The journals are called Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (RASD) and Research in Developmental Disabilities (RIDD). Both publications are owned by Elsevier, and they have the same Editor-in-Chief, Johnny L. Matson. Or at least they did until recently. Matson may have been removed – although it’s not clear if there is a replacement for him.
The scandal emerged some weeks ago after Oxford University researcher Dorothy Bishop emailed RASD to say that she had concerns about the journal. Bishop asked to be taken off their editorial board. Instead of just Bishop’s name being removed, however, all information about the editors disappeared from the websites of both RASD and RIDD. Overnight they became, as Bishop put it, Journals Without Editors.
Matson is an autism researcher and much of his work concerns the diagnosis and evaluation of this disorder. Over the years Matson has developed over a dozen questionnaires and other rating scales, ranging from the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT) to the Profile of Toileting Issues (POTI).
All of these instruments are sold via a company called Disability Consulting, LLC, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The listed contact email address is for one Dean Matson, who’s also the Director. The only products listed on their website are Matson assessment tools. They cost up to $325.00 per kit (each kit includes 50 score sheets.)