Quand un chercheur fait inscrire son chien dans le conseil scientifique de revues scientifiques voyous ("predatory")
MOVE aside quokkas and black swans, Perth is now home to the world’s smartest dog, at least on paper.
Local “academic” Dr Olivia Doll — also known as Staffordshire terrier Ollie — sits on the editorial boards of seven international medical journals and has just been asked to review a research paper on the management of tumours.
Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.
Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.
The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.
Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.
Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.
Today Ollie is being featured in a more reputable publication, the Medical Journal of Australia’s Insight magazine, which is looking at the surge in journals which charge desperate would-be researchers up to $3000 to get their studies published.
“While this started as something lighthearted, I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young or naive academics and those from developing countries,” Professor Daube said.
He said the authors would be gutted to know their papers were being reviewed by a dog, who often needed to be offered a treat before she dragged herself in front of the laptop. “It gives all researchers paws for thought,” Professor Daube said.
Dr Doll refused to comment unless she was taken for walkies.