Clueless Reporter from the Mirror Bases Story on Withdrawn OMICS Publishing Group Article



An article in the website of the British newspaper the Mirror is based on an apparently withdrawn article published earlier in the OMICS Publishing Group’s journal Epidemiology: Open Access.

The article, “Miscarriages and Congenital Conditions in Offspring of Veterans of the British Nuclear Atmospheric Test Programme,” was authored by British anti-nuclear activist Christopher Busby and one other person.

Epidemiology: Open Access

A sick journal.

While a page for the article still exists at the journal’s website, the PDF is currently unavailable there. However, the article is available on someone’s Google Drive. [Update, 2015-01-25: A version of the article is now available on the OMICS website].

OMICS Publishing Group, based in Hyderabad, India, is included on my list of questionable open-access publishers. I think it is essentially a scholarly vanity press, a vanity press that also entraps authors.

I regularly receive reports that the publisher quickly accepts submitted manuscripts without subjecting them to any peer review and then demands payments of several thousand dollars from the victimized authors.

Clueless Reporter

A newspaper report apparently on Busby’s paper appeared on the Mirror website on October 18, 2014. Entitled, “Britain’s nuclear test veterans ARE the victims of a genetic curse, new research reveals,” the story was written by Susie Boniface.

Referring to Busby’s paper, Boniface reports,

Research – first reported by the Sunday Mirror in 2007 – which shows that their offspring have 10 times the normal rate of birth defects has finally been accepted by the scientific community.

Boniface is naively claiming that the now-missing paper that briefly appeared in an OMICS Publishing Group journal indicates acceptance “by the scientific community.”

It is common for activists seeking to influence science to exploit the vanity press nature of predatory journals to publish their pseudoscientific ideas. Upon publication, they often try to shop the scholarly articles around to various media outlets, hoping for coverage.

In this case, the strategy worked successfully.

Despite the disappearance of the article from the OMICS journal, the poorly-sourced story still appears on the newspaper’s website.

This video examines some of Busby’s recent work:

7 Responses to Clueless Reporter from the Mirror Bases Story on Withdrawn OMICS Publishing Group Article

  1. OMICS - made in India says:

    Maybe now the UK Government will wake up and start to crack down on “start-ups” in OA publishing in the UK, many of which are started by foreign nationals (particularly of Indian, Bangladeshi, and Iranian descent). When will governments start to appreciate that fake, pseudo and nonsense science published in such journals which aim to pump out as such rubbish as possible with no quality control, pose a real danger to society? Until now, the risks highlighted on this blog and at Retraction Watch have focused almost exclusively on the impact on science, but now we are seeing wider effects, such as the corruption of Google Scholar, “reputable” data-bases, like those owned by Thomson Reuters and Elsevier, and now the reliance of “journalists” on information which – under their apparent professional judgment – is sound and “accepted by the scientific community.” In the space of only a few years, the corrupted OA community has been able to put to shame potentially decades or even centuries of dedicated work by traditional print STM publishers. How can we fix this plague? When will the Indian government react to the predatory OA publishers emerging from Hyderabad? When will the Canadian government react to CSSE? When will the US government react to the predatory OA publishers that use hubs like Delaware to set up a pseudo-address to feign being American?

    • Anatoli says:

      There is a saying which I modified…. “if you want to publish crap and get away with it, publish in traditional closed access subscription journals… if you want to publish crap and get your a*s kicked, publish in open access journals”

  2. […] Clueless Reporter from the Mirror Bases Story on Withdrawn OMICS Publishing Group Article – Jeffrey Beall – ScholaryOA […]

  3. herr doktor bimler says:

    Sounds like the usual case of Busby writing the press release first, then the manuscript.

  4. herr doktor bimler says:

    an apparently withdrawn article published earlier in the OMICS Publishing Group’s journal Epidemiology: Open Access.

    I can only suppose that Busby’s cheque bounced.

    You can almost understand a ‘science journalist’ not recognising the journal as a mockademic scam… but simply reprinting Busby’s press release without even checking whether his article actually exists?! That speaks of an unusual level of laziness and unconcern.

  5. Bob Dobbs says:

    The article seems to be there now.

  6. Ryan says:

    I am sorry for I am quite late in joining the conversation. Being an ex-omASS employee, I can’t help but blurt out the truth. I don’t care if this spoils my reputation with the company for I don’t want to have ANY reputation with them. Scholars have no idea what they are drawn into. I DO NOT support unethical practices, at all. Though I was associated with the Conference division, I have a fairly good idea about the practices of its Publishing division. Fraud alert!!
    Sweeping declaration: India-based, completely! No association, nonewhatsoever with US or any other ‘foreign’ country.

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