A black market in publishing fake science

from Market Design at http://bit.ly/2DGO2bJ on September 30, 2018 at 01:18PM

ABC (the Australian one) has the story:
Inside the ‘shadowy world’ of China’s fake science research black market

"When the cancer research journal Tumor Biology retracted 107 papers last year, a dubious new world record was set — and the world’s scientists took notice.

"But it wasn’t a first for the journal, now published by Sage. In 2016, it retracted 25 papers because of similar doubts over their integrity.
The incidents expose a deeper, darker problem for science globally.
A growing black market is peddling fake research papers, fake peer reviews, and even entirely fake research results to anyone who will pay.
"Organised crime in certain countries has realised there is a lot of money to be made here," medically-trained Dr Oransky said.
"The pressure on Chinese scientists to publish their work in prestigious, English-language journals is now immense.
This has created new opportunities for China’s thriving black market.
Companies offering standard editing and translation services to scientists have, in some cases, become a source of serious fraud.

"People can ask them to produce a paper of a certain kind, and they will produce the figures, the data, everything, and give it to you.
"You see this kind of very large-scale fraud going on in China."
Professor Cong Cao, a leading scholar in innovation studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, said the market for these kind of services is large.
"In China, for a scientist to be promoted, they have to have a certain number of papers," he said.
Chinese graduate students and medical clinicians now also face the same strict requirements.
Some universities also pay huge cash rewards — over $US40,000 — if a scientist succeeds in publishing in a high-profile journal like Science or Nature.
Many see these financial incentives as part of the problem, especially in a country where average academic salaries are very low.
"The incentives are all misaligned," Dr Oransky said.
Professor Cao said the aim was to encourage scientists to be innovative.
"[But] there are some unintended consequences of this kind of policy," he said.
"More than 600 papers have been retracted since 2012 for fake peer review, according to Dr Oransky.
"Scientific misconduct is a growing global concern, and there is a risk of singling out China as the only hotspot.
But the Chinese Government knows it has a serious problem.
"China’s Ministry of Science and Technology will now manage investigations into scientific misconduct. This is a departure from other countries where individual institutions are often in charge, despite implicit conflicts of interest."