“During the course of our investigation, authors have shared with us the names of third-party agencies that offer support to authors but also guarantee favourable peer review outcomes in return for a fee. Other services sell authorship on entire papers written by others. Clearly, there is a need to distinguish the characteristics of reputable third-party agencies from those that are dishonest.”...
BioMed Central has turned off the facility for authors to directly enter the names of potential peer reviewers in its submission system, wrote Moylan. Authors may still suggest peer reviewers in their covering letters. The same step has been taken by the journal PLoS One, which found one of the same apparently fictional reviewer names in a paper it rejected.
BioMed Central is working with the international Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), wrote Moylan, to tackle the broader problem of “perverse incentives that reward scientists for ‘impact’ and ‘productivity’ rather than for the quality of their research or the ability to replicate studies.”
Online journals 5/1/15