As a beginner in writing I am still learning. Since I try to systematically eliminate obstacles and problems I may be doing, I got to another problem I need to somehow address – it is called predatory publishing.
First of all I should set the proper context, or better remind it, because I think it is easy to identify it by looking at one or two posts on my website. The context is chronic diseases and all the important questions starting with why and how words. Why chronic disease can develop, how can I restore health? These are the ultimate questions I deal with on my website and since I am who I am I chose the most brutal chronic disease called ALS as a first candidate for my personal and purely independent investigations.
It is simple fact that today science is unable to cure ALS and it admits that clearly – no conflict, nothing to question or argument about. I am both praising science as well as criticizng science on my website though.
Since I myself am not a scientist I cannot do the primary work in medical research leading to findings which improve human understanding of health conditions, diseases including the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However what I can do and also everyone else can do, is trying to read or study the materials which those scientists provide us. Their works are published in journals, books etc. It means while I am an independent analyst (nobody paying me) I am very dependent on science and all these materials where science is informing about its findings. As I wrote in my previous post I referred or cited 66 scientific works directly and thus hundreds or even thousands indirectly (every scientific article has lots of references!). Without these works and without internet I would never be able to work in the way I wanted to work on my website and hence my praise to science.
I am also critical because I see big problems in the scientific efforts which negatively affect the outcome. As an analyst I can afford to criticize, everyone can criticize and only the form of the critics and nature of the critical information consumer will define how it is received. It should be also clear that there are many streams in science itself and there are battles, there are various opinion camps but what is important and what we all should appreciate is the evidence based resolution of these battles. Once some group comes with a relevant evidence taken using respected scientific methods then the theory is becoming proven and it basically wins the competition. Competition itself is very positive thing as it forces people to do their best to prove their vision or hypothesis can be actually correct. However when humans compete they also cheat and behave inappropriately. Does anyone want examples from sport area? All those doping sinners? What about that famous guy who won Tour de France many times? 😉Does anyone want examples from politics? Rigged elections, manipulated evidence to achieve something including starting real war based on such rigged evidence? I am sure my readers are educated enough to know all these things have happened and are already part of our mankind history. The same problematic behavior occurs indeed in science too. The disorders are tightly coupled with the human factor so everywhere where human is, there is an example of cheating, rigging, manipulating, misusing, abusing. Science is just not any exception. My critics is targeted this direction partially despite I cannot provide clear evidence only alarming traces & findings. But then my critics is also targeted in the way how science operates, how it is being funded, prioritized and coordinated.
The Big Problem
The reason is that I am convinced science has reached the phase in which its own cross-field findings are so great and amazing that it should be capable to interpret and apply the knowledge in much better way for the good of all. However this is clearly not happening because science is not in vaccum – human health is one of the best target to monetize or to base business on. Just think about all the options and then compare them with human health and all related factors. This is where the competition gets dirty and it really is dirty as many participants want their share of the business.
The key thing here is informing people how to care about their health and also what was newly found in terms of human organism operation so that some diseases can be explained, better and well targeted with medication etc. This is where the authoritative role of medical science has been gradually established. Anyway the medical science is kind of failing in this leading role and another great authority indirectly confirms that. Who is that? It is World Health Organization (WHO). Everyone can visit their website and go through the stats and not really positive numbers and trends. People are more and more sick, whether it is cancer or hypertension – one of the first doors to various chronic and life threatening diseases. If more and more people are sick and more and more funds from government budgets need to be spent on all the treatments (Alzheimer, Cancer, Diabetes etc.) it clearly means medical science is failing to certain extent in its role. Medical science role is not only about researching but also about informing clearly about the dangers all others (toxicity, viral & bacterial infections, bacterial resistancy, bad food or bad structure of food, clean watter and air). And this is where science is hitting the problematic point as at this point the clash with big players from other sectors starts. The health interests get into conflict with economical interests and this is where the dirty game starts, rigged or suppressed studies, prioritizing and funding industry safe projects (genetics!) to those which can harm it (environment!). I believe I have not written anything wrong so far – we all know this is happening and we are somehow fighting these tendencies.
As I wrote above there is one fundamental way how to fight these problems and it is informing the world in line with the reality. Since medical science is failing in this role, humans logically react. There are many people turning to alternative approaches because people always try to find better way – this is the reason why we evolve. There are many medical professionals who have done this transition too – people who have the expert knowledge, medical background and who recognized the current limits of slow, rigorous and not so well side interests/influences resisting medical science. In my library there are couple of books from these authors. What is interesting is that they are often capable to help sick people better than the system. And this is why the system needs to strike back to keep its role of the ultimate authority on medical and health matters.
What is predatory publishing1,2? It can be simply defined as inherently untrustworthy publishing. Please note the word inherently is not there just to make the sentence nicer or longer. As I wrote earlier science has its methods which it respects but it also has numerous internal problems. Besides obvious scams or misleading information there are many other subjects who started publishing as an reaction to those problems. However they can easily get caught in the prepared trap and get eliminated from the wider discussion. How is this done?
