Salmon Watch Ireland: Marine Institute has serious questions to answer about sea lice article

Marine Institute has serious questions to answer about sea lice article.

15 July 2013 – The following statement was issued today by Salmon Watch Ireland:

<Salmon Watch Ireland

The Marine Institute has serious questions to answer arising from the publication of an article about sea lice by some of its staff. It now transpires that this article appeared in an obscure journal with no track record of publishing material on sea lice or salmon, that allows authors of articles to nominate those who should carry out the peer review of the article and that is produced by a publisher named on an authoritative list of ‘predatory open access publishers’.

The article concerned is described in a posting on the Institute’s website as having ‘found no
correlation between the presence of aquaculture and the performance of adjacent wild salmon stocks’.

In the same posting the Institute states that it ‘stands firmly over all peer reviewed scientific papers published by its staff and we support open access to high quality papers’. The article concerned, Evaluation of the impacts of aquaculture and freshwater habitat on the status of Atlantic salmon stocks in Ireland, was published in an open access journal called ‘Agricultural Sciences’ on 28 June 2013. This journal is published by an organisation called ‘Scientific Research’ based in Wuhan, China and with offices in the United States. In the over 200 journals published by Scientific Research the Marine Institute article appears to be the only one on the subject of sea lice and only the second on Atlantic salmon.

Scientific Research publications are included in a list of ‘predatory open access publishers’ compiled by Jeffrey Beall, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, Denver and a noted writer on open access questions. The most recent edition of this list is dated 12 July 2013. Predatory open access publishers are journals which rely substantially for their income on the fees paid by those seeking to have their articles published and which do not fully meet the standards established by the Open Access Publishers Association (OASPA). Scientific Research describes itself as ‘striving for membership of OASPA’.

Salmon Watch Ireland


July 15, 2013

In respect of its publications Scientific Research permits authors of articles to ‘provide the names of three well qualified reviewers’. This is an unheard of practice among peer-reviewed learned journals.
The Marine Institute has serious questions to answer in respect of the publication of this article among the more important being:

1. Why was such an obscure publication with no track record of publishing material on Atlantic salmon selected for the submission of this article?

2. Did the Marine Institute personnel provide the names of reviewers of their article and if so who were they?

3. What comments did the reviewers have on the original article submitted?

4. If the answer to question 2 is in the affirmative does the Marine Institute still stand over its endorsement of this article? 5. How much did the Marine Institute pay to have the article published? (NOTE: The Marine Institute does acknowledge on its website that the author paid for publication).

In the light of all the above does the Marine Institute still stand over it’s endorsement of this article? END

For further information contact: Niall Greene 086 826 9222 Bob Wemyss 087 251 2562

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