The Trouble With The “Journal of Stem Cells”

By Neuroskeptic | April 5, 2017 6:36 am

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a paper describing possibly unethical stem cell injection treatments for children with autism. That paper was published in 2015 in the Journal of Stem Cells.

I’ve since discovered additional problems with this journal.

It’s important to note at the outset that the Journal of Stem Cells is not some obscure operation. It’s indexed in MEDLINE, something that the vast majority of ‘predatory’ journals could only dream of. MEDLINE is the gold standard, or at least, it usually is.

journal_of_stem_cellsI have three main concerns about the Journal of Stem Cells:

  1. Plagiarism

I have discovered evidence of plagiarism in two papers in the Journal. What’s more, Prasad S. Koka, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, is the corresponding author on both of these papers, raising questions about the quality of editorial oversight.

The first paper (Koka et al. 2017) is a review on the topic of “Potential Origins of Cancer Stem Cells in the Disease Evolution and Etiology”. Turnitin reports that 41% of the text is identical to previous sources. Some of the sources are cited, others are not. To give one example, here’s a passage from Koka et al.

Cancer cells must be capable of continuous proliferation and self- renewal to retain the many mutations required for carcinogenesis and to sustain the growth of a tumor, since differentiated cells constrained by the Hayflick Limit and cannot divide indefinitely. The Hayflick limit (or Hayflick phenomenon) is the number of times (40-60) a normal human cell population will divide until cell division stops. This is because the telomeres associated with each cell’s DNA will get slightly shorter with each new cell division until they shorten to a critical length [15, 16]. In other words, a normal cell lacks a sustained division as opposed to the cancer cell.

This is similar to the Wikipedia page on “cancer stem cells“:

Cancer cells must be capable of continuous proliferation and self-renewal to retain the many mutations required for carcinogenesis and to sustain the growth of a tumor, since differentiated cells (constrained by the Hayflick Limit) cannot divide indefinitely.

Which links to the page for “hayflick limit“:

The Hayflick limit or Hayflick phenomenon is the number of times a normal human cell population will divide until cell division stops. Empirical evidence shows that the telomeres associated with each cell’s DNA will get slightly shorter with each new cell division until they shorten to a critical length.

Koka et al. don’t cite either of these Wikipedia pages.

The second instance of plagiarism I found is Das et al. (2013) “Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Potency in the Cell Based Therapy”. Turnitin finds 47% overlap here, and some sections are a veritable rainbow of different sources:

adult_mesenchymal

Bear in mind that this isn’t a case of authors recycling their own text. As far as I can see, none of the the source material shares any authors with the Das et al. paper. This is outright plagiarism, in a MEDLINE-listed journal, brought to you by the editor-in-chief as corresponding author.

2. Editorial Conflicts of Interest?

As well as being editor-in-chief at the Journal, Prasad S. Koka is Scientific Director at DiponEd BioIntelligence LLC. DiponEd describes itself as providing products and solutions that prominently include stem cell technologies, such as “Adult Stem Cells – Autologus and Allogenic Transplantations in diseases/ disorders / trauma” amongst others.

It would seem that Koka has a conflict of interest here. His editorial decisions could have financial implications for him. For instance, accepting a paper showing that a stem cell treatment is effective could boost the market for DiponEd’s products. The same conflict is at play when Koka writes a paper of his own.

Koka doesn’t acknowledge this problem in his papers in the Journal. In fact, there is no “Conflict of Interest” (CoI) section in any Journal papers to my knowledge. As I noted last time, this is unusual. Almost all journals today require CoI reporting to promote transparency in science.

Interestingly, the CEO and Managing Director of DiponEd BioIntelligence is a Dr Kaushik Deb. Ten years ago, a University of Missouri-Columbia post-doc called Dr Kaushik Deb was suspected of faking data in a Science paper on stem cells. The paper was retracted. Deb vanished during the University of Missouri-Columbia investigation, but he was found guity of fabrication and falsification by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in 2014.

Is this the same Kaushik Deb who now manages DiponEd and is, presumably, Koka’s boss? Deb is certainly a regular at Koka’s Journal, having published 9 papers there, 4 of them with Koka as a coauthor. Thanks to commenter ‘Liberate Science’ for drawing my attention to this.

3. Uncertain Ethics

In my previous post I discussed a 2015 Journal paper that stuck me as quite possibly unethical. I also noted that the paper didn’t state which ethical review committee had approved the study.

