Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
Table of Contents_
Readers expect a certain amount of truth and factual accuracy when it comes to academic journals. However, a scandal recently involved the Hindawi Publishing Corporation’s fake peer reviews. Read on to learn more.
Hindawi Publishing Corp. is a multinational corporation that oversees over 400 academic journals. The company is based both in New York City and Cairo, Egypt. They were founded in 1992 and published over 20,000 peer-reviewed articles each year, mostly in science, medicine, and technology. All of the company’s articles are open-source and published under a Creative Commons license.
Hindawi Publishing Corp. is a multinational corporation that oversees over 400 academic journals.
In 2015, the company was involved in a massive scandal in which 32 academic papers were accused of being bogus and fraudulent. What happened? Several editors were caught faking peer reviews, creating what are called “puppet reviews.”
The company said that they “identified three Editors who appear to have subverted the peer review process by creating fraudulent reviewer accounts and using these accounts to submit favorable review reports” in a statement issued to reporters.
Many, though not all, of the papers were formally retracted after the completion of a full investigation. It is important to note that the Federal Trade Commission can lawfully punish fake reviews.
The Hindawi scandal was not the first time investigators found fake peer reviews. A company called BioMed Central, which oversees 277 medical journals, announced the retraction of 43 academic papers. It was discovered that the articles in question featured multiple faked peer reviews, written by puppet reviewers. This led investigators to something of a fake peer review crime ring.
If you want to learn more about companies with false reviews, check out our articles on fake Glassdoor reviews, fake Airbnb reviews, and the fake journals of Elsevier.
A company called BioMed Central, which oversees 277 medical journals, announced the retraction of 43 academic papers.
The peer-review system is what moves science, medicine, and technology forward. If these reviews are faked, the conclusions that the papers draw are called into question. This could end up a public danger, especially in the case of medicine and medical technology. In other words, faking these reviews is seriously illegal. And as an online shopper, you will want to know how to spot fake reviews using Fakespot.
The company “took their licks” so to say, and issued retractions when necessary. They are still in existence and still publishing peer-based academic journals. They have been under increased scrutiny the past few years and, as of this writing, have not been caught again doing fake reviews.
In 2015, the company was involved in a massive scandal in which 32 academic papers were accused of being bogus and fraudulent.
Does peer review actually work?
If everyone involved is acting in good faith, then peer review will work. It operates on trust, so a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. Having said that, peer review has been behind many recent medical and scientific breakthroughs.
Do peer reviewers get paid?
Under normal circumstances, peer reviewers do not get paid for their work. This is to keep them as neutral as possible as they undergo the peer review process. In special cases, a peer reviewer may be paid a small stipend to account for their time.
Why do people do peer review?
Peer reviewers become involved so as to be on the cutting edge of science, medicine, and technology. Scientists allow papers to be peer-reviewed so as to be judged by their peers. The topics covered in these academic papers are simply too esoteric for the layman and often need the critical eyes of fellow scientists.
If you’re looking for information about small businesses, read our guide on product packaging ideas and how to build customer relationships.
STAT: By 2012, Hindawi had a profit margin of around 50%, higher than the 2008 average of 35% for commercial publishers. (source)