Two out of the three journals that have printed papers by “Lars Andersson” – the anonymous person that has published with a false affiliation to Karolinska Institutet – have now decided to retract these articles.
Last week the Journal of Internal Medicine informed us about their decision to retract and stated that they will impose new routines in order to confirm identity of authors. As I pointed out in a previous blog, tools are now readily available to uniquely identify authors of scientific papers. Let us make use of these tools.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been engaged in a debate with the editors of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics about their views on anonymous publishing and I am pleased that this discussion now can be closed. Yesterday IJME announced that they will retract the article by “Lars Andersson”:
“Following our decision, we received valuable advice from our editorial board and other well-wishers, emphasising that there should be zero tolerance to the author’s deception, irrespective of the content of the paper. While our assessment of the science of the article may be correct, we have concluded that tolerating the author’s deception and retaining the article was an error of judgment. We express our deep gratitude to them and have accepted their advice.
Thus, this article is hereby retracted. We will provide a detailed account of this issue, with the nuances involved, in an editorial on a later date.”
It is my belief that the current debate has instilled increased awareness of the importane of sound editorial routines and policies – a prerequisite for trust in scientific publishing and in medical research.