There are people or subjects which started to give labels, classify works and create lists of bad sources. This may not sound like a big problem but sooner or later it practically always creates a problem. This is the old story of perhaps good intention which gets compromised after some time. The official reasons why these lists are being created are following:
- Publishers marked as predatory do not ensure the proper peer review of the work to be published.
- Publishers marked as predatory do not guarantee the level of services which those good publishers indeed offer (little irony can be valid here) – for example immutability of the work (guarantee it was not altered etc.)
- There is fear that works which are not well peer reviewed would gradually compromise the scientific archive and introduce chaos, disinformation etc.
- Predatory publishers are highly suspected that financial interests can prevail – on demand publishing on various topics with prescribed result (i.e. rigged work or at least misleading work as it overstresses some wanted property while not informing about those less wanted properties).
To me all above points are valid concerns. However the problem is that the scientific archive is most likely already compromised and creating black lists is not efficient solution. It most likely creates another new problems while it does not address the original problems. Today we live in the age of giving labels, often false labels with a clear goal to discredit someone easily and without any evidence. We really live in information wars. Let´s not waste time and come up with just few arguments why this whole Predatory Publishing classification is wrong thing.
- Those problems it describes and tries to prevent already exist and no silly rules like number of reviewers can address the problem.
- If you have power and money you will always have reviews and everything needed to enter that clean scientific archive.
- If you have power and money you can even ensure that someone who wants to publish honestly will not get any peer reviews, will not get any support and will be black listed as some untrustworthy fool.
- This tool logically favors the big players over the small, independent writers (and truth seekers!).
- Logically the big problems are caused by big players (corporations, organizations etc.) not by small and powerless people.
- Scientific work indeed needs to meet certain criteria – formal aspects, methodology and results which should be ideally reproducible or at least secured by taking testimonies, personal details enabling investigation when some damage has been done.
- Any work which seems untrustworthy and is suspected to be rigged should be called rigged only when there is a real scientific evidence proving it. Science needs to use its methods, not act like middle age inquisition
Logical consequence can be following. The predatory publishing can indeed prevent some obvious scam work but these would be most likely recognized by other means easily too. However on the other hand it introduces framework which can secure the existing problems within scientific circles and put obstacles in front of anyone who would like to help resolving these problems by providing counterevidence etc. Since this mechanism is not based on native scientific methods (evidence based classification) it is inherently untrustworthy – the alarm goes on!
“There is only one science. Nobody should feel the need to administratively classify science on good and bad science. Science has scientific methods to distinguish good from bad, working from not working. Science is about competition but also requires collaboration. Science needs scientists who want to improve the world, solve problems, not bureaucrats.”
— Mr. Underhill From Shire
I am writing about this whole topic for a reason. Of course I have mentioned non-scientific authors on this website like Anthony William, Edgar Cayce, not sure how Stephen Harrod Buhner is classified or labeled, but I have always clearly and transparently mentioned the nature of these sources and explained why or where I think they can give relevant information. I have also referred many real scientific works and authors. One name for all is Lida Holmes Mattman, she was even nominated for Nobel prize but did not get it. Her background is unquestionable. Then I also informed about the ALS Healing case and this is where I received an automated warning I may be referring predatory publisher. Well OK, can be! I got it. So how can I decide if it is scam or not? I am not a man of cheap labels, I want evidence! Where is the evidence? Where are peer reviews? Where are some case studies denying that treatment protocol? It is strange because there is nothing like that. I tried to contact the authors and find out more but I got only brief response and PDF document. Well, that could be a signal those people are real predators, they do not want to talk to me, we cannot do interview together. Justification was simple: Lack of time. Perhaps I should try again later. Anyway how should I treat the materials in the meantime?
I had to employ best-effort heuristic strategy. The information was highly in line with my own analytical findings across scientific works of trusted origins (NIH, ResearchGate, ScienceDirect etc.) and also with strange but non-scientific sources so that a weird triangle of compatibility was established. What could such rare coincidence mean? Yes, it could mean the links are valid and can be actually highly relevant. Another factor was that communication – I tried to communicate also with the respectful science but they never responded anything so even the short response from possibly predatory source outperformed science. This is why I included the information on my website and now I am requesting peer reviews for that, now I am requesting follow up case study for that, now I am suggesting everyone affected by ALS to start following and exploring this trace. Nobody bothers, nobody shares, nobody gives support, nobody helps but I carry on and fight alone nonetheless.
- 1.Why is predatory publishing evil? PredatoryPublishing.com. Accessed October 2021. https://predatory-publishing.com/why-is-predatory-publishing-evil/
- 2.PredatoryPublishing. Wikipedia. Accessed October 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_publishing
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