Michigan judge asks PubPeer to turn over anonymous user information

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PubPeer wins closely watched legal battle over anonymous comments

A Michigan appeals court has handed PubPeer, a website that allows anonymous reviews of technical papers, a key win in its legal battle with a researcher who claims the site cost him a job and sullied his reputation.

Retraction Watch reports that “a trio of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a 2015 decision mandating the site reveal the identity of anonymous commenters after a scientist sued them, claiming they cost him a job offer. The judges stated that Fazlul Sarkar, the scientist suing the commenters, can continue pursuing a defamation case, but: ‘… we hold that Dr. Sarkar is not entitled to unmask the identities of any speakers on pubpeer.com with respect to those claims due to the anonymity protections afforded by the First Amendment.’”

Click here to read ScienceInsider’s earlier coverage of the case, and click here to learn more about the researcher who founded the controversial and popular website.