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Entropy is an open-access journal published by MDPI, the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, based in Basel, Switzerland.

The journals were formerly published by the organization Molecular Diversity Preservation International, until it created the open-access publisher using the same initials, MDPI, as a separate entity. The original MDPI is a .org, and the new one is a .com.

Img Source: mdpi.com

MDPI is not included on my list of predatory publishers. However, I do regularly receive email inquiries about it, an indication that some find its practices suspicious.

I published an article with them once in their journal Future Internet. The article processing charges were waived. I found it strange that the journal asked me to submit names of reviewers for my paper. They didn’t use the editorial board to review it.

Controversy

The article “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,” recently published in Entropy, has generated some controversy. The Discover Magazine blog Collide-a-Scape published a post entitled When Media Uncritically Cover Pseudoscience.  The blog states,

“The paper is by two authors with dubious credentials and is such a mashup of pseudoscience and gibberish that actual scientists have been unable to make sense of it. As one of them also noted, the paper is published in a “low-tier pay-for-play journal.”

The blog post was written after a Reuters reporter wrote a story based on the paper. The reporter accepted the paper as fact, apparently without doing any original reporting.

The paper claims that the the chemical glyphosate — found in the herbicide Roundup — is linked to multiple common diseases including “inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations.” The controversy is described in the Wikipedia article on the journal. Entropy has an impact factor of 1.183.

Some progressive groups, accepting the article as fact, have used it in their discourse. One example is the website Nation of Change, which covered the article in their news section. Other groups, such as Common Dreams, used the story in a similar fashion. This is an example of how political policymakers can be victims of questionable science.

MDPI is no stranger to controversial articles. See herehere, and here for information on earlier controversies.

One of the definitions for the word entropy given by Wictionary is “The tendency of a system that is left to itself to descend into chaos.” We may be witnessing this process occurring presently with MDPI.

See also:

Is glyphosate poisioning everyone? / by Derek Lowe.

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