Weekend reads: MIT professor accused of fraud, biologist who retracted paper suspended, and more
Another busy week at Retraction Watch, featuring lots of snow at HQ and a trip to take part in a conference in Davis, California. Here’s what was happening elsewhere on the web:
- University of California, Berkeley’s Lior Pachter rips apart a pair of papers by MIT’s Manolis Kellis, accusing Kellis of fraud, and Kellis responds.
- Rutgers has suspended evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers — who retracted one of his own papers last year after an eight-year-battle — from teaching, with pay.
- “[O]nly around half of biomedical journals, principally those with higher impact factors, currently have formal misconduct policies, mainly for handling allegations,” according to a piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics
- A professor in Skopje, Macedonia gives his prescription for preventing dishonesty and fraud.
- “[T]wo investigations into the conduct of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) managers…found significant violations of scientific integrity,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
- An article on minimum alcohol pricing in the BMJ “should never have been published in a respected academic journal, even as a feature piece, as it did not come close to the standards of scholarship that should be expected of such a journal,” says the Institute of Economic Affairs.
- The editors of the European Heart Journal say that CardioBrief’s post on a recent article the journal retracted is “not suitable for dissemination through the Internet.” We have to wonder what EHJ editor Thomas Luscher thought of CardioBrief’s post on allegations that Luscher had plagiarized.
- The 600,000 articles in the scientific literature on diet and nutrition — “along with several tens of thousands of diet books — are the noise generated by a dysfunctional research establishment,” writes Gary Taubes.
- Gilles-Eric Séralini, whose controversial study of GMOs and rats was retracted in November, has published a paper about pesticides whose findings are being criticized as “neither surprising nor significant.”
- The weak response of Spain’s Ethics Committee of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and Science to the “reactome array” paper retracted by the journal in 2010 is “a daunting signal that there is an impending crisis in research integrity and science journalism,” says Thomas Hettinger of the University of Connecticut.
- Unsuccessful whistleblower Helene Z. Hill argues that it’s time to establish a better system for reporting and adjudicating alleged scientific fraud.
- The February Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Digest includes items on retractions, misconduct, and other issues.
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes Science, announced that it would be launching an open-access journal.
- Here are psychiatrist Allen Frances’ thoughts on the “satanic ritual abuse” case we wrote about this week.