It’s Time to Hold the Medical Journals Accountable
By Steve Kirsch
Scientific integrity has been compromised by medical journals, but they have been getting away with it. This needs to stop now.
This is Adrian Gonzalez-Lopez, Editor of BMC Infectious Diseases:
He decided to retract the Skidmore paper for reasons that do not satisfy the COPE criteria. All of his concerns could have been addressed by amending the paper. Retraction was unwarranted.
For example, one doctor wrote me:
Ok. I read through everything. Impressions are:
- Skidmore is a very good author; he did a very good job writing the paper and dealing with all the potential issues/challenges that could come up when he wrote it. His language was very careful and spot on for what he was trying to do.
- The reasons they are citing for the retraction are nonsensical and by that logic you could never publish a paper based on survey results.
- The journal made the decision to ax the paper and weren’t interested in any argument to the contrary.
Grounds for retraction
The COPE guidelines for retraction are described in detail in this article:
- They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (eg, of data) or falsification (eg, image manipulation)
- It constitutes plagiarism
- The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication)
- It contains material or data without authorisation for use
- Copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy)
- It reports unethical research
- It has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process
- The author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.
Do any of these apply to the Skidmore paper? No. Not a single one.
In fact, Skidmore’s result was similar to data found by other researchers which puts to bed the first concern and the others aren’t even close to valid.
Which leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the paper was retracted unethically.
Was the Editor willing to discuss the retraction decision and answer questions? No.
Will the Editor reveal who objected to the paper and which of these items they cited? No, they keep that a secret!
They are skating on thin ice and their unwillingness to address any of the issues does not inspire any confidence.
Is this type of behavior supported by Springer Nature?
Here is the email I just sent them:
I am an investigative journalist who writes about vaccine issues.
The retraction of the Skidmore paper was recently brought to my attention.
The retraction is described in this article.
I am baffled by the retraction because none of the COPE Guidelines for retraction are satisfied, making the decision to retract the paper perplexing.
Skidmore never said the survey results proved causality. He just estimated the number of deaths that MIGHT have been caused by the vaccine based on the survey data.
Professor Norman Fenton used a completely different approach and found similar estimates as Skidmore!
And the death estimates made in the paper are consistent with estimates made via independent methods such as the VAERS death reports. There are 16,000 excess US deaths in VAERS and VAERS is under-reported by at least 41 for serious injuries. This is a minimum of 656,000 deaths over 2 years. If the vaccine didn’t kill those people, what did? It wasn’t background deaths as those have already been subtracted. Something killed those people and until proven otherwise, we must assume it was the vaccine.
The CDC has never proven any of these VAERS deaths were not caused by the vaccine because it appears that they have NEVER done the required histopathology for ANY death. This is likely why the CDC is refusing to turn over the autopsy records to Aaron Siri as required by law. What is crystal clear is that the CDC has NEVER shown us ANY histopathology for ANYONE who has died. Why not?
So it is more than reasonable to make an estimate based on assuming that the reporters were accurate observers.
In the Pfizer Phase 3 trial, the six month mortality rate was 31% higher in the vaccinated group. This is the “gold standard” study. A 31% mortality increase translates to approximately 697,000 excess deaths caused by the vaccine over 2 years which is again consistent with the Skidmore result.
If Skidmore’s results are unreliable, the burden is on the person complaining to explain the more likely cause of the deaths reported in the survey. What is the correct number and how do they know? How do they explain all the deaths reported in the survey? Were people lying? Where is the proof that the survey was wrong?
NOBODY has been able to provide an alternate explanation that fits all the evidence. If this exists, the Editors should have cited it in their retraction notice. For example, the VAERS numbers are not from “over reporting” as there is NO EVIDENCE of over reporting. This leaves only one possibility: it’s because the vaccine is killing people. If there is an alternate explanation, then why hasn’t anyone told us what it is?
