Press Release

Ebola death toll: are we doing enough?
23 Sep, 2014

Since March this year, over 3500 people in western Africa have been affected by the Ebola virus, with over 1,800 people suffering fatalities. The virus, which is contagious, has affected the countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone in this most recent outbreak.

Discovered in 1976, the causes for Ebola are not clearly defined, but are said to involve contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids. Amongst humans, the disease is spread by bodily fluids and secretions - and because there is no vaccine, measures must be taken to slow contagion.

Ashya King: lessons to be learned
16 Sep, 2014

The parents of 5 year old Ashya King were released from a Spanish prison after a European arrest warrant against them was cancelled; this arose following their actions to smuggle him out of Southampton General Hospital and travel to Spain, believing he was not getting the best care and that his condition would deteriorate. They wanted Ashya, who has a brain tumour, to receive treatment at the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague.

However, the full force of the Law immediately swung into action, involving the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Hampshire Constabulary. The couple were arrested, handcuffed, separated from their son and thrown into prison, simply for loving their son and wanting the best possible treatment for him.

Extremism and brainwashing kids at school: A crime against humanity?
18 Aug, 2014

In recent weeks, the issue of extremism and brainwashing in UK schools has once again re-occurred in the media and in parliament.

Specifically, education secretary Nicky Morgan announced that there would be certain school reforms following ‘disturbing’ findings in Birmingham schools.

These findings were uncovered by education commissioner Peter Clarke. He was appointed to the role when a letter, detailing what was happening in certain schools in the Midland, was uncovered.

Known as the ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ letter, it showed plans to push a more Islamist doctrine in some schools – ousting any teacher who did not actively follow the same agenda.

Are Whistleblowers being treated fairly?
16 Aug, 2014

Whistleblowers are being victimised when they go back to work.

A recent government report found that whistleblowers were often victimised and bullied after exposing misconduct in companies and public services in the UK.

As the expenditure of public money is often shrouded in a cloud of secrecy, a whistleblower can give us an insiders perspective - divulging valuable information that lies within the public interest.

Evidence-based analysis - The rise and fall of Head and Neck Oncology I - the audit and subsequent investigations
05 Aug, 2014

Head and Neck Oncology, an open access journal with a closed peer-review system, achieved its first official impact factor on the 2nd of July, 2012. As a result, it achieved the prestigious status of boasting the highest impact factor of any journal in the head and neck discipline in the world.

On the 4th of July, 2012 BioMed Central (the former publisher of the journal) reported serious editorial misconduct following an unannounced internal audit.

On the 6th of July, 2012 BioMed Central asked all four Editors-in-chief to stand down or face serious consequences. BioMed Central also stated that they were looking for replacement editors.

On the 11th July, 2012 BioMed Central decided to initiate its first investigation, promising the editors-in-chief a meeting to discuss the upcoming results. BioMed Central also blocked the editors’ access to the editorial tools, preventing them from looking at the journal’s peer-review history.

On the 1st August, 2012 BioMed Central emailed the editors-in-chief a list of no less than 80 allegations of wrongdoing. The publishing-house requested a ‘satisfactory’ response within 24 hours or the journal would be closed.

BioMed Central went on to cease publishing Head and Neck Oncology and emailed authors with articles under consideration for the journal and editorial board members to confirm the same. The journal moved to another publisher with its editorial board intact, releasing its first new issue on the 9th September, 2012.
 
On the 8th of August, 2012 BioMed Central started its second investigation against the journal but this was upgraded on the 15th of August to an article-based investigation.
 
On 17th of October, 2012 BioMed Central made a formal complaint against the three UK-based editors-in-chief (Colin Hopper, Waseem Jerjes and Tahwinder Upile) to University College London (UCL) and cooperated with a joint investigation that was carried out by University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospitals (UCLH). The investigation found no case to follow up.
 
BioMed Central’s senior staff failed to reach a definitive conclusion regarding any of the allegations against the editors-in-chief.
 
