Almost every scientific journal has to retract a paper once in a while. But at Tumor Biology, when it rains, it pours. Last month, its former publisher, Springer, announced that the journal was retracting 107 papers all at once, after finding that the peer-review process had been compromised. It was the third mass retraction at Tumor Biology, which now holds the unenviable world record for most retracted papers, according to Retraction Watch.
But that’s not Tumor Biology’s only problem. ScienceInsider has discovered that the journal’s editorial board, as published online, contains the names of several scientists who say they have no relationship whatsoever with the journal—including German Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen. Until a few months ago, the board’s membership list even included a researcher who passed away in 2013.
Tumor Biology is owned by the International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM), and was published by Springer until last year; since January, the journal has been published by California-based publisher SAGE. Its editorial board is supposed to review submissions and offer advice on editorial strategy.