Monday, October 23, 2017

I have a noble cause for skin, there's just too many of them #2
Pigments of the Imagination edition

I programmed the Riddled Ktistec machine to scour the Interweave for exemplars of the type and synthesise them into an updated Mission Statement for the Riddled Research Laboratory and Institute for Extreme Country-Dancing... ideally something more legible and less beer-stained than what we have at the moment. It came up with a list of noble and chivalrous ambitions:
  • To act as the directing and co-ordinating organization in the field of medicine;
  • To be the worldwide, authoritative organ of the medical profession;
  • To provide leadership on health matters, form the health research agenda, articulate norms and standards, evince evidence-based policy options, and monitor and assess health trends;
  • To assist governments and national medical associations in jointly tackling health problems and improving the welfare of their citizens;
  • To chart a successful course for health care delivery globally by articulating health guidelines and standards and helping nations address their public health issues;
  • To study and evaluate all aspects of the medical health continuum, including the development of programs approved by the officers or members, to ensure an adequate continuing supply of well-qualified physicians to meet the needs of the public;
When I accused the Ktistec machine of plagiarising these items in all their grandiosity from the World Health Academy it turned off its auditory inputs and has been sulking ever since.

The Academy is primarily a vanity outlet for a New Jersey cosmetic dermatologist (insufficiently assuaged by his self-penned Whackyweedia entry), so it need not detain us for long. But before we continue to the other member of WHA -- its Secretary-General or sometimes President of Dermatology, one Professor Torelli Lotti -- the Academy's website deserves a moment, for it is a trichobezoar of whackyness.

Building upon its goal of transforming the world (one unsightly skin condition at a time) and its claim to represent the entire global medical profession, it lists a coterie of researchers and philanthropists and Nobel Laureates as "our people"... without explicitly claiming them as members.. and few of the sterling individuals whose images festoon the site are aware of the honour bestowed upon them. Whoever was paid to construct the site got bored and finished half-way through, so the continue reading links, they go nowhere.

The WHA site (also the Whackyweedia adaptation of it) refer to its International Journal of Medicine:
The International Journal of Medicine is an international open-access, peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is a publication of the highest academic profile that will bring new and important information to the medical, scientific, and policymaking community worldwide. Board consist of Nobel Prize laureates, Lasker Award winners, and other distinguished persons. Our devotion to international health guarantees that research and analysis from all regions of the world are vastly covered. We aim to publish first-rate clinical trials that will change the way medicine is practiced.

Publication Charges
To provide open access, the International Journal of Medicine levies an article publishing charge which covers our expenses, such as journal production, and online hosting and archiving. The charge (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors) is $500. There are no submission or page charges, and no color charges. We understand that some authors lack funding to defray publication costs. Where only limited funds are available, the journal will either accept partial payment or offers a waiver. As a matter of policy, the International Journal of Medicine offers a 100% waiver to corresponding authors based in Hinari Band 1 countries, and a 50% waiver to authors based in Hinari Band 2 countries.
No other record of the Journal or its editorial panel of Nobel Laureates can be found on the Interlattice [unless it is coterminous with the IJM issued by some little parasite-publishing start-up in the UAE].

Never mind, there is still Dermatologic Therapy, which acquired the WHA logo and became its emergency back-up journal in 2010, also acquiring Torello Lotti as Associate Editor.

At this point the franchising of WHA Official Journals becomes confusing, for a third journal joins the party! -- Global Derpatology, extruded by those mendacious low-life turdmuffins lovable rapscallions at OAText, who bill it as the Official Organ of the WHA. The OAText people lie about everything (like claiming to operate out of London rather than Hyderabad), but the founder and Editor-in-Chief is a Professor Torello Lotti, and surely his word can be trusted!

But wait! A challenger appears! Lotti is also credited with founding and Editing-in-Chief a competing Journal of Figmentary Disorders for the OMICS griftdozer!* Which is also the Official Journal of the World Health Academy.

To the extent that this is non-tedious, it is because the episode provides a rare example of a shared sockpuppet -- a non-existent person who serves as Lotti's Editorial Assistant and featured in spam from two competing scamshops.

