This “bombshell” is probably only the tip of the iceberg:
Academic journals in Russia are retracting more than 800 papers following a probe into unethical publication practices by a commission appointed by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The moves come in the wake of several other queries suggesting the vast Russian scientific literature is riddled with plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and so-called gift authorship, in which academics become a co-author without having contributed any work…
Last summer, the commission asked 541 journals to retract a total of 2528 papers. In its interim report, the commission writes that 390 journals have so far responded to the inquiry, 263 of which have agreed to retract all suspicious papers; others agreed to retract some of the highlighted papers but not others, or gave legitimate reasons why the papers shouldn’t be pulled.Dalmeet Singh Chawla, “Russian journals retract more than 800 papers after ‘bombshell’ investigation” at Science
Read the whole thing, however depressing.
A question arises: To the extent that science is global, tolerated fraud in one milieu taints an entire discipline. Recall the smug people who think that science is an infinitely superior way of knowing, Won’t that be an increasingly harder sell as more people become aware of these tip-of-the-iceberg “bombshell” revelations?
See also: Is “social justice” destroying objectivity in science? Social justice activism in science presents a similar problem to the one posed by journals that are soft on fraud. If, irrespective of merit, the true answer to the question of why a given paper was published is that the authors belong to a persecuted minority, there is no reason to consider the contents of the paper any further. Just publishing the paper meets all the important goals. Serious students must vet what’s hot and what’s not for themselves. But again, the authority of science is the big loser here.