If you reject this paper, I am requesting you to describe what did kill those people in the survey if it wasn’t the vaccine and what evidence you have of this. This would be helpful to everyone.
And why did the Rasmussen Survey come up with similar results? In fact, in the Rasmussen survey, they found as many vaccine deaths as COVID deaths. If the vaccine isn’t killing people what is?
In short, the burden on the Editors is to show the results are wrong because of a major error or fabrication of data. NEITHER OF THESE CONDITIONS IS TRUE. You can’t show an error if you can’t tell us the right answer.
The claim “Lastly, contrary to the statement in the article, the documentation provided by the author confirms that the study was exempt from ethics approval and therefore was not approved by the IRB of the Michigan State University Human Research Protection Program” is simply ridiculous.
Skidmore had to get IRB approval of the study. The IRB read the study and concluded that there was nothing in the study that could harm a human taking the poll and therefore ruled it was exempt. The study was IRB approved. And the study was exempt. But the IRB had to rule it was exempt since Mark cannot make that assessment himself. So to claim that the author is misrepresenting a material fact here is simply preposterous.
It seems clear to me that the Editors were on a fishing expedition to do whatever they could to get the paper retracted.
For example they asked about the people who helped on the study but weren’t listed as authors. Why is this all of a sudden an issue? Did someone complain about that?
One can infer that the Editors were on a mission to retract the paper and were going down a checklist to see what they could do to justify a retraction.
Skidmore responded to all their questions and the Editors provided nothing to counter any of his answers.
In short, this appears to be unethical behavior on the part of the Editors involved. They are trying to push a “safe and effective” narrative rather than on upholding scientific integrity.
The Editors could have easily suggested that the paper be amended but they clearly were on a mission to get the paper retracted.
This is not a close call. I have shown this paper to numerous colleagues in the scientific community and they are all appalled at the rationale given for retraction.
One of them wrote:
Ok. I read through everything. Impressions are:
· Skidmore is a very good author; he did a very good job writing the paper and dealing with all the potential issues/challenges that could come up when he wrote it. His language was very careful and spot on for what he was trying to do.
· The reasons they are citing for the retraction are nonsensical and by that logic you could never publish a paper based on survey results.
· The journal made the decision to ax the paper and weren’t interested in any argument to the contrary.
I am requesting that you have an independent review panel examine the determination of the Editors to retract the paper. The independent reviewers should be carefully chosen from those who have a reputation for scientific integrity. UCSF Professor Vinay Prasad for example would make an excellent independent reviewer. Stanford Professor John Ioannidis would also make an excellent reviewer.
I am also requesting that this not be done in secrecy like the retraction was.
In the event you still decide to retract the paper, we’d all like to know the “error” that was made and what the correct answer is. If the vaccine wasn’t a possible cause of the vaccine deaths reported in the survey, what killed those people? This is very important. If there is an error, you have to know what the “right” value is. If you don’t know the right answer, then how can you know Skidmore’s estimate of possible deaths is wrong and the paper should be retracted?
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
I can be reached at xxxxxx if you have any questions.
If we continue to sit back and let this abusive behavior continue, it will continue
So we have to hold these people accountable for their actions, e.g., by drawing public attention to what they are doing and other legal means:
- the Editor,
- the publisher (if they do not respond to the ethics complaints)
- the editorial staff of other journals (who are sitting back idly and allowing this to happen without comment or challenge).
In addition, paying the legal costs of any authors who wish to file suit is effective as well. The video depositions can be made public so we can educate the public about how ethical these “scientific” journals really are and expose the corruption that is taking place. Having them explain, for example, which of the retraction conditions was true for the Skidmore paper should be very enlightening.
If you would like to be involved in holding these medical journal editors and publishers accountable, please fill out this form, especially if you are an attorney or you know of how this (or similar situations) has been done successfully in the past.
Also, if you are superb in choosing team leaders from a list of candidates for special projects, please fill out the form as well and be sure to check the “I’m a master team builder” item in the Special Requests.