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Petitioning Social Science Research journal Amy Donley and 36 others

Social Science Research journal: RETRACT ANTI-GAY REGNERUS STUDY, PUT IT THROUGH PROFESSIONAL PEER REVIEW

Elsevier's journal Social Science Research published Mark Regnerus's deceptive submission allegedly -- (but not actually) -- on "same-sex parents" child outcomes, WITHOUT having put Regnerus's submission through ethical and appropriate professional peer review.

WE REPEAT -- the Regnerus submission was published WITHOUT having gone through ETHICAL AND APPROPRIATE professional-level peer review.

THEREFORE, we, the undersigned, DEMAND that the Editorial Board of the Elsevier journal Social Science Research immediately retract Mark Regnerus's invalid, defamatory, anti-gay submission titled "Findings from the New Family Structures Study."

If the submission is to be published at a later date following retraction, it MUST first go through ethical and appropriate, professional peer review and revisions, which were glaringly and appallingly ABSENT before the first publication.

Furthermore, we express a TOTAL lack of trust and confidence that SSR editor-in-chief James Wright would act in good faith, were he charged with overseeing any future, eventual, ethical and appropriate professional peer review of the Regnerus submission.

The obvious scientific failings of the defamatory, anti-gay Regnerus submission are widely recognized by experts, including some SSR-linked sociologists and EIGHT MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS including the American Medical Association. Also widely known, is that the Social Science Research editor VIOLATED scientific publishing ethics in publishing the invalid, defamatory, anti-gay Regnerus submission.

SSR Editorial Board Member Darren Sherkat's audit of the publication process revealed that 1) the peer review process FAILED; 2) editor-in-chief James Wright violated SSR's own editorial procedures, in order to rush the defamatory Regnerus submission into publication; 3) the peer reviewers were NOT EXPERTS in LGBT matters generally, still less in gay parenting, the purported topic of Regnerus's submission 4) some of the peer reviewers are anti-gay-rights BIGOTS; 5) some of the peer reviewers had CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, including that i) they were paid consultants on the Regnerus submission, and that ii) they have long-standing personal connections to Regnerus.

At the same time that Sherkat reports mountainous editorial failings, he says that he may well have made all of the same editorial decisions as James Wright. That HARDLY builds public confidence or trust in the journal Social Science Research.

A look at SSR's "PEER REVIEW POLICY" page on the SSR website shows that the journal’s own PUBLICLY PUBLISHED POLICIES were shockingly VIOLATED in order to rush the invalid, defamatory Regnerus submission into publication.

Whereas James Wright DID NOT BOTHER to find peer reviewers 1) without conflicts of interest who also were 2) experts in the field of gay parenting studies, the SSR "PEER REVIEW POLICY" page says that wait times between submission and review can be "SUBSTANTIALLY LONGER" than 2 - 3 months --

"ESPECIALLY FOR PAPERS ON ****ESOTERIC TOPICS*** WHERE FINDING QUALIFIED REFEREES CAN ITSELF TAKE MONTHS.”

By contrast to that OPENLY PUBLISHED SSR SCHEDULE for SSR's peer review for submissions on esoteric topics -- (AND GAY PARENTING IS AN ESOTERIC TOPIC) -- Regnerus's invalid, defamatory submission was submitted on February 1, 2012 and accepted on March 12, 2012.

We will NOT roll over and play dead in the face of this OUTRAGEOUS transgression against scientific publishing ethics that has resulted in an invalid, defamatory submission being wielded against us as a social and political weapon. History is full of similarly depraved, shameful acts of irresponsible distortions of science being used against minorities, including Jews, African-Americans, Native Americans, Japanese-Americans and others.

We could go into literally hundreds of reasons why retraction of the invalid, defamatory Regnerus submission is imperative. Yet, it suffices -- ALONE -- that SSR's “PEER REVIEW POLICY” tells prospective authors that they should expect to wait months – MONTHS -- just for expert peer reviewers EVEN TO BE FOUND for esoteric topics – (and again, gay parenting is an esoteric topic) – yet SSR editor-in-chief James Wright approved Regnerus’s invalid, defamatory anti-gay submission for publication in only 5 ½ weeks --- WITHOUT having assigned topic experts -- with NO conflicts of interest -- to the peer review of Regnerus's submission.

Wright told the Chronicle of Higher Education that he was “EXCITED” about the “ENORMOUS INTEREST” (that the inappropriate, non-expert, anti-gay-rights bigoted peer reviewers with conflicts of interest reportedly told Wright the submission would arouse if published).

Wright said that his excitement may have caused him to be “inattentive” to things he “should have kept a keener eye on.” That is documentably an understatement. SSR's James Wright abjectly abdicated his responsibility to follow scientific publishing ethics.

He manifestly violated the PEER REVIEW POLICY published ***RIGHT ON*** SSR's own website.

SSR's PEER REVIEW POLICY SAYS:

"REFEREES ARE MATCHED TO PAPERS ACCORDING TO THEIR EXPERTISE." 

Wright did NOT use topic experts with no conflicts of interest for the peer review; the peer review FAILED. SSR editor-in-chief James Wright did NOT make a good faith effort to assign the peer review of Regnerus's study to appropriate topic experts, experts without conflicts of interest. The Regnerus submission absolutely CANNOT accurately be said to have passed through ethical and appropriate, professional-level peer review.

Manwhile though, the malicious, lying anti-gay-rights funders of Regnerus study -- who have DOCUMENTED HISTORIES of distorting the scientific record to demonize gay people -- are alleging, erroneously -- that Regnerus's submission went through professional scientific peer review.

IT DID NOT.

WE REPEAT OUR DEMAND: immediately retract the invalid, defamatory anti-gay Regnerus submission from publication. Apologize, profusely, to the entire LGBT community for having published the defamatory submission through a reckless, irresponsible and unprofessional peer review process that CANNOT correctly be referred to as ethical and appropriate, professional peer review.

This is a human rights outrage, and a scientific publishing SCANDAL.

If the submission is to be published later, it MUST go through truely professional, ethical and appropriate peer review -- (and revisions) -- by GAY PARENTING TOPIC EXPERTS who have NO conflicts of interest. And, we reiterate that we have less than no trust in SSR’s editor-in-chief James Wright to oversee eventual future peer review of the currently invalid, defamatory Regnerus “study.”

This petition was delivered to:
  • Social Science Research journal
    Amy Donley
  • Social Science Research journal
    Barbara Meeker
  • Social Science Research journal
    Bernice Pescosolido
  • Social Science Research journal
    Kelly Raley
  • Social Science Research journal
    Moshe Semyonov
  • Social Science Research journal
    Darren Sherkat
  • Social Science Research journal
    Seymour Spilerman
  • Social Science Research journal
    Ross Stolzenberg
  • Social Science Research journal
    Judith Treas
  • Social Science Research journal
    Nick Wolfinger
  • Social Science Research journal
    Charlie Brody
  • Social Science Research journal
    Susan Brown
  • Social Science Research journal
    Karen Campbell
  • Social Science Research journal
    Paul de Graaf
  • Social Science Research journal
    Barbara Entwisle
  • Social Science Research journal
    Geoffrey Evans
  • Social Science Research journal
    Murray Webster
  • Social Science Research journal
    Douglas Massey
  • Social Science Research journal
    Peter Marsden
  • Evelyn Lehrer
  • Social Science Research journal
    L. Bares
  • Social Science Research journal
    G. Bohrnstedt
  • Social Science Research journal
    Deborah Carr
  • Social Science Research journal
    Joel Devine
  • Social Science Research journal
    David Elesh
  • Social Science Research journal
    Christopher Ellison
  • Social Science Research journal
    Kenneth Bollen
  • Social Science Research journal
    Jennifer Glass
  • Social Science Research journal
    Eric Hanushek
  • Social Science Research journal
    Robert Hauser
  • Social Science Research journal
    Guillermina Jasso
  • Social Science Research journal
    Arne Kalleberg
  • Social Science Research journal
    Mattijs Kalmijn
  • Social Science Research journal
    Grace Kao
  • Social Science Research journal
    Julie Kmec
  • Social Science Research journal
    Kenneth Land
  • SSR EDITORIAL BOARD:
    SSR EDITORIAL BOARD


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