This week at Retraction Watch featured a look at the huge problem of misidentified cell lines, a check-in with a company that retracted a paper as it was about to go public, and Diederik Stapel’s 58th retraction. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- What do PhDs earn, and where do they end up working? A new study in Science takes a look (sub req’d). Here’s Nature’s coverage of the paper.
- King’s College London doesn’t want to release data to James Coyne from a study of chronic fatigue syndrome. See if the absurd reasons make your blood boil as much as ours: “The university considers that there is a lack of value or serious purpose to your request. The university also considers that there is improper motive behind the request. The university considers that this request has caused and could further cause harassment and distress to staff.” And here’s more from someone else who submitted a related request for data.
- “Authorship abuse is the dark side of collaboration,” says Bruce Macfarlane in Times Higher Education.
- “Let’s stop pretending peer review works,” write Julia Belluz and Steven Hoffman at Vox.
- “Should post-publication peer review be anonymous?” Paul Benneworth, Philip Moriarty and the founders of PubPeer
’s Brandon Stelldebate in Times Higher Education.
- Some scientists are removing journal titles from their publication lists. In a journal that begins with the letter N and ends in the letter E, Dalmeet Singh Chawla explains why.
- “Would you trust a plagiarizing doctor?” Our newest column for STAT.
- Pay peer reviewers, says Joseph Ting in The Australian (sub req’d).
- Weary of poor job prospects, postdocs are disappearing, writes Beryl Benderly in Science. And that’s just fine, says Josh Nicholson in STAT.
- Reporting statistical significance causes p-hacking, says Nicole Janz.
- “Our results also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.” A new study in Judgment and Decision Making.
- “Make Science More Reliable, Win Cash Prizes.” Ed Yong writes about the Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science.
- “How do we fix bad science?” asks Laurie Zoloth in Cosmos.
- In ecology, “a rank order and hierarchy has been gradually formed among countries,” according to a new analysis in PeerJ.
- Patrick Harran, a UCLA professor who settled charges following the death of a research assistant in his lab, has been honored by the AAAS, The Daily Bruin reports.
- Will academic journals still exist in 2035? Cameron Neylon gives his take, looking back at the history of scientific publication.
- Dead metrics: Why won’t these go away? asks Jeffrey Beall.
- “Should a uniform checklist be adopted for methodological and statistical reporting?” asks Aner Tal in Public Understanding of Science (
sub req’dSAGE made this article freely available following our post).
- Dutch universities and Elsevier have reached a deal over open access, reports Times Higher Education.
- “Many researchers don’t share their raw data like they’re supposed to,” reports Cynthia McKelvey at The Daily Dot, riffing on a new PLOS ONE paper.
- Journal self-citation practices revealed, by Philip Cohen.
- Does PubMed Central increase citations? Phil Davis takes a look at The Scholarly Kitchen.
- Peer reviewers should make open practices a pre-condition for more comprehensive review, say the creators of the Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative.
- Really, Justice Scalia? “Aspiring black scientists may do better in ‘lesser schools’ where they don’t feel that ‘they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them,’” the Supreme Court justice said this week (STAT).
- The ResearchGate Score is a good example of a bad metric, say Peter Kraker, Katy Jordan and Elisabeth Lex.
- How did the new head of a Belgian research funding agency end up with a fake prize? (in Dutch)
- What does the “publishing exception” to U.S. trade sanctions laws really mean? Elsevier’s Mark Seeley discusses a recent response from the responsible agency.
- The Royal Society will now publish the citation distributions of all of their journals, reports Stephen Curry, and Nature Chemistry will do the same. The Society will also require ORCID IDs for authors, reports Times Higher Education.
- “The UK’s learned society of educational researchers has been accused of seeking to take ‘editorial control’ over one of its journals, prompting the resignation of several editorial team members,” Times Higher Education reports.
- What will anyone actually learn from teaching metrics? asks Athene Donald in Times Higher Education.
- Stop specializing so much, scientists, says Thomas Bateman in The Conversation. “Big ideas come from understanding the big picture and making cross-boundary connections, not only from eking out incremental advances in an esoteric subfield.”
- Here are twelve bad reasons for rejecting scientific studies, brought to you by The Logic of Science.
- “[T]he more elitist a journal, the more biased its decisions, unavoidably,” says Khaled Moustafa in Scientometrics (sub req’d).
- “Is science being skewed by a gender bias?” asks Joe Humphreys in The Irish Times.
- Not The Onion: “The Least Interesting Unit: A New Concept for Enhancing One’s Academic Career Opportunities.” A paper in Science & Engineering Ethics (sub req’d).
- Researchers are grappling with authorship issues, this time on social media, Dalmeet Singh Chawla reports for Nature.
- Neuroskeptic writes that “one of the most popular approaches to analyzing fMRI data is flawed,” according to a new pre-print.
Retractions Outside of The Scientific Literature:
- Ruffling some feathers: A retraction involving the Birds of Paradise Condomiums.
- Donald Trump has had an honorary degree revoked.
- “The story was wrong and should not have been published,” says The Financial Times of a piece on interest rates. “The article was one of two pre-written stories — covering different possible decisions — which had been prepared in advance of the announcement. Due to an editing error it was published when it should not have been.”
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