Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Weekend reads: How to publish in Nature; social media circumvents peer review; impatience leads to fakery

with 3 comments

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a look at why a fraudster’s papers continued to earn citations after he went to prison, and criticism of Science by hundreds of researchers. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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Written by Ivan Oransky

July 18th, 2015 at 10:55 am

  • Sylvain Bernès July 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Apparently, RW never takes a vacation…

  • wpt July 19, 2015 at 2:10 am

    The stories at Gawker and The Times were removed. The publishers did not use the word retract, nor they did concede inaccuracies in the stories. Instead, Gawker’s editor wrote that “The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family.”
    This kind of apology for coverage that is found to be sub-standard is by no means uncommon in journalism (except perhaps for Gawker). It has a different significance, and different effects, from a retraction, such as the NYT retraction of Jayson Blair’s stories. Scientific journals and newspapers have many different methods, functions and responsibilities. It would be helpful for Retraction Watch’s readers if you distinguished these more clearly.

    • ...? July 19, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Has a retraction only occurred if the word is explicitly used?

      Doesn’t the actual definition of ‘retraction’ include the withdrawal of a previously made statement?

      The reason behind the removal of the story, or even the debate over whether it should have been published initially, is irrelevant. It should not detract from the fact that the paper was supposedly accurate, published, and part of some overarching news record.

      How is this situation any different from when a scientific paper is retracted, or outright removed, because the subject matter was considered insensitive?

      [On another note -it was also especially hypocritical of Gawker given that they regularly chastise other sites (e.g., Buzzfeed) for quietly removing articles that upset others (i.e., paid sponsors).]

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