Another scam in scientific publishing: The rogue editor

The reproducibility crisis, especially in the soft sciences, is by no means the only crisis affecting publication of scientific research. As we and others have emphasized, an even greater danger originated with the self-appointed fraud police with its tactics of coercion, bullying and shaming arising with the advent of violent organizations like Retraction Watch. The activity of editors of scientific journals is perhaps the least regulated activity in the whole research endeavor. There is a huge crisis there as well, and it has gone completely unnoticed.  We all know very well that lack of regulation and control almost inevitably leads to bad people behaving badly.  Such is human nature. Journal editors are no exception. Quite the contrary, they are just as bad as anyone else.

Here we describe a new scam in research publication: The rogue editor. A rogue editor may be identified as one that rejects a contribution without giving any cogent reason, any specific and precise justification, or makes outlandish demands in accord with an obscure editorial policy that is not described in the journal page. The rogue editor also refuses to send the contribution out to peer review.

Here is a short list of rogue editors based on documented rejection letters sent to contributors. The list is of course provisory and may grow significantly if and when readers provide feedback. The feedback will need to be curated as documents need to be verified.

Jamie D.K. Wilson, Chief Editor, Nature Immunology,

Marian Turner, Senior Editor, Nature Ecology & Evolution,

Peter Lichter, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Cancer,

Yevgeniya Nusinovich, Editor, Science Translational Medicine,

Joan-Emma Shea, Editor, The Journal of Physical Chemistry,

Seamus J. Martin, Editor-in-Chief, The FEBS Journal,

Demin Zhou, Associate Editor, Molecular Pharmaceutics,

Allison Doerr, Chief Editor, Nature Methods,

Alexandra Heaffey, Publishing Editor, Royal Society of Chemistry,

Daniela Ruffell, Editor, FEBS Letters,

James Skinner, Deputy Editor, The Journal of Chemical Physics,


UPDATE  from March 6, 2019

Pep Pamies, Chief Editor, Nature Biomedical Engineering,









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