up when the editor looked at the citation list and noticed that the author does not cite any opponents (or differing views) and the other citations are only distantly related. On such a controversial topic, there should be some comment about opposing views and why the author disagrees. Moreover, it is hard to see how Google scholar would dig up these facts and only this one individual has somehow stumbled on this amazing (internet) finding. Maybe, but really? Hence, the editor doesn’t have to know the details of the subject matter to question whether this might be the work of a crank. These are some things that I can see right away even not being an expert on the subject matter itself.

    If the editor wanted to permit alternative views, it would have been better to say so somewhere.

    One must keep in mind always that caveat emptor applies to all articles in all journals, whether that is OMICS or Nature or Science. It is still the job of the reader to decide for himself/herself which works contain gold and which are dross. In other words, no journal is dross free.

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