If you wonder why we told you that the paper you cited was shit

This (or here) got (supposedly) peer reviewed and subsequently published. It was an attempt to show that some sources would publish anything and it succeeded. Yes, they retracted it once they got called on it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it got through. Basically, there appears to be a crazy amount of shit research on COVID-19 making it through the process. Standing on a street corner and hounding passersby during a lockdown is not a substitute for stratified random sampling, you fucknugget.

For those who don’t want to read the PDF, it contains gems such as:

We have not classified the accidents by type, date or anything else, essentially by laziness.

Study 2 was excluded from analysis and from this paper, as it did not provide informative results (i.e. the results we wanted).

In Study 3, we tested the efficiency of our protocol in the prevention of PSA: HCQ + AZT (or spiramycin or nothing) +/− Zinc (or Magnesium or a teaspoon of Benco (C or R in a circle, or maybe TM) +/− Vitamin D (or Selenium). We have sometimes added apples, as their therapeutic effectiveness is popularly recognized [9].

Two groups of volunteers (friends and relatives of the authors) were constituted.

In a pre-test phase, we asked each participant in the treatment group to roll 500m in a straight line on a push-scooter. Participants who fell or died during the pre-test were reallocated to our control group (two falls, one death).

In order to increase sensibility and specificity, we decided to run additional, exploratory analyses and searched another figure in Google Images about PSA (query equation: “accidents de trottinette”) and found this one, which seems in favor of our initial idea about the subject, so we performed a graph extraction procedure using Windows’ “Ctrl-C Ctrl-V” command [9] (Fig. 2).

We realized that oxygen saturation might be a good clinical indicator of mortality (after all, dead people typically do not breathe) – maybe even better than death itself. We thus went back to our participants to measure their oxygen saturation levels (after taking down their surgical mask, to avoid confounds). We did not receive official authorization to dig up the corpses of dead participants; we did try to dig them up anyway, but the cemetery keeper could no longer find the register of graves, and unfortunately we did not have the necessary material for several blind desecrations.

Even the authors are hilarious. Manis Javanica is the latin name for the Sunda Pangolin, for example. For you Pratchett fans, one of the authors has the title “General Practitioner and Independent Seeker of Science, Ankh, Morpork, France.”

I’m convinced. Give me the drugs, don’t take my push scooter away.

So, what “journal” was this?

Is there more to the scooter related death story if I actually click the links?

The link says Asian Journal of Medicine and Health.

Keep in mind that it is, or at one point was, well-known that there exist “journals” whose purpose is not to publish high-quality peer-reviewed research, but to profit certain individuals one way or another. Whether or not the articles make any sense or were written by a human is not their primary concern.

Asian Journal of Medicine and Health. I’m having trouble finding much information about it, except that it’s open-access, and “open peer reviewed,” which is not a phrase I’ve heard before. Apparently it means that the peer reviews appear alongside the regular article.

In any case, it’s a fair point that merely knowing a study is peer-reviewed is insufficient. An idiot’s peers are other idiots, and there are plenty of idiots across a broad spectrum, and plenty of folks willing to publish them.

But a stunt like this, however, funny, shouldn’t be used to dismiss research findings reported in JAMA or other well-established journals with reputations for integrity. Findings in those sources may of course be wrong, but they shouldn’t be dismissed with a wave at a prank.

Yeah, I think it’s becoming more and more clear all the time that ‘the science’ isn’t having a great 2020.

Here is the open peer review :slight_smile:

Somebody published a joke article in a predatory journal. I’m not sure what that has to do with ‘the science’.

Here’s an interesting read. Again, let’s just say this is not a great time to be a scientist. It was better when there was less attention paid to all this stuff.


Certainly, scooters, joke articles and predatory journals do have little to do with ‘The Science’.

Unfortunately it is not only scientists who use and play with ‘The Science’, but a whole range of people who use it in different ways, and some of these can have more effect on our lives than what the scientists do. In the past six months we’ve seen the effect of science being used as a proxy in an ideological war, whose consequence has been the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Its a bit like car mechanics lamenting that cars would be perfect except for drivers.

The article usefully draws attention to this and shows how a load of old bollocks can be made to look just like ‘The Science’ to even an informed observer, who may well accept it as legit, even though they would never trust something on Facebook or Twitter.

At last, I can get my bullshit “research” “article” “published” in a “scientific journal”!

This, a hundred times this. Due to the nature of this pandemic, articles are being widely referenced even at the preprint stage, and are treated as gospel. There probably exists a preprint study somewhere that says we should all OD on hydroxychloroquine while forgoing mask usage. The fact that it exists doesn’t make it true. The standing on the street corner I referenced in the OP was an actual study and was actually published in a highly respected newspaper even before it went to preprint. It was also used on this board as a cite for how widespread the infection had become. The first paragraph of the newspaper article (by a journalist who appears to know his shit and should know better here):

Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.