I did a quick survey of the five most recent papers (that I was able to access) reporting studies on human participants published in the Journal: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Of these, two contained no reference to ethics approval at all. The other three papers said that “the study had ethical approval” or words to that effect but none of them named the specific ethics committee that reviewed the study, making the claims difficult to verify. Funding and CoI statements were absent from all five.

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  • Liberate Science

    The problem goes far beyond Deb and Koka.

    The issue may not lie simply with this journal, but with the publisher, Nova Science Publishers. A “scheme” (unpublished) was uncovered a few years ago in which editors names to books published by this publisher appear to have been fictitiously created. For example, the trend was usually a three name editor, like John F. Smith, to give the semblance of a valid “Western” academic. However, no affiliations were given to such editors and Google or other data-base searches, including at PubMed, never revealed such individuals. Several dozen cases were discovered. The names were then run through Elsevier’s sciencedirect.com, and a pattern began to emerge, not perfect, but clear enough: first and family names appear to have been picked up from sciencedirect, a middle name, always abbreviated, thrown into the mix, and a new, undetectable, but “almost detectable” author/editor would appear on sciencedirect.com, thus allaying any Nova Science Publisher’s deepest fears, i.e., that they were being duped by a non-existent editor. Complaints to the then Nova Science Publishers CEO Nadya Gotsiridze-Columbus, who is now Nadya Columbus, were ignored and requests for Jeffrey Beall to list this as an academically dangerous and highly predatory publisher, were also ignored. Now we see the result: Journal of Stem Cells is listed on MEDLINE.

    Apart from a detailed analysis of this publishers’ journals, in detail, as Neuroskeptic has done so ably with this clearly problematic journal, the following also merits exploration:
    a) What is the precise process for inclusion of a journal into MEDLINE?
    b) Who exactly at Nova Science Publishers contacted who precisely at MEDLINE to get this journal indexed?
    c) Can MEDLINE release the application forms and criteria that are applicable to each journal listed there, so we, the public, can independently verify it?
    d) Do publishers pay MEDLINE to be indexed?

    • smut clyde

      requests for Jeffrey Beall to list this as an academically dangerous and highly predatory publisher

      It may be that the book publishing arm of the Nova operation didn’t meet Jeffrey’s criteria for “predatory” if they don’t actually charge authors (the journal arm is another story, of course). So he settled for describing them as “bottom tier”.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20161108155756/https://scholarlyoa.com/2015/05/26/watch-out-for-publishers-with-nova-in-their-name/

      By following a pingback to that post, I learned that someone else had already highlighted Bansal’s scammy involvement with the “Journal of Stem Cells” in May 2016:
      https://scientistabe.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/junk-sciences-is-reviving-brain-dead-patients-with-stem-cells-a-scientific-breakthrough-or-just-another-dr-frankenstein-monster-fantasy/

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      The Journal of Stem Cells is not a classic predatory open access journal. It’s not open access (although certain articles are), and I don’t think it has a publication fee.

      So I don’t think the Journal is preying on its authors. It would be better to say it is colluding with them, especially since so many of the papers are by colleagues of the editor-in-chief.

      • Liberate Science

        Just to be clear, are you arguing that collusion is NOT predatory behavior, or that The Journal of Stem Cells is NOT predatory simply because it is not open access?

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

          I’m just saying that the Journal of Stem Cells is rather different from the “typical” example of a predatory OA journal of the kind that Beall’s list used to list.

          Collusion is a behavior that preys on the readers, but it doesn’t prey on the authors.

  • Liberate Science

    Compare with journals ethics policies at another Nova Science Publisher journal: International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health
    https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/contrib.php?products_id=6317
    Especially:
    “STATEMENTS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT AND MALPRACTICE

    The ethics statements of the International Journal of Child and
    Adolescent Health (IJCAH) are in accord with the Committee on
    Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

    International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health requires all authors and reviewers to declare any conflict of interest that may be inherent in their submissions.”

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      The Journal of Stem Cells has a similar set of guidelines, including “Journal of Stem Cells requires all authors and reviewers to declare any conflict of interest that may be inherent in their submissions.”

      The problem is that the papers, at least the online PDFs that I’ve seen, don’t actually contain any declarations.

  • https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUwbGJwCdp96FKSLuWpMybxQ Lee Rudolph

    Is there any possibility that the Wikipedia page(s) were plagiarized from the published article?

