open access

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Brief communication
Published online: 2021-06-17
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Paper mill-derived cancer research: The improbability of prostate cancer in women and ovarian and breast cancer in men

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
DOI: 10.5603/NJO.a2021.0039

open access

Ahead of print
Short review
Published online: 2021-06-17

Abstract

There has been a recent burst of discovery of cancer-related papers apparent derived from paper mills. From dozens or more papers with multiple integrity concerns, three papers were selected to show what could be perceived as “unusual” findings, specifically the detection of prostate cancer in women, as well as ovarian and breast cancer in men. While the incidence of the former two is most likely impossible in biological females and males, respectively (i.e., absent transgender individuals), the last case is possible, but likely at a very low (~1%) incidence. However, all three papers, published in PubMed-indexed European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, display unusually high (> 50%) incidence rates of these cancers. Apart from the implausibility of these findings, one of the papers has already been retracted for integrity-related concerns, reducing the reliability of those findings. Paper mill-derived papers are a cancer in academic publishing, and absent industry knowledge of the sources of these paper mills, and their interaction with editors, journals and publishers, such instances will likely continue to increase. There should be serious civil and criminal penalties for such activities that purposefully defraud readers, other cancer researchers, and the public, by introducing information that could offer misleading clues about medical or health solutions to the dynamics and cure of cancer.

Abstract

There has been a recent burst of discovery of cancer-related papers apparent derived from paper mills. From dozens or more papers with multiple integrity concerns, three papers were selected to show what could be perceived as “unusual” findings, specifically the detection of prostate cancer in women, as well as ovarian and breast cancer in men. While the incidence of the former two is most likely impossible in biological females and males, respectively (i.e., absent transgender individuals), the last case is possible, but likely at a very low (~1%) incidence. However, all three papers, published in PubMed-indexed European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, display unusually high (> 50%) incidence rates of these cancers. Apart from the implausibility of these findings, one of the papers has already been retracted for integrity-related concerns, reducing the reliability of those findings. Paper mill-derived papers are a cancer in academic publishing, and absent industry knowledge of the sources of these paper mills, and their interaction with editors, journals and publishers, such instances will likely continue to increase. There should be serious civil and criminal penalties for such activities that purposefully defraud readers, other cancer researchers, and the public, by introducing information that could offer misleading clues about medical or health solutions to the dynamics and cure of cancer.

Get Citation

Keywords

Clarivate Analytics Journal Impact Factor (JIF); oncology; predatory journals; PubMed

About this article
Title

Paper mill-derived cancer research: The improbability of prostate cancer in women and ovarian and breast cancer in men

Journal

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology

Issue

Ahead of print

Article type

Brief communication

Published online

2021-06-17

DOI

10.5603/NJO.a2021.0039

Keywords

Clarivate Analytics Journal Impact Factor (JIF)
oncology
predatory journals
PubMed

Authors

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

References (8)
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  3. Pan MZ, Song YL, Gao F. MiR-605-3p inhibits malignant progression of prostate cancer by up-regulating EZH2. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2019; 23(20): 8795–8805.
  4. Liu ZH, Liu WJ, Yu XY, et al. Circ_0005276 aggravates the development of epithelial ovarian cancer by targeting ADAM9. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020; 24(20): 10375–10382.
  5. Light AD, Obedin-Maliver J, Sevelius JM, et al. Transgender men who experienced pregnancy after female-to-male gender transitioning. Obstet Gynecol. 2014; 124(6): 1120–1127.
  6. Jain S, Gradishar W. Male Breast Cancer. The Breast. 2018: 974–980.e2.
  7. Teixeira da Silva JA, Dobránszki J. Citing Retracted Papers Affects Education and Librarianship, so Distorted Academic Metrics Need a Correction. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 2018; 6(1).
  8. Teixeira da Silva JA. Is the validity, credibility and reliability of literature indexed in PubMed at risk? Medical Journal Armed Forces India. 2021.

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