Professor Malcolm Hooper, Journal of Clinical Pathology and Wikipedia

Update: As of 5 August 08, the reference to this paper by Prof Malcolm Hooper, published by the BMJ/JCP, has been reinstated to the Wikipedia article page and it has been recorded in the page History that the paper has not been retracted; the edit History tag also includes the URL to the clarification and apology to Prof Hooper published by the BMJ/JCP on its website. This reversion has been carried out by an editor other than “Jfdwolff” or “DGG” who had been requested to give this matter due attention.  Prof Hooper has been updated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May be reposted

Professor Malcolm Hooper, Journal of Clinical Pathology and Wikipedia

By Suzy Chapman
2 August 2008

On 2 July 2008, it was published by Dr Marc-Alexander Fluks, via the Co-Cure mailing list, that Professor Malcolm Hooper’s paper: Myalgic encephalomyelitis: a review with emphasis on key findings in biomedical research. J Clin Pathol 2007;60:466-471 had been retracted. The source of this information was given as the Journal of Clinical Pathology website. The Co-Cure mailing can be accessed here:

http://listserv.nodak.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0807a&L=co-cure&T=0&F=&S=&P=903

Since this was news to Professor Hooper, himself, the Journal of Clinical Pathology was approached for a clarification.  In the interim, on 5 July, Professor Hooper issued the following statement via the Co-Cure mailing list and website, via Stephen Ralph of MEActionUK:

http://listserv.nodak.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0807a&L=co-cure&T=0&F=&S=&P=5362

PROF HOOPER HAS NOT RETRACTED JCP PAPER.

Please note. The title of Dr. Marc-Alexander Fluks’ Co-Cure posting of 2 July 2008 “Hooper retracts CFS paper” is misleading as Professor Hooper has NOT in fact retracted his paper entitled: Myalgic encephalomyelitis: a review with emphasis on key findings in biomedical research. J Clin Pathol 2007;60:466-471.. There is presently some confusion as to exactly what is going on at the JCP regarding this matter but Professor Hooper categorically states:

“I wish it to be known that I have NOT retracted my Journal of Clinical Pathology paper on biomedical ME research, I have no intention of doing so, I have had no official communication from the JCP on this matter and am currently seeking clarification.” [Professor Malcolm Hooper; 5 July 2008].

 

The BMJ Group subsequently issued a clarification and an apology to Professor Malcolm Hooper which can be read here on The Journal of Clinical Pathology’s website:

http://jcp.bmj.com/misc/hooper.dtl

On 15 July 2008, the clarification of the status of this paper and the apology from the BMJ Group was published via the Co-Cure mailing list and on the Co-Cure website, by Stephen Ralph, on behalf of Professor Hooper, and can be read here: 

http://listserv.nodak.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0807c&L=co-cure&T=0&F=&S=&P=58

I also append a copy.

The JCP reinstalled access to the paper and the abstract and full version of the original paper in PDF format can now be found back on the JCP website at:

Abstract: http://tinyurl.com/5gj4zs

PDF Full paper:  http://tinyurl.com/6k7pze

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Statement of clarification from Prof Malcolm Hooper

[Published 15 July 2008 by Stephen Ralph]

A message from Professor Malcolm Hooper

“Attention is drawn to the recently-released apology from the Journal of Clinical Pathology regarding the alleged retraction of the Review ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: a review with emphasis on key findings in biomedical research’ by Professor Malcolm Hooper. Professor Hooper notes that the immoderate and malicious comments which were posted on the internet regarding his paper have been shown to be false. He is saddened that such comments from those who profess to have the best interests of the ME community at heart have caused distress, dismay and confusion within the wider ME community”.

Statement of clarification and apology from Journal of Clinical Pathology

http://jcp.bmj.com

http://jcp.bmj.com/misc/hooper.dtl

The BMJ Group wishes to inform readers that a series of technical errors resulted in the unjustified retraction of the article “Myalgic encephalomyelitis: a review with emphasis on key findings in biomedical research”. The article’s citation details remain as originally published (J Clin Pathol 2007; 60: 466 – 471; doi:10.1136/jcp.2006.042408).

The Journal of Clinical Pathology offers an unreserved apology to the author of the article, Professor Malcolm Hooper, and regrets any confusion or distress that may have been caused.

Note: The Original Paper can now be found back on the JCP website

============================================

www.meactionuk.org.uk

 

Wikipedia

In April 2008, a new Wikipedia article page was created titled:

ME/CFS controversies at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ME/CFS_controversies

The History Page for this article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.phptitle=ME/CFS_controversies&action=history 

records that on 11 July 2008, Wikipedia Admin, “Jfdwolff”, removed a reference to Professor Hooper’s paper Myalgic encephalomyelitis: a review with emphasis on key findings in biomedical research. J Clin Pathol, Hooper M from the Diagnostic controversies section of the ME/CFS controversies article as it stood at that date.

The reason for this edit is given by Admin “Jfdwolff”, in the edit tag, as “Hooper review has been retracted and therefore ceases to be a reliable source.”

On 1 August, I contacted two Wiki Admins who have been working on this article and advised them that the Hooper paper had not been retracted. I provided them with copies of Prof Hooper’s own statement of clarification and the clarification and apology issued by the Journal of Clinical Pathology in July, the link for the JCP’s website where the clarification and apology can be read and the link on the JCP’s website where the full copy of the paper can be accessed.

The response so far, from one of the Wiki Admins approached, has been to tell me that as for the retraction, he considers it would be good to be able to quote some source outside BMJ/JCP for the status.

Since the BMJ’s Journal of Clinical Pathology has already published a clarification on its website that the reporting of Professor Hooper’s paper as having been retracted was the result of a series of technical errors on its part, since the paper is now reinstalled on the BMJ’s website and since the web pages which erroneously reported the paper as having been retracted have since been removed by the Journal, one has to question the rationale behind this Wikipedia Admin’s desire to be able to quote a source outside the BMJ/JCP for “the status”!

Professor Malcolm Hooper, University of Sunderland has been advised of the situation and that a request has been made for this issue to be addressed by Wikipedia Admins.

I will keep you updated on the progress of this issue. In the meantime, until this issue has been resolved and until the status of this paper has been updated at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ME/CFS_controversies (and on any other Wikipedia pages where references to this paper might have been made), readers of Wikipedia and editors and Admins working on articles associated with CFS/ME, that is,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Wessely
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ME/CFS_controversies

should rely on the clarification on The Journal of Clinical Pathology website for their information.

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