    • smut clyde

      The Chronopolice take a dim view about misuse of time machines for frivolous purposes.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      The Wikipedia pages from 12 months ago have the same text (1,2).

      In Wikipedia plagiarism cases it’s always possible that the “plagiarizing” authors were the ones who wrote the Wikipedia page, but this seems unlikely and at best it would mean it was self-plagiarism.

      • prasad koka

        You should avoid such frivolous and unsubstantiated wild speculations. The English language skills and ensuing statements of the participants in this discussion is also highly questionable if not outright vulgarity. These are highly selective predatory characteristics. There should be a better way of spending time or making a livelihood. Dwelling on personalities in a shameless manner is good only for readers thriving on sensationalism.

  • smut clyde

    Deb vanished during the University of Missouri-Columbia investigation, but he was found guity of fabrication and falsification by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in 2014.

    One should not forget the ensuing hilarity in which someone hired a low-rent Repairer of Reputations — calling himself “Jiya Khan” and apparently operating out of a Delhi petrol station — to abuse the DMCA and take down the RetractionWatch description of Deb’s fraud for a fortnight.
    http://retractionwatch.com/2016/12/29/removed-post-temporarily-back-heres/

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      I wonder if I will get a DMCA request as well!

  • Pingback: Weekend reads: When reproducibility is weaponized; Internet-based paraphrasing tools; go parasites! - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch()

  • prasad koka

    Without knowing the facts, why don’t you come out in the open and face a criminal investigation? Dr Koka

  • prasad koka

    Is Discover magazine looking for cheap publicity? Dr Koka

  • prasad koka

    Who are these vigilantes, delete the blog immediately. Dr Koka

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      I will happily delete and apologize for any statements which were incorrect.

      • prasad koka

        I do not have time to engage further in back and forth arguments wasting my valuable time on such blogs for money grabbing attention by Discover magazine using publicity stunts as you have posted. I am not responsible for all the individuals that you and other supporters of yours have implied. Since your blog also incites hatred, racism, spam and religious fanaticism into academics, I strongly advise you to delete the entire blog immediately without adding caveats in your response. Google also is being contacted and they are also responsible for posting personal defamatory content and are well known for years to thrive on prying into and posting personal information including home phone numbers, names of kith and kin, and unverified vendetta such as this blog. You can approach the ORI, if you can name and identify each of the individuals whom you cannot verify. ORI also have to realize that the entire NIH peer review process is defective for years together and so their selective dealings in general and more so on lay topics such as yours hold no validity. The ORI has been ineffective since the Head of NIH is not expected to interfere in their decision making process. The contributions of each of the authors in all the publications in all the journals in the world are not your proprietary matters for criticism, and constitutes misuse of freedom of democracy. Your sole intention in this case so
        happens to raise doubts and fear in patients’ minds which is reprehensible and despicable. You cannot selectively use my foreign name for false implications. Neither do I have to feel guilty nor do I care when the published science is being beneficial to those who are affected by health related diseases. I suggest that your blog is closed for good by Discover magazine which also have to go through a thorough revamp, so also Google. As far as I am concerned, the status quo vis-a-vis the journal will be maintained. Good luck! Dr Koka

