Organometallics Responds to the Dorta SituationAugust 8th, 2013
As was first reported—I believe—by “Dr. MJP” in the comments thread of ChemBark’s original report on the Dorta paper, the editor-in-chief of Organometallics is distributing a letter to parties who have contacted the journal regarding the troubling comment on page 12 of the Supporting Information. ChemBark has confirmed the contents of the letter, which is reproduced below:
Wednesday 07 August
Dear Friends of Organometallics,
Chemical Abstracts alerted us to the statement you mention, which was overlooked during the peer review process, on Monday 05 August. At that time, the manuscript was pulled from the print publication queue.
The author has explained to us that the statement pertains to a compound that was “downgraded” from something being isolated to a proposed intermediate. Hence, we have left the ASAP manuscript on the web for now. We are requiring that the author submit originals of the microanalysis data before putting the manuscript back in the print publication queue.
Many readers have commented that the statement reflects poorly on the moral or ethical character of the author, but the broad “retribution” that some would seek is not our purview. As Editors, our “powers” are limited to appropriate precautionary measures involving future submissions by such authors to Organometallics, the details of which would be confidential (ACS Ethical Guidelines, http://pubs.acs.org/page/policy/ethics/index.html). Our decision to keep the supporting information on the web, at least for the time being, is one of transparency and honesty toward the chemical community.
Other stakeholders can contemplate a fuller range of responses. Some unedited opinions from the community are available in the comments section of a blog posting: http://blog.chembark.com/2013/08/06/a-disturbing-note-in-a-recent-si-file/#comments
If you have any criticisms of the actions described above, please do not hesitate to share them with me.
Thanks much for being a reader of Organometallics, and best wishes,
I’ll have another post on this story tomorrow; I just wanted to post the above letter for the sake of keeping a complete record on the blog. The letter has also been posted on Chemistry Blog and In the Pipeline.