Over 60 articles published by the chemistry journal Chemosphere have had an expression of concern added to them.

Reasons given vary from article to article but include unusual changes to the authorship of the article prior to publication, potential citation manipulation, potentially undisclosed conflicts of interest by a reviewer or editor handling the peer-review process and potentially compromised or manipulated peer review.

In a note heading each of the 63 articles, Chemosphere states that journal editors are carrying out an investigation, including contacting the authors, in line with the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines and the policies of Elsevier, who publish Chemosphere. It added that the expressions of concern would remain on each article until the investigation had been completed.

‘If the editors can reach a conclusion, they will take any action that is deemed necessary. If the editors have determined that they cannot reach a satisfactory conclusion with the information available to them, a further notification will be published to update the community,’ the notice reads.

According to Retraction Watch the notices started to appear online in March and papers in both special and regular issues of the journal are affected.