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Burned by the offer of a special issue, a journal has retracted four papers after determining that the guest editors of the supplement were not legit. 

Neuroscience Letters, an Elsevier title, published the special issue — “Special Issue on Clinical and Imaging Assessment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders” — last summer, but it’s no longer on the journal’s website. The guest editors were listed as “Dr. Kalemaki Katerina Kalemaki, Dr. Hailong Li and Prof. Wiesława Grajkowska.”

This case is the third we’ve seen lately involving journals and publishers scorched by rogue guest editors. For an insider’s look at how such scams can run, check out our 2019 Q&A with Jamie Trapp, whose journal, best deal for propecia  Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (formerly the Australasian Physical & Engineering Sciences in Medicine), fell victim to one not long ago. A preview:

In the proposal, the bios and links to the impersonated researchers online profiles are used, which are real. The only difference is that the email addresses used have slight changes from that of the real researcher being impersonated (e.g. [email protected] might be changed to [email protected]). Therefore, any correspondence using the fake email address, or any reply to the original email goes to the impersonators.

The newly retracted papers are:

  • “Neuroimaging diagnosis of intraventricular Central neurocytoma”

  • “Ultrasound image guided lateral cervical approach to stellate ganglion block for cervical headache”

  • “Effects of total parathyroidectomy treatment on parathyroid hormone levels, recurrent laryngeal nerve function, and the rate of infection complications of secondary hyperparathyroidism patients under image information health monitoring by magnetic resonance imaging”

And “Diagnosis of fatal central nervous system malformations based on prenatal colour doppler ultrasound.” Here’s how its retraction notice and the others read: 

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief.

Neuroscience Letters (NSL) is retracting this paper on the request of the Editor-in-Chief. Subsequent to acceptance of the special issue proposal to which this paper belongs, the legitimacy of the Guest Editors was questioned, investigated and confirmed to be fraudulent. As the rigor of the review process now cannot be confirmed, all papers accepted or published within the special issue have been withdrawn or retracted.

There is no indication that the authors were aware of these issues, the authors are offered the option to re-submit their paper to the journal for a legitimate peer-review.

Kalemaki and Grajkowska also appear as guest editors for this February 2021 special issue in the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, published by American Scientific Publishers and available on Ingenta. Grajkowska did not respond to a request for comment.

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