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Sixty-one percent of open-access science journals accept hilariously flawed ‘paper’ for publication

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Today, Science reported that a fake article that “[a]ny reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted” had been placed in 61 percent of the 304 open-access journals it had been submitted to.

The paper was authored by John Bohannan, who has a PhD in molecular biology from Oxford, under an assumed name, “Ocorrafoo Cobange,” who claimed to be a biologist at “the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara.” Neither Cobange nor the institute purporting to employ him exist; however, despite the forged credentials and grossly problematic content, the majority of journals to which Bohannan submitted the paper accepted it.

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Though Bohannan was encouraged that 20 percent of the journals to which he submitted his obviously flawed paper rejected it outright, he was much more concerned with the gate-keeping — or lack thereof — that guided the publications that eventually accepted his paper.

Some asked for no revision; others, superficial revisions for style and format; but most worrying were those, like the Journal for International Medical Research, which accepted his paper and asked for $3,100 to publish his “findings.” Links to all the papers and the correspondence relating to them can be found here.

The potential damage to the public from what Jeffrey Beall calls “predatory publishers” can be far-reaching. Academic articles, even in the sciences, are cited by legal professionals in order to determine matters of law. They form the basis for government grants, which directly effects which lines of research are funded. Moreover, they are used by corporations as material evidence in the implementation of drug trials.

If used wrongly, a paper as patently false as Bohannan’s — which claimed that a cell-killing “drug” could not only cure cancer, but was so effective it should bypass human trials — could lead to the death of hundreds of the most desperate and vulnerable patients.

[“Two scientists examine a green fluid” on Shutterstock]

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Trump spoke with Giuliani on unsecured phones that were vulnerable to Russian surveillance: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump has communicated with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani via unsecured and unencrypted phone lines that are potentially vulnerable to interception and monitoring by Russian intelligence officials and other hostile foreign powers.

"Trump is not identified by name in the House phone records, but investigators said they suspect he may be a person with a blocked number listed as '-1' in the files," stated the report. "And administration officials said separately that Trump has communicated regularly with Giuliani on unsecured lines."

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Internet debates ‘the dumbest thing Brian Kilmeade has ever said’

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Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade has received a great deal of attention -- and criticism -- during the Trump era.

Kilmeade co-hosts one of the President's favorite shows, "Fox and Friends," with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt on weekday mornings. He also a show on the Fox News Radio network and frequently appears on "The Five."

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship play-by-play sportscaster has also been harshly criticized for the type of comments that make the show a favorite for the president.

Journalist Molly Jong-Fast, who was widely praised her interview of Lisa Page, decided to explore Kilmeade's comments.

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Trump was ‘in denial’ he would be impeached — until he watched TV yesterday: CNN reporter

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," White House correspondent Boris Sanchez said that President Donald Trump believed for weeks that Democrats were not really going to go through with impeachment — but after watching the House Judiciary Committee testimony on Wednesday, he finally realized they were serious.

"Is it clear how the president is handling this behind closed doors?" asked Cooper.

"Well, for weeks we've been hearing that the president has sort of been in denial about all of this, that he did not actually believe that Democrats in the house would vote to impeach him," said Sanchez. "We're actually told that he's come to terms with that reality in part because he was watching testimony yesterday as he was returning from a NATO leaders meeting in London."

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