      • prasad koka

        1. Dr. Bansal has been contacted on phone and has provided a verbal response that the consent forms and ethical committee approval are in his possession and those documents are awaited for internal purposes. Dr. Bansal is invited as a one of the 7 major keynote speakers in a Western European country.
        2. The publishers use software check for plagiarism and submission of ethical and conflict of interest documents and assigned approval numbers, along with the copyright forms when corrected page proofs are submitted to them.
        3. The individual/co-author who had written the Hayflick Limit content will rewrite that part as a supplementary if required by the publishers. It is to be noted that appropriate references have been included.
        4. The individual/co-author who had written the posted part of the content on Das et al paper (2013) will rewrite that part as a supplementary only if that person is available for contact. Why is this matter is being brought up after 4 years? Again it is to be noted that references have been included.
        5. Clubbing me (Dr Koka) with Dr Deb is highly objectionable and offensive. Dr Deb was introduced to me by another scientist prior to 2010 via phone but there was no personal contact until about 2012. I was not aware of his ORI sanctions in 2014, until reading your blog on 21 July 2017. Many scientists even after ORI sanctions have re-established themselves very well in high positions. Are you chasing all of them? To my knowledge, many of the post-docs’ PIs were sanctioned by ORI only for a few years and subsequently renewed their RO-1s.
        6. I was a consultant with DiponEd BioIntelligence for about 3.4 years without zero remuneration and then for about 8 months in 2016 for a paltry total sum of INR25K (USD375) per month until October 2016. My duties did not consist of product development, nor required daily presence. I had nothing to do with his marketing online or wholesale. I am awaiting a meagre pension award of about INR15.6K (USD250) lump sum from the company for the 8 month duration. So your allegations of financial implications are baseless, false, unverified and sheer conjecture which is criminal in nature.
        7. Your referring to a “Jiya Khan” is also news to me for the first time. It is not within my purview. You may contact Dr Deb directly instead of wild speculations.
        8. I am not aware of any fictitious book related issue of the publishers and your claimed “verification” is fraught with serious defects as verified from the publishers.
        9. The reviewers will not have the time to verify all the references in all the journals. It is the same as for any other journal. You cannot be vigilantes since you seem to have plenty of time for mud-slinging and in these instances are counter-productive for scientific and patients’ benefits. Why are you being selectively motivated by the scientists’ foreign origins and not be predatory (paying you back in the same coin) to all of the other journals, more so since you are interested in setting the science world right, correct?!
        10. Your language of what can be described as “garbage/scammy” in nature and contents is not reflective of professional standards but that of a magazine involved in scandalously sensational ad/misad/ventures for reading by “illiterates”.
        11. You have no right to comment on my co-authorships or colleagues since multiple scientists or researchers are involved in the projects.
        12. I will have no further comments. Dr Koka, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Stem Cells.

      • prasad koka

        1. Dr. Bansal has been contacted on phone and has provided a verbal response that the consent forms and ethical committee approval are in his possession and those documents are awaited for internal purposes. Dr. Bansal is invited as a one of the 7 major keynote speakers in a Western European country.
        2. The publishers use software check for plagiarism and submission of ethical and conflict of interest documents and assigned approval numbers, along with the copyright forms when corrected page proofs are submitted to them.
        3. The individual/co-author who had written the Hayflick Limit content will rewrite that part as a supplementary if required by the publishers. It is to be noted that appropriate references have been included.
        4. The individual/co-author who had written the posted part of the content on Das et al paper (2013) will rewrite that part as a supplementary only if that person is available for contact. Why is this matter is being brought up after 4 years? Again it is to be noted that references have been included.
        5. Clubbing me (Dr Koka) with Dr Deb is highly objectionable and offensive. Dr Deb was introduced to me by another scientist prior to 2010 via phone but there was no personal contact until about 2012. I was not aware of his ORI sanctions in 2014, until reading your blog on 21 July 2017. Many scientists even after ORI sanctions have re-established themselves very well in high positions. Are you chasing all of them? To my knowledge, many of the post-docs’ PIs were sanctioned by ORI only for a few years and subsequently renewed their RO-1s.
        6. I was a consultant with DiponEd BioIntelligence for about 3.4 years without zero remuneration and then for about 8 months in 2016 for a paltry total sum of INR25K (USD375) per month until October 2016. My duties did not consist of product development, nor required daily presence. I had nothing to do with his marketing online or wholesale. I am awaiting a meagre pension award of about INR15.6K (USD250) lump sum from the company for the 8 month duration. So your allegations of financial implications are baseless, false, unverified and sheer conjecture which is criminal in nature.
        7. Your referring to a “Jiya Khan” is also news to me for the first time. It is not within my purview. You may contact Dr Deb directly instead of wild speculations.
        8. I am not aware of any fictitious book related issue of the publishers and your claimed “verification” is fraught with serious defects as verified from the publishers.
        9. The reviewers will not have the time to verify all the references in all the journals. It is the same as for any other journal. You cannot be vigilantes since you seem to have plenty of time for mud-slinging and in these instances are counter-productive for scientific and patients’ benefits. Why are you being selectively motivated by the scientists’ foreign origins and not be predatory (paying you back in the same coin) to all of the other journals, more so since you are interested in setting the science world right, correct?!
        10. Your language of what can be described as “garbage/scammy” in nature and contents is not reflective of professional standards but that of a magazine involved in scandalously sensational ad/misad/ventures for reading by “illiterates”.
        11. You have no right to comment on my co-authorships or colleagues since multiple scientists or researchers are involved in the projects.
        12. I will have no further comments. Dr Koka, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Stem Cells.

      • prasad koka

        Why are you repeatedly deleting my responses since the last 12 hours? Dr Koka

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

          Apologies, the Disqus comment software was incorrectly marking your comments as spam.

