We at Sip & Savor have been writing about how “studies” of dubious merit or that are downright fraudulent get published anyway in blogs, websites and newspapers. It’s no wonder consumers are misled about nutrition when there are studies being done by folks who are more activist than scientist.
Harvard medical doctor and research scientist Mark Shrime says dubious medical journals are available to publish any study for a fee regardless of the soundness of the study’s findings. His investigation shows that illegitimate studies are slipping past the traditional gatekeepers of medical science and being disseminated to an unknowing public.
"As scientists, we’re aware of the top-tier journals in our specific sub-field, but even we cannot always pinpoint if a journal in another field is real or not," Shrime says.
"For instance, the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology is the very first journal I was ever published in and it’s legitimate. But the Global Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology is fake. Only someone in my field would know that."
Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish a fake article on a study. He created an article titled "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?" by Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles, which opined on "The surgical and neoplastic role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals."
Shrime submitted it to 37 journals over two weeks and 17 of them accepted it. They have not "published" it but say they will as soon as Shrime pays a $500 processing fee. Several were typeset. One publication described his methods as "novel and innovative."
So how can the general public know what is the truth when it comes to all the science out there, when even scientists can’t always tell the difference?
Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., writes, “The next time you read an article that references a new weight loss study or cutting-edge research about dieting, it’s worth taking it with a grain of salt. It may very well be legitimate, but it might also be quack science. Or entirely made up.”
To get learn more about the science behind our products, check out LetsClearItUp.org.