In the 10 May 2019 issue of Science magazine, Assistant Professor of the University of Florida, Alan H Chambers, writes about his experience with a predatory journal. In a moment of weakness after rejection of a manuscript, he submitted it to a newly launched journal. It turns out it was a “predatory journal” in all aspects of the phrase. He realized his mistake and requested it be withdrawn. With a quality journal, this would be honored immediately. This journal demanded payment. Only with repeated demands from the University was the paper “let go”. The author also suggests ways to test a journal (e.g., look at the editorial board, contact them separately to confirm, etc.). Moral of the story – the pressure to publish are real – but don’t succumb to submitting to these journals.
At the 3rd Annual Sonoma Eye, meeting, Dr. Novack chaired a symposium on two areas of interest – basic research in ocular inflammation and retinal disease and clinical outcomes. Dr. Novack presented current thinking on endpoints in approvals of novel therapeutics in ophthalmology. He also moderated the discussion on how to best use pre-clinical models to aid in drug development. Including Dr. Novack, there were 3 speakers from the University of California, Davis.
Pinterest recently stated that “..it would no longer return any search results, including pins and boards, for terms related to vaccinations, whether in favor or against them.” The firm noticed the majority of shared images on their site cautioned people against vaccinations. As I wrote in an article in 2017, “Anti-Science in the 21st century”. we have a safe, effective, affordable prevention of a terrible disease. Use it!
The U.S. FDA signaled strengthening of regulation of dietary supplements in remarks by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. He notes “…In the 25 years since Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the law that transformed the FDA’s authority to regulate dietary supplements, the dietary supplement market has grown significantly. What was once a $4 billion industry comprised of about 4,000 unique products, is now an industry worth more than $40 billion, with more than 50,000 – and possibly as many as 80,000 or even more – different products available to consumers.”
FDA “sent out 12 warning letters and five online advisory letters to companies whose products, many of which are marketed as dietary supplements, are being illegally marketed as unapproved new drugs because the products bear unproven claims to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a number of other serious diseases.”
To some of us, the promotion of nutritional supplements by some firms goes beyond that allowed by law. Further, some firms prey upon patients’ unfounded belief that “If it’s natural, it must be safe”.
In a recent editorial in EyeNet on the importance of collaboration in successful research, past-president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Ruth Williams, M.D. cites Dr. Novack. Dr. Novack stated “…You cannot be successful unless you realize that you do NOT know everything”. Further she states that “…major breakthroughs usually require a multi-disciplinary approach, ophthalmic researcher must recognize and woo individuals who may not currently be working on vision research”. A prime example of this is the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s “Catalyst for a Cure”.