Currently submitted to: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Date Submitted: May 4, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: May 8, 2019 - May 22, 2019
(closed for review but you can still tweet)
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Authors’ reply to JMIR’s and Professor Gunter Eysenbach’s Expression of Editorial Concern, Correction of Conflict of Interest and Affiliation
The authors are postgraduate professionals who are insiders to a complementary-to-medicine healthcare organisation called Universal Medicine. The authors carried out a cross-sectional survey of 400+ of the female participants of Universal Medicine and published a protocol paper  and a summary paper  with the latter showing that these women have well above average mean levels of physical and mental health with some evidence of below average physical and mental health at the start of their participation. The authors declared that they were insiders in their conflict of interest declarations in the paper. A serial objector filed a lengthy complaint with JMIR and others, alleging inadequate disclosure of conflicts of interest by the authors. This complaint combined with an error of JMIR (described below) led to an 8-month investigation by The University of Queensland (UQ) into the lead author, a UQ PhD student. Prior to UQ completing their investigation, i.e. before UQ drew any conclusion, JMIR added a reputation harming Expression of Editorial Concern, Correction of Conflict of Interest and Affiliation to the two published papers. The 8-month investigation by The University of Queensland cleared the lead author of research misconduct. The Expression of Editorial Concern, Correction of Conflict of Interest and Affiliation remains in situ and in essence it continues to allege that there was an undisclosed conflict of interest and some form of wrongdoing or misconduct by the authors. This is completely contrary to the extensive investigation that was conducted by The University of Queensland.
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