From the 26th of November to the 6th of December, 2013 BioMed Central began asking Head and Neck Oncology authors to consider post-publication peer-reviews. The publisher stated that if they did not accept the reviews they would put a note, stating that the piece was ‘badly handled’, next to the authors’ articles.
 
On the 5th of February, 2014 BioMed Central implemented that and added notes next to many of the articles indexed on PubMed and archived in PubMed Central. The notes alleged that one of the editors-in-chief, Waseem Jerjes, self-handled 15 articles that he co-authored. It is confirmed later in this piece, however, that 3 editorial board members actually handled 9 out of the 15 articles in question.
 
BioMed Central was asked to send a hard and electronic copy of the journal’s peer-review history to the editors for examination. The publisher refused to do so.
 
From their combined experience, it is the editor’s belief, that this is the first time that a publisher has behaved in such a manner against its own editors-in-chief and the academic community of the head and neck oncology discipline.

Waseem Jerjes

 

Jerjes W, Hopper C. Head and Neck Oncology - the sixth year (part1): Editorial. Head Neck Oncol 2014 Apr 26;6(1):1. (Download PDF)

Jerjes W. Evidence-based analysis: The rise and fall of Head and Neck Oncology I: the audit and subsequent investigations. Head Neck Oncol 2014 Aug 05;6(4):33. (Download PDF)

GlaxoSmithKline faces criminal investigation for allegations of bribery...are large enterprises untouchable?
28 Jul, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline faces criminal investigations…

In an era where large companies control the majority of the different markets, the potential for serious crimes within such organisations are an unmeasured quantity.
When a multi-billion pound company is guilty of wrongdoing, it is often on a massive level. So are the
punishments they receive working as a deterrent?

Anonymous bloggers causing defamation, harassment, bullying and other illegal activities...What do we need to do to eliminate the bad ones? Any current UK laws to stop them?
23 Jul, 2014

Cyber bullying and anonymous bloggers

Cyber bullying is defined as an action that ‘uses information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group that is intended to harm another or others.’

Website browsing, discussion forums and other mobile technologies such as SMS text messaging are a part of everyday life. We have the freedom to voice our opinions and make positive or negative comments about different services or current affairs.
This has also led to some users abusing the system with the purposeful intention of causing emotional hurt.
The practice is becomingly increasingly common especially with the rise of social media platforms.

Tony Blair: False information and war
30 Jun, 2014

Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’, has urged the government to take action in Iraq or face terror attacks on British soil. These comments sound strikingly familiar as the legacy of 2003’s invasion is highlighted by mass-killing in the Middle East. Indeed, the former PM sent tens of thousands of British troops to Iraq while warning the UK about weapons of mass destruction. However, Blair rejects claims that he is partly responsible for the current destruction taking place in Iraq and the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of humans.

 

Google...Can we trust Google? Especially when they allowed the defamation of hundreds of thousands under the Freedom of Speech Act
30 Jun, 2014

Defamation control

Before the digital age dictated our every movement, it took a lot more time and effort to find information about a specific person. You may have needed to hire an investigator or spend hours digging through dusty old court documents or financial statements.

Since the explosion of the World Wide Web, access to both public and private information has changed drastically. If you’re reading this, it is likely that your name, picture, employment status and even your home address is documented and relatively easy to obtain online. It wouldn’t be too difficult to find your friends either, not to mention the people who are not your friends or people with whom you may have been in conflict.

 

HIFA2015: to achieve goals - more support is required
17 May, 2014

“Our shared vision is a world where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge.” Statement on HIFA2015 website.

HIFA2015 (Healthcare Information for All by 2015) is a global network of more than 10,000 members which aims to improve the availability of lifesaving information in developing nations. Based in the United Kingdom, HIFA2015 is now supported across 167 countries by at least 2,000 separate organisations. These include the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Midwives and Publication Integrity & Ethics (PIE).