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Illegitimate publication

Illegitimate publication

. 2 min read

UPDATE 2020-10-30: Springer has removed the publication in question.

Without my knowledge or approval, an original publication appeared online on Oct 10, 2020 with the title "p-Values Less Than 0.05 in Psychology: What is Going on?" (archival link). It has my name on it, those of my co-authors (see below), and of the editor. I've never met the editor beyond a few emails we exchanged in 2017 and 2019. Let me explain.

In 2016, I was happy that we published "Distributions of p-values smaller than .05 in psychology: what is going on?" after an intensive research process.

In 2017 and 2019, the editor invited me to submit contributions to work they were editing based on this publication. Both times, I was happy that this rather terse and methodological paper raised interest. I didn't have time to make any original contributions, but mentioned that they could freely and without my permission republish the original work in accordance with the CC-BY license.

Republishing work under CC-BY license means it needs to be clearly shared as a copy of the original, not as a new and original publication of itself with its own version of record.

The 2020 publication contains new paragraphs of text I have not written, and substantially copy-pastes text from the 2016 publication without quotes.

This raises multiple issues for me as I understand them (these issues I assume also apply to my co-authors on the 2016 publication):

  1. I did not author the 2020 publication.
  2. I was not contacted by Springer to verify my authorship of the 2020 publication.
  3. The 2020 publication is in violation of the CC-BY license of the 2016 publication.
  4. The unattributed and unquoted text in the 2020 publication, pulled from the 2016 publication can be considered a violation of academic integrity (i.e., self-plagiarism), which is now linked to my name due to (1).

As a result, this is now part of the public record and I'd like to publicly distance myself from this work.

I have raised this issue with Springer and the editor, who are doing their best to remove this from production. After giving them sufficient time to do so in private, the deadline passed for this post to go live. It is a serious issue and can have consequences to my and my co-author's academic integrity, and I take no pleasure in having to share this.

I've been told it will be removed by tomorrow morning, which I'll update here in case it is. I certainly hope it will be by then.