'... Beall noted the ostensible existence of one Amanda Venis, a high-functioning $NAME parameter who works both sides of the street. "Her" FaceBukkake page primarly peddles one of the dismal OAText travesties (Global Derpatology) but the advertisements that comprise "her" Twitter stream alternate between that journal and the Journal of Figmentary Disorders from OMICS. Of the three LinkedIn entries set up in that name, one has her working in SF as an Editorial Assistant for OMICS, while the other two have her in London, as OAText Managing Editor for Global Dermatology or, possibly, for the Interdiciplinary Journal of Chemistry.'
[Text self-plagiarised recycled from here]

As well as the Potemkin Academy, Lotti, Schwartz and their colleagues share an interest in a Californian biomed stat-up company. If any dramatic results emerge from their research in rebranding existing hair-growth placebos in exciting new packaging, they will not lack for suitable journals to announce them.

In the time he can spare from founding new journals, Professor Lotti abuses his powers-for-good as an OMICS / iMedPub editor to pimp "low dose medicine" -- which is to say, a quantum-bullshit neologistic acronym-ridden rebranding of homeopathy.

I was shocked, SHOCKED to find grifting going on in the placebo-vitiligo speciality!

Perhaps the multiple journals are intended to strengthen Lotti's reputation by diluting it repeatedly.
Before and after pigmentary disorder

* Pigmentary Disorders was evidently too specialised under Prof. Lotti's editorship to bring enough of a moneystream into the OMICS trough, so they recently booted him out and changed the title to the more lucrative and all-encompassing "Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases".
UPDATE What's this? Instigating punctuation? THE MONSTER.

...Once again we seem to have buried the lede, as often happens at Riddled. I can only say in our defense that the lede showed no perceptible vital signs and Dr Benway signed a death certificate before the burial. In this case "the lede" was Vitiligo.
Lede, buried

Duke Vitiligo, the decadent and psychopathic ruler of Chancre, whom we last saw in Act II Scene IV, conspiring with Psoriasis the court jester -- who is really Maculato, the legitimate heir to the Duchy, returned from exile in disguise?
Shut up. And try to be more sensitive about a skin condition that turns one into the map in the frontispiece of a 400-page fantasy novel.

Vitiligo is a purely cosmetic condition, with no life-threatening complications, so it is tailor-made for mountebanks and charlatans with placebos to peddle... especially as there is no effective treatment, i.e. no Standard of Care to compete with snake-oil-infused ointments, Low-Dose Cytokines, fractional ablative photothermolysis lasers, or whatever.

Of course there is a Vitiligo Research Foundation -- a charity, devoted to raising awareness and funds. It grew out of the World Health Academy (or possibly vice versa), so any donations are administered by Torello Lotti, Robert Schwartz, and like-minded friends, through probably not Amanda Venis.

Also, a special vitiligo-themed issue of Dermatologic Therapy composed of Lotti-authored, Lotti-edited papers promising new cures.
This is very insensitive, people; victims
of vitiligo are not for journey planning

Inquiring minds were wondering about the shift in Torello Lotti's academic affiliation in 2010, from the University of Florence to the UniversitĂ  Telematica Guglielmo Marconi (Rome)... the latter being a distance-learning institution, "set up by a consortium of private and public companies" ["diploma mill" is such an ugly term].
[h/t Ocasapiens]

This coincided with his appearances in Italian courts on charges of corruption, peculation, selling patients to drug companies, selling conferences to drug companies, generally being open for business, and instigating punctuation. Lotti's original sentence was increased on appeal (despite his lawyer arguing that the peculation was on behalf of the University and not for personal profit); then reduced again, with the Court of Appeal dismissing some of the charges and calling for a retrial on others.

He remains an acclaimed and honoured member of the cosmetic-dermatology fraternity. It is almost as if the entire profession is parasitical.


Smut Clyde said...

Closer scrutiny reveals that Dr Andy Goren -- President and Chief Medical Officer of Applied Biology -- is also on the staff at Marconi University. There is also a remarkable extent of overlap between Marconi staff members and editors at OMICS. It is almost as if this Telemeric University primarily exists to provide politically-well-placed grifters with infrastructure and legitimacy.

Smut Clyde said...

Can't be arsed updating but here's a link to further details from Sylvie Coyaud.