Weekend reads: Another autism-vaccine fraud movie?; zombie papers; herbicide-cancer report taken down
The week at Retraction Watch featured an imposter editor and an author who threatened to sue a journal if it didn’t reverse a retraction. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- There may be another movie: A Hollywood screenwriter is developing a film about anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield, following the documentary “Vaxxed,” reports Rebecca Robbins for STAT.
- “Zombie papers can spawn more zombie publications, and the damage can be amplified and spread in an infectious pattern,” says Bob Grant in The Scientist.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken a report saying that a common herbicide is not carcinogenic offline, Reuters reports. Background from Bloomberg BNA here.
- Elsevier tries to defend its value in an article on The Bookseller by Benedicte Page.
- After months of silence, beleaguered surgeon Paolo Macchiarini speaks to Michael Lövtrup at Läkartidningen about recent accusations against him. His former employer, Karolinska Institutet, declined to comment.
- “For science to improve, let’s put the right prizes on offer,” argue co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus in STAT.
- “No no no no no! Retraction is not a ‘penalty,’ it is just a matter of correcting the scientific record,” according to Andrew Gelman, who comments on one of last week’s posts.
- “Time for data sharing to become routine,” say Richard Smith and Ian Roberts in F1000 Research — “the seven excuses for not doing so are all invalid.”
- Is there an “evolutionary justification of plagiarism?” Alexander Karpov tackles game theory and plagiarism in a paper in the Munich Personal RePEc Archive.
- It’s time to “reimagine the paper,” argues Ahmed Alkhateeb in The Scientist.
- For a backgrounder on plagiarism and self-plagiarism, check out Lesley Pocock and Mohsen Rezaeian in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine.
- “What is the reproducibility crisis in science and what can we do about it?” Dorothy Bishop asks in a talk given to the Rhodes Biomedical Association.
- A Massachusetts chemist “got high on methamphetamines or other drugs almost every day at work for nearly eight years,” reports Evan Allen in the Boston Globe, putting many cases at risk.
- A recent Journal of the American Heart Association paper “measured the wrong thing with the wrong method,” says Larry Husten in CardioBrief.
- Hilda Bastian breaks down the “pros and cons of preprints in biomedicine” at PLoS Blogs.
- Paul Meehl was sounding the alarm about problematic science 50 years ago, says Andrew Gelman. So why didn’t anyone listen?
- “Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors?” asks William St. Clair.
- “With an increasing number of retractions across the scientific literature, how can we keep on top of them?” asks Paul van der Vet, the co-author of a new study of the effects of one retracted paper. (PLOS Blogs)
- The results of a 2013 study of Muslim immigration in Western Europe are “implausible,” according to a new paper in Communication Monographs. (sub req’d)
- A ghostwritten study of the antidepressant Celexa in children “contained efficacy and safety data inconsistent with the protocol criteria,” says a new report in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine.
- “A broader understanding of ‘impact’ could help governments to measure the diverse benefits of their investment in research,” writes Michael Eisenstein in Nature.
- On the University of Melbourne’s Up Close podcast, Joeri Tijdink “discusses his research into how increasing pressures on science and medical researchers to win funding, achieve positive research results, and publish in highly esteemed journals may be linked to professional burnout and even research misconduct.”
- “Did your experiment fail?” asks Philip Ball in Nature. “Don’t bin the data just yet — they could be useful.”
- “Where can a PhD take you? Back to school, usually,” says Tatiana Schlossberg in the New York Times. And a study in PLOS ONE uses publication records to determine “whether the relative decline of tenured and tenure track positions led to shorter investigative careers,” among other questions.
- “The Do’s and Don’ts of Data Analysis And Reporting,” courtesy of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
- “Set up a public registry of competing interests,” argues Adam Dunn in Nature.
- “Replications can make things worse? Really?” asks Bob Reed on The Replication Network, in response to a recent article by co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus in Slate.
- Beware of the dangers of industry-backed research, says the president of Dublin City University. (Times Higher Education)
- “Is Science In Crisis?” On May 11, Ivan will speak at a Swiss Association of Science Journalism seminar, Bern, Switzerland.
- “Crisis in Science: New Solutions.” On May 12, Ivan will appear on a panel at the University of Zurich.
- “Best Practices of Biomedical Research: Improving Reproducibility and Transparency of Preclinical Research,” Ivan will be speaking at this Friends of the National Library of Medicine conference in Bethesda, MD, on June 9 and 10.
- Ivan will be speaking at Evidence Live 2016 in Oxford, UK on June 22.
- “Keeping the Pool Clean: Prevention and Management of Misconduct Related Retractions.” Adam will be speaking at this meeting at Colorado State University in Fort Collins from July 20 to 22.
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