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Publishing Point: Beware of Predatory Author Services

Publishing Point: Beware of Predatory Author Services

Author awareness key in selecting reputable editing services


As Asia becomes a larger player in publishing research, the threat of unscrupulous companies looking to profit from this growth also increases.

In recent months BioMed Central retracted 43 articles that all had roots in Asia, following “inappropriate manipulation of peer review.” Elizabeth Moylan, Senior Editor, (Research Integrity) at BioMed Central stated, “It is possible that some researchers may have innocently become implicated in attempts to manipulate the peer review process by disreputable services.”

In tackling the subject of peer review manipulation in general, a statement from COPE read, “We are unclear how far authors of the submitted manuscripts are aware that the reviewer names and email addresses provided by these agencies are fraudulent.”

In seeking help along the path to publication, authors may unwittingly be placing their hard-earned research in the hands of companies who don’t have the author’s publication interests at heart.

This isn’t a new problem, with the likes of Science and Nature having previously raised awareness of peer review manipulation by individual authors. The issue has been further highlighted in mainstream media with The Washington Post reporting on the BioMed Central retractions and earlier retractions from the Journal of Vibration and Control.

The efforts of BioMed Central and other stakeholders to confront these problems are to be applauded but awareness amongst the authoring community needs to be increased, given the potential long-term implications on researcher reputation if involved in these practises.

For authors, choosing a trusted and established company to help themselves along the path to publication seems even more important than ever.

Edanz, an associate member of COPE and a trusted Language Editing partner for Springer, BioMed Central and AIP Publishing, has been providing editing services within Asia for 20 years and offers services to authors at each stage of the path to publication and beyond.  

Edanz supports industry standards in publication and research ethics, practicing this commitment through transparent and ethical services as well as offering guidance to authors should an ethical issue arise with their manuscript.

Caroline Black, Editorial Director at BioMed Central, states "As research output from China and the rest of Asia continues to grow and integrate as an important part of the global research community the importance of publishing ethics are paramount. Awareness of and adherence to these publishing ethics will benefit the researchers and help to advance their findings. It is important that researchers choose a reputable editing service, such as Edanz, to help them along the path to publication."