Discover more from Moon Maiden Musings
Peer Review Should Not Be the Gold Standard
Fraud, Bias, Pharmaceutical Interests, and More
This is a follow-up to my original publication that was put out back in December 2022, where I detailed the propensity for fraud and misconduct that takes place during the peer review process. You can read that original article here:
This process is used for getting articles/ studies published in what are deemed reputable and well-respected journals. Yet, there is not much to be said about the intellectual honesty behind this process, and since I first wrote about this, I have discovered HUNDREDS of additional retractions have come to light.
Just Hindawi/ Wiley alone, whom I contacted when I wrote the first article and was ignored multiple times despite their claims to want to be transparent with the public about the retractions, have now come out and said that as of April 2023, there will be an additional 1,200 more articles being retracted! This was originally across 16 journals and that number has now jumped to 23 different journals. This has resulted in Wiley pausing publications from Hindawi, resulting in a $9 million dollar revenue loss. This is just one major publishing group! I do wonder what Liz Ferguson would have to say about all of this now?? And why won’t she respond to any of my email correspondence? Again, the public statement that she and others gave describes striving for transparency while this investigation continues, yet they refuse to name those involved in the fraud and refuse to correspond with the public when pertinent questions are asked. Typical.
If you want to review more retractions and stay updated, I highly recommend the Retraction Watch site, which you can access by CLICKING HERE.
For reference, I also wanted to include some relevant quotes from several top editors across a few different popular publications. Here they are:
First, we have Arnold Relman, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, quoting, “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research”.
The next quote was actually mentioned in the New York Times, and comes from another long-time editor for the NEJM, and well-respected physician by the name of Marcia Angell. Angell was quoted saying, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine”.
Richard Smith, a 25-year editor for the British Medical Journal was quoted stating, “…most of what appears in peer-reviewed journals is scientifically weak”.
Lastly, I want to include a quote from Dr. Richard Horton, who served as editor-in-chief of The Lancet: “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn toward darkness”.
I could have included a plethora of additional quotes that also demonstrate the penchant for fraud that has been acknowledged by other names in the business, but I believe I have made my point crystal clear.
In addition, how much of this information is swayed by monetary influence? How many editors and publications have ties to pharmaceutical companies and medical entities that can have an effect on the information that is allowed to come through? Check out this chart I pulled from the ScienceAlert website:
How can anyone be sure they are consuming factual information instead of something more akin to that of an echo chamber? How are people expected to put their trust and faith in the scholarly, medical, and scientific community with the growing number of retractions and deceptive publications that are being reported? Given the duplicitous nature of the peer review process and the effect this had had on publications that were once considered the “Gold Standard”, it is extremely important to understand and recognize the limitations that come with this source of information. Maintaining a strict adherence to popular dogmatic beliefs appears to be far more important that allowing a certain body of research to be included. Such dishonest and unethical behavior should call into question how reliable any of these sources really are!
RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL READING: