In late June 2020 I questioned the veracity of two non-peer reviewed preprint articles regarding vitamin D and COVID-19 from April 2020 which I had previously assumed were the result of good research.  I had quoted these articles prominently on my pages at:

and in comments on various web sites.  Please see the above site for links to the latest research on nutrition, immunity and COVID-19 - particularly regarding vitamin D.

To keep those pages free of critiques of the veracity of articles which I think should not be relied upon or cited, I established this website, for this purpose on 2020-07-01.  The critiques of the articles are at this page:

alra/  <<< To the critique of the articles

On 2020-07-12 I revised this page so it concerns only the text of the articles and of some related articles.  This greatly simplified the page, which had previously also contemplated questions of who actually wrote the articles and the identity of the people listed as the authors.

Important update 2020-07-27:  See the following article in which three Indonesian MDs find no trace of the purported authors of the "Prabowo Raharusun" article.  This includes searching the Indonesian Medical Council database and contacting the hospital mentioned in the article:

COVID-19 and Misinformation: How an Infodemic Fueled the prominence of Vitamin D
Joshua Henrina, Michael Anthonius Lim and Raymond Pranata
British Journal of Nutrition 2020-07-27

Important update 2020-08-13:  Please see this section alra/#indon-govt of the alra page for a link to a document published on an Indonesian government website which establishes beyond any doubt that there is and was no Indonesian doctor "Prabowo Raharusun".  

This update also concerns how I learned that the website I and other people had regarded as being of the hospital where "Prabowo Raharusun" supposedly worked is a fake, since the hospital does not have and never has had a website.


Validating authors

I believe it is incumbent upon authors of academic articles to ensure that via searches of the Web, Google Scholar etc. a reader, without any special skills, will find it easy to verify that all the authors of the article exist and that there are multiple lines of evidence, from a variety of sources, which attest to whatever qualifications, publication history, organisational affiliations etc. they would need in order to conduct and analyse the research presented in the article.

Even if the text of the article appears to be consistent with genuine research, I think it should probably not be relied upon unless at least one or more of the authors can be easily identified via web searching and the like as having the requisite experience, qualifications and/or organisational affiliations.

Academic research articles may be fictional

Prior to mid-June it had not occurred to me that anyone would write an article - even one published solely on preprint servers - which was fictional, and present it earnestly as if it was an account of real research.  When I looked more carefully into the two articles I had cited and some other related ones, I was unable to disprove my hypothesis that these articles were fakes - and I found numerous reasons to believe that they were fakes.


About this site

There is nothing official or authoritative about this site or about me. 

This is a personal site, located in the .info top level domain because it provides information for free, rather than for the purposes of generating revenue - which would be best under .com. exists for the same purpose.  I established it in 2011 primarily for my Restless Legs Syndrome observations and hypotheses and I really should have made it under the .info top level domain.

There's nothing else at this site.  Hopefully I won't encounter any more academic articles which gave me such concerns.  If I do, I will add further pages here.

I am not trying to build up a comprehensive website on such matters, but if there are an sites related to these concerns, I can link to them from here. 

I have no formal qualifications in any field and no medical training.  I work with electronic musical instruments and computer programming. 

I hope you find my analysis interesting, but please read the articles yourself and make up your own mind. 

The HTML files here are plain and contain no javascript.  They set no cookies.  I made them with Kompozer.

I established this site on 2020-07-01.  
This page was last updated on 2020-08-13.

© 2020 Robin Whittle  Daylesford, Victoria, Australia