2 March 2021 – Media statement
Article rejection: Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19.
Dr. Frederick Fenter, Chief Executive Editor of Frontiers:
“Regardless of the publication stage or subject of a manuscript, if the integrity of an article is called into question, our policy is to investigate. Upon further scrutiny by our Research Integrity team about the objectivity of this paper during the provisional acceptance phase, it was revealed that the article made a series of strong, unsupported claims based on studies with insufficient statistical significance, and at times, without the use of control groups. Further, the authors promoted their own specific ivermectin-based treatment which is inappropriate for a review article and against our editorial policies.
“In our view, this paper does not offer an objective nor balanced scientific contribution to the evaluation of ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Frontiers’ has published more than 2,000 rigorously peer-reviewed articles on COVID-19 since the pandemic erupted via our Coronavirus Knowledge Hub, and we are acutely aware of just how critical high-quality, objective research in this area is at this time. Frontiers takes no position on the efficacy of ivermectin as a treatment of patients with COVID-19, however, we do take a very firm stance against unbalanced or unsupported scientific conclusions.
“Our concerns were discussed by the handling editor and myself, and then further investigated by an external expert. The decision was made to reject the paper prior to publication, which was communicated to the authors via the normal channels. We note that last week the authors offered a revised version of their paper for consideration, based on the concerns discussed with the Handling Editor. Should the authors formally submit the revised manuscript, and should our concerns be addressed in this new version, the updated paper will be assessed for publication according to our standard review process. The original version has been published by the authors on their website and is available for all to read and to judge for themselves.”
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Acceptance and Rejection: Acceptance is at Frontiers’ (or the Hosted Journal owner’s) discretion in accordance with its rules and processes. Once accepted, an article will in principle be published; on rare occasions an issue causing rejection may arise or be discovered, in which case the article may be rejected prior to publication despite having been previously accepted.
Frontiers is an award-winning Open Science platform and leading Open Access scholarly publisher. Founded in 2007, we have published over 150,000 rigorously certified research articles by leading academics, covering more than 650 academic disciplines. Our mission is to make research results openly available to the world, thereby accelerating scientific and technological innovation, societal progress and economic growth. We empower scientists with innovative Open Science solutions that radically improve how science is published, evaluated and disseminated to researchers, innovators and the public. Access to research results and data is open, free and customized through Internet Technology, thereby enabling rapid solutions to the critical challenges we face as humanity. For more information, visit www.frontiersin.org