BMC Evolutionary Biology has retracted an article by bioinformatician Gangolf Jobb, Retraction Watch reports.
Effective the beginning of October, Jobb had announced that he would no longer grant licenses to his Treefinder tool to scientists in European countries with policies he deems to be too immigration friendly, like the UK, Germany, and France. He'd already barred US-based researchers from using it.
Retraction Watch notes that the paper describing the molecular phylogenetic tool has been cited some 745 times since its publication in 2004.
But, BMC Evolutionary Biology says Jobb has breached its sharing policy. "The editors of BMC Evolutionary Biology retract this article due to the decision by the corresponding author, Gangolf Jobb, to change the license to the software described in the article," the retraction note says. "The software is no longer available to all scientists wishing to use it in certain territories."
The journal adds that the policy has been in place since the article was published and that the paper's other authors, who have no control over the tool's licensing, agreed to the retraction.
Earlier this autumn, co-author Korbinian Strimmer told ScienceInsider he hasn't seen Jobb in 10 years and that "[h]is new diatribe against refugees is unbelievable."
Jobb tells Retraction Watch that the tool is available to any researcher from a banned country who is willing to travel to a non-banned one, though he notes that is "inconvenient, I admit. I don't care. Retraction of one of their most popular articles is the journal's problem, not mine."