Weekend reads: Prof charged with $8 million research fraud; war on bullshit science; more Macchiarini fallout
This week at Retraction Watch featured seven retractions in a long-running case involving cancer research, as well as the retraction of a paper claiming a link between a vaccine and behavioral issues. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- A professor at Washington State University has been charged with $8 million in Federal research fraud, Katherine Long of The Seattle Times reports.
- “The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit.” Bryan Earp writes: “While it is true that most scientists — at least the ones I know and work with — are hell-bent on getting things right, they are not therefore immune from human foibles.”
- Our Ivan Oransky is “waging war on bullshit science,” says David Freeman at Huffington Post.
- Henry Miller and Robert Wager are worried about “the increasing frequency of publication of the results of flawed ‘advocacy research’ that is designed to give a false result that supports a certain cause or position and can be cited by activists long after the findings have been discredited.”
- More fallout from the Macchiarini affair: Another senior official at the Karolinska Institutet has resigned, according to SVT Nyheter. (in Swedish)
- “The Stress Test:” The STAP stem cell scandal, told by Dana Goodyear of The New Yorker..
- Please cite women academics, says Meryl Alper.
- “What does a journal do?” asks Lenny Teytelman.
- How many replication studies are enough? asks Dalmeet Singh Chawla at Nature.
- Scientists are cynical, says a new survey. Can you blame them? Our new column for STAT.
- The debate over Sci-Hub, which provides access to millions of journal articles, has moved to the Scholarly Kitchen, as Angela Cochran explores it. Don’t miss the comments, where Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan weighs in. And Kent Anderson says that the site is likely to help big publishers, not hurt them.
- “We conclude that it is not feasible to use the p-curve to estimate the extent of p-hacking…” A new study from Dorothy Bishop and Paul Thompson in PeerJ.
- Michael Eisen is excited about what happened at #ASAPbio, a meeting on preprints.
- A department head has been arrested for taking a bribe from a PhD scholar, The Times of India reports.
- A Finnish man is using predatory journals to publish “junk climate science,” says Jeffrey Beall.
- The Impact Factor denominator needs better definition, says Phil Davis. And a somewhat less serious take on IF measurements by C&EN Onion. Meanwhile, Lior Pachter is doing something interesting to compare various “glamour journals,” but you’ll have to read his post to find out what.
- Richard Poynder doesn’t want to be associated with Dove Press. Here’s why.
- Andrew Gelman weighs in on why it’s “unrealistic to expect scientific journals to retract their huge backlog of erroneous papers.”
- Stephen Davey is leaving Nature Chemistry for a new Nature Publishing Group project.
- The lead authors of a new paper used pseudonyms, and that created a headache, says John Bohannon at Science.
- “The young author realizes in shock that even the supposedly safe arena of academia is not exempt from fraud and is ashamed of being taken for a fool.” A look at predatory publishing from the European Journal of General Practice.
Retractions Outside of the Scientific Literature
- The Daily Pennsylvanian has retracted a post about a video of U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio that was cited by the communications director of another candidate’s campaign – who was asked to resign.
- The governor of Oregon asked a newspaper to retract an editorial. Have you heard of the First Amendment, Governor?
- A medical news website has rewritten a highly criticized story about stem cells, but maybe not enough, says Paul Knoepfler.
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