No, just no. It’s not a startling indication of anything, other than that people who are willing to give blood on a street corner in Chelsea are possibly making other bad decisions around mitigating the risk of becoming infected. Due to the heightened interest by the public in all things COVID-19, this keeps repeating itself. My OP was simply an attempt to show how bad this problem has become.

I should also note that this publication wasn’t previously on the predatory journal lists that I’ve seen, although I bet it starts showing up now.

Wow, that read is full of shit. Here’s how it really went. Two early studies, Chinese and French, were small and the effects were boosted by azithromycin. A larger study by the Ford institute had serious flaws where there were so many combinations of drugs (including steroids which are known to work) it was unclear whether it would work. Future small studies found no significant difference. A meta-analysis of the smaller studies and the larger Ford study concluded that there was no significant difference. Then three large, properly-randomized trials showed no effect of the drug. That paper made it sound like there was confusion for a long time but the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine was already in question by late April and May. By early June, it was done. He doesn’t mention any of these studies. He does go on about the one paper that was retracted that showed that hydroxychloroquine was harmful, but that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t do anything. I looked up the author. He’s a psychiatrist that takes neuroplasticity waaaaay to far. Seems like he’s got an axe to grind because he calls the WHO and CNN while making Trump and Republican’s look like victims. If I were to make a guess, I’d say the book he wrote about controlling your pneuroplasticity was widely panned by really neuroscientists.

This Asian Journal of Medicine and Health seems to be a real bargain, with fees possibly as low as $55. PLOS ONE is around $1700. It even gets you a DOI link and everything.

Well, it looks like the original article has been retracted. See, science works.

Maybe it could serve to educate the public that just being published does not mean much, that which publication matters, just like they should be aware that not all sources on the internet are of the same reliability.

But meanwhile the media has always done a poor job at helping contextualize science in the making, something that is important even with studies published in the best journals with high quality peer review, and more in this preprint era. Recently there’s been gaitergate, and the reversal on the South Korea study of kids’ transmissibility which lead the NYT to belatedly emphasize

If one just reads breathlessly reported snippets of single studies then one can easily leave thinking that science is swinging around all over the place, or that there is consensus which the specific media decided to state, but which does not actually yet exist. As most here appreciate, science instead functions by critical consumption of conclusions made even by the most prestigious scientists in the best journals and a process that is no prettier to watch than is sausage making … but which is much more interesting!

It easy to understand how many in the public don’t trust the true consensus views that have overwhelming evidence behind them (think Climate Change) with the way science in progress gets reported every day. And that is before any impact of conscious efforts to diminish the credibility of real scientific consenses by various forces.

The author of that article has this to say:

That’s right, he advocates for homeopathy.

He may have some valid things to say on the politicization of medicine and rushing to conclusions by the media and lay audience, but he’s also distorting things.

This seems very reminiscent of the Sokal Affair, in which a physics professor submitted a totally bogus nonsense BS paper full of all the right buzzwords to a cultural studies journal, which then published it.

The actual paper, if anyone wants to read it for the lulz, is here.

The BBC radio Inside Science has covered the issue of ‘bad’ science publication several times, for example, here:

Are non peer-reviewed pre-prints the best way to do science during the pandemic?

The presenter, Dr Adam Rutherford, has become quite scathing of the way science research and publications have become recently. If we cannot trust the publications, we cannot trust science.

Here is an interesting one, a Phd supporting a Flat Earth

Since 2011, the aspiring PhD at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Sfax has been working on a thesis in geology entitled: “The flat, Geocentric Model of the Earth, Arguments and Impact of Climate and Paleoclimactic Studies.”

In short, her thesis was that the Earth is flat. She has gone to great lengths to refute the theories of Newton, Kepler and Einstein, whose work apparently had serious flaws that others have failed to see over the past several centuries. The doctoral student puts forth a new vision of kinetics that, instead, conforms to the verses of the Koran.

What’s worse, is her professor support her.

This. My wife has been published in a JAMA (there are several different ones), and the peer review process was brutal. Not only that, but they only accept about 11% of submissions for publication. A paper that gets published in a JAMA is highly likely to have scientific rigor and merit.

One other metric for publication journals like this is “impact factor”, which is a measure of how frequently articles published there get cited elsewhere. A higher number is better, and journals like JAMA, NEJM and Lancet have some of the highest.

I couldn’t even find an impact factor for the Asian Journal of Medicine and Health. IOW, it’s not likely anyone ever cites a paper published there in a paper published anywhere else (although it’s also possibly because it’s new).