          • prasad koka

            Why did you delete my response?

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

            Apologies again, Disqus is making these deletions without my knowledge. I have restored the comment.

  • prasad koka

    Following is my voluntary response as Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Stem Cells.
    1. Dr. Bansal has been contacted on phone and has provided a verbal response that the consent forms and ethical committee approval are in his possession and those documents are awaited for internal purposes. Dr. Bansal is invited as a one of the 7 major keynote speakers in a Western European country.
    2. The individual/co-author who had written the Hayflick Limit content will rewrite that part as a supplementary if required by the publishers. It is to be noted that references have been included.
    3. The individual/co-author who had written the posted part of the content on Das et al paper (2013) will rewrite that part as a supplementary only if that person is available for contact. Why this matter is brought up after 4 years? Again it is to be noted that references have been included.
    4. Clubbing me (Dr Koka) with Dr Deb is highly objectionable and offensive. Dr Deb was introduced to me by another scientist prior to 2010 via phone but there was no personal contact until about 2012. I was not aware of his ORI sanctions in 2014, until reading your blog on 21 July 2017. Many scientists even after ORI sanctions have re-established themselves very well in high positions. Are you chasing all of them? To my knowledge, many of the post-docs’ PIs were sanctioned by ORI only for a few years and subsequently renewed their RO-1s.
    5. I was a consultant with DiponEd BioIntelligence for about 3.4 years without zero remuneration and then for about 8 months in 2016 for a paltry total sum of INR25K (USD375) per month until October 2016. My duties did not consist of product development, nor required daily presence. I had nothing to do with his marketing online or wholesale. I am awaiting a meagre pension award of about INR15.6K (USD250) lump sum from the company for the 8 month duration. So your allegations of financial implications are baseless, false, unverified and sheer conjecture which is criminal in nature.
    6. Your referring to a “Jiya Khan” is also news to me for the first time. It is not within my purview. You may contact Dr Deb directly instead of wild speculations.
    7. The publishers use software check for plagiarism and submission of ethical and conflict of interest documents and assigned approval numbers, along with the copyright forms when corrected page proofs are submitted to them.
    8. I am not aware of any fictitious book related issue of the publishers and your claimed “verification” is fraught with serious defects as verified from the publishers.
    9. The reviewers will not have the time to verify all the references in all the journals. It is the same as for any other journal. You cannot be vigilantes since you seem to have plenty of time for mud-slinging and in these instances are counter-productive for scientific and patients’ benefits. Why are you being selectively motivated by the scientists’ foreign origins and not be predatory (paying you back in the same coin) to all of the other journals, more so since you are interested in setting the science world right, correct?!
    10. Your language of what can be described as “garbage/scammy” in nature and contents is not reflective of professional standards but that of a magazine involved in scandalously sensational ad/misad/ventures for reading by “illiterates”.
    11. You have no right to comment on my co-authorships or colleagues since multiple scientists or researchers are involved in the projects.
    12. I will have no further comments.
    Dr Koka

