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28 November 2017

Prague, 28 November 2017

Dear Signatories,

Thank you very much for your interest in the developments at Charles University and for your suggestion, to which I would hereby like to respond. I must state several facts as I am not sure whether all of you have been properly informed about them.

PhDr. Alice Němcová Tejkalová, Ph.D. has been blamed for publishing several papers in 2015. She published two papers in the magazines listed in Beall’s List: Tejkalová, A. N. – Strielkowski, W. 2015. Media Coverage of Summer Paralympic Games (1992-2008): A Case Study of the Czech Republic, published in the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, and Tejkalová, A. N. 2015. The Use of Language and Media in Covering of the Paralympic Games, published in the Journal of Language and Literature. Both magazines were indexed in the Scopus database in 2015. Since 1 January 2017, the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences has been published by the traditional publishing house of De Gruyter. In the same year, she published two more papers together with Wadim Strielkowski, a former employee of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University (FSV UK), and other authors (Tejkalová, A. N. – Láb, F. – Strielkowski, W. 2015. Security and Independence of Mass Media: A Case Study of Czech Journalists in Media Ownership Turmoil, published in the Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues, which is indexed in Scopus, and deBeer, A. – Láb, F. – Strielkowski, W. – Tejkalová, A. N. 2015. Business Influence on Media News Processing: A Comparison of Journalists’ Perceptions in the Czech Republic and South Africa, published in Economics and Sociology – this journal is indexed in Scopus and also listed in the Clarivate Analytics’ Emerging Sources Citation Index). I find none of these papers to have breached research ethics; therefore, I do not have grounds to intervene in any manner.

I should point out that Beall’s List is just an auxiliary indicator, and the mere fact that someone has published a paper in a journal listed therein is not an automatic evidence of unethical conduct, nor may it be taken as such.

I want to emphasise that PhDr. Alice Němcová Tejkalová, Ph.D. has been elected by a duly formed Academic Senate of the FSV UK, which was properly informed about both candidates for the office of the faculty dean. In addition, open-access public discussions have taken place, during which, among other things, the participants in detail even discussed the facts and circumstances that you mentioned in your letter; thus, these facts were known to the public.

As Rector of Charles University, I honour the resolution and will of the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The election procedure has been conducted in accordance with the applicable laws as well as with all relevant internal policies of the University and the Faculty. Unlike some Czech political officials (e.g., the case of the Czech President’s conduct in appointing professors), I am not going to intervene in the operations of duly formed academic self-governance bodies of the Faculty unless the applicable legislation or internal policies have been breached, which is not the case in the matter under review.

Yours faithfully,

Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc.

Open Letter: Reputation in Danger

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