(25 Mar 2021) A recent article by Holly Else & Richard Van Noorden in Nature looks at a growing issue in the field of research: Paper mills.
The article highlights the work of Elizabeth Bik and other, pseudonymous, researchers that have identified more than 1,400 published papers that were potentially linked to paper mills. Of those, most have not been changed with only 370 being retracted and expression of concern added to 45 more.
According to the article, the issue is especially pronounced at Chinese hospitals, where physicians are often required to publish research to get promoted but are too busy to perform any actual research. This has resulted in a marked increase of paper submissions from the country, up fifty-fold from just two decades ago.
However, the problem is not limited to just China. According to Catriona Fennell, the head of publishing services at Elsevier, there is evidence of such paper mills operating out of Iran and Russia as well.
Find out more from the full story here.