  • prasad koka

    Following is my voluntary response as Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Stem Cells. Do not delete it as you have done earlier when this was posted about 5 hours ago.
    1. Dr. Bansal has been contacted on phone and has provided a verbal response that the consent forms and ethical committee approval are in his possession and those documents are awaited for internal purposes. Dr. Bansal is invited as a one of the 7 major keynote speakers in a Western European country.
    2. The individual/co-author who had written the Hayflick Limit content will rewrite that part as a supplementary if required by the publishers. It is to be noted that references have been included.
    3. The individual/co-author who had written the posted part of the content on Das et al paper (2013) will rewrite that part as a supplementary only if that person is available for contact. Why this matter is brought up after 4 years? Again it is to be noted that references have been included.
    4. Clubbing me (Dr Koka) with Dr Deb is highly objectionable and offensive. Dr Deb was introduced to me by another scientist prior to 2010 via phone but there was no personal contact until about 2012. I was not aware of his ORI sanctions in 2014, until reading your blog on 21 July 2017. Many scientists even after ORI sanctions have re-established themselves very well in high positions. Are you chasing all of them? To my knowledge, many of the post-docs’ PIs were sanctioned by ORI only for a few years and subsequently renewed their RO-1s.
    5. I was a consultant with DiponEd BioIntelligence for about 3.4 years without zero remuneration and then for about 8 months in 2016 for a paltry total sum of INR25K (USD375) per month until October 2016. My duties did not consist of product development, nor required daily presence. I had nothing to do with his marketing online or wholesale. I am awaiting a meagre pension award of about INR15.6K (USD250) lump sum from the company for the 8 month duration. So your allegations of financial implications are baseless, false, unverified and sheer conjecture which is criminal in nature.
    6. Your referring to a “Jiya Khan” is also news to me for the first time. It is not within my purview. You may contact Dr Deb directly instead of wild speculations.
    7. The publishers use software check for plagiarism and submission of ethical and conflict of interest documents and assigned approval numbers, along with the copyright forms when corrected page proofs are submitted to them.
    8. I am not aware of any fictitious book related issue of the publishers and your claimed “verification” is fraught with serious defects as verified from the publishers.
    9. The reviewers will not have the time to verify all the references in all the journals. It is the same as for any other journal. You cannot be vigilantes since you seem to have plenty of time for mud-slinging and in these instances are counter-productive for scientific and patients’ benefits. Why are you being selectively motivated by the scientists’ foreign origins and not be predatory (paying you back in the same coin) to all of the other journals, more so since you are interested in setting the science world right, correct?!
    10. Your language of what can be described as “garbage/scammy” in nature and contents is not reflective of professional standards but that of a magazine involved in scandalously sensational ad/misad/ventures for reading by “illiterates”.
    11. You have no right to comment on my co-authorships or colleagues since multiple scientists or researchers are involved in the projects.
    12. I will have no further comments. Dr Koka

  • prasad koka

    You Neuroskeptic thug, you cannot be in the driver’s seat and control the entire discussion to your unscrupulous advantage.

  • prasad koka

    1. Dr. Bansal has been contacted on phone and has provided a verbal response that the consent forms and ethical committee approval are in his possession and those documents are awaited for internal purposes. Dr. Bansal is invited as a one of the 7 major keynote speakers in a Western European country.
    2. The publishers use software check for plagiarism and submission of ethical and conflict of interest documents and assigned approval numbers, along with the copyright forms when corrected page proofs are submitted to them.
    3. The individual/co-author who had written the Hayflick Limit content will rewrite that part as a supplementary if required by the publishers. It is to be noted that appropriate references have been included.
    4. The individual/co-author who had written the posted part of the content on Das et al paper (2013) will rewrite that part as a supplementary only if that person is available for contact. Why is this matter is being brought up after 4 years? Again it is to be noted that references have been included.
    5. Clubbing me (Dr Koka) with Dr Deb is highly objectionable and offensive. Dr Deb was introduced to me by another scientist prior to 2010 via phone but there was no personal contact until about 2012. I was not aware of his ORI sanctions in 2014, until reading your blog on 21 July 2017. Many scientists even after ORI sanctions have re-established themselves very well in high positions. Are you chasing all of them? To my knowledge, many of the post-docs’ PIs were sanctioned by ORI only for a few years and subsequently renewed their RO-1s.
    6. I was a consultant with DiponEd BioIntelligence for about 3.4 years with zero remuneration and then for about 8 months in 2016 for a paltry total sum of INR25K (USD375) per month until October 2016. My duties did not consist of product development, nor required daily presence. I had nothing to do with his marketing online or wholesale. I am awaiting a meagre pension award of about INR15.6K (USD250) lump sum from the company for the 8 month duration. So your allegations of financial implications are baseless, false, unverified and sheer conjecture which is criminal in nature.
    7. Your referring to a “Jiya Khan” is also news to me for the first time. It is not within my purview. You may contact Dr Deb directly instead of wild speculations.
    8. I am not aware of any fictitious book related issue of the publishers and your claimed “verification” is fraught with serious defects as verified from the publishers.
    9. The reviewers will not have the time to verify all the references in all the journals. It is the same as for any other journal. You cannot be vigilantes since you seem to have plenty of time for mud-slinging and in these instances are counter-productive for scientific and patients’ benefits. Why are you being selectively motivated by the scientists’ foreign origins and not be predatory (paying you back in the same coin) to all of the other journals, more so since you are interested in setting the science world right, correct?!
    10. Your language of what can be described as “garbage/scammy” in nature and contents is not reflective of professional standards but that of a magazine involved in scandalously sensational ad/misad/ventures for reading by “illiterates”.
    11. You have no right to comment on my co-authorships or colleagues since multiple scientists or researchers are involved in the projects.
    12. I will have no further comments. Dr Koka, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Stem Cells.

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Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.

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