Weekend reads: The year’s top retractions; quoting Trump leads to a firing; life without Elsevier journals
This week at Retraction Watch featured revelations about a frequent co-author of the world’s retraction record holder, and a prison term for fraud. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- What were the top retractions of 2016? Our picks, in The Scientist.
- After quoting Trump’s campaign slogan, the American Physical Society’s chief lobbyist is fired. (Jeffrey Mervis, Science) See our coverage of the original — now retracted — press release here.
- Nathan Georgette retracted a paper while he was still an undergraduate —and it didn’t ruin his scientific career.
- Researchers in Germany, Peru, and Taiwan will lose online access to Elsevier journals next year as negotiations between the publisher and research libraries fail. (Quirin Schiermeier & Emiliano Rodriguez Mega, Nature)
- “How Academia, Google Scholar And Predatory Publishers Help Feed Academic Fake News.” (Kalev Leetaru, Forbes)
- Novartis has withdrawn its support of a contest that would have given a prize to a peer-reviewed paper that was favorable to one of its drugs. (Larry Husten, Cardiobrief)
- “The file-drawer problem is unfixable, and that’s OK,” says Uri Simonsohn.
- “While the paper was clearly meant to be a joke, it had unexpected repercussions in the literature.” (Ben Panko, Smithsonian). Earlier this year, our co-founders also explored what happens when journals try to be funny. (STAT)
- “[A]ccording to scientists, not all researchers are equally upstanding, with male and early-career scientists being seen as somewhat less trustworthy than others,” reports Neuroskeptic about a new study.
- Does portable peer review have a future? asks Phil Davis. (Scholarly Kitchen)
- When getting to the bottom of a scientific misconduct case, care must be taken to respect the right to privacy, argues attorney Paul S. Thaler. (The Scientist)
- Researchers call for the retraction of a paper that they say undermines confidence in the HPV vaccine. (Dennis Normile, Science)
- “To those who have attempted to get a flagship Nature journal to address problems in a paper, these undertakings are nothing short of mind-blowing.” But the journal’s promises are “all hat and no cattle,” say PubPeer’s founders.
- Science would progress much faster if more researchers and publishers embraced open access, Richard Wilder and Melissa Levine argue. (STAT)
- Following heavy criticism of the PACE trial’s original data, re-analysis shows that recovery rates for chronic fatigue syndrome patients were not much higher than the control group. (Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior; sub req’d)
- Elsevier and Springer are taking Dutch universities to court to prevent them from disclosing how much they pay for publishing open access articles. (Martijn van Calmthout, de Volkskrant; in Dutch)
- “The system uses a broad definition of what constitutes misconduct, bundling unintentional mistakes with outright fraud.” Canada’s scientists are being unfairly punished by attempts to root out misconduct, according to a piece by Miriam Shuchman in Maisonneuve. And see our coverage of problems with Canadian investigations.
- Study participants don’t hear enough about the results of the trials, says Hilda Bastian. (PLOS Blogs)
- “Even savvy professionals suffered from a ‘consistent misperception of the world.‘” Including, it turns out, the researchers who founded the science of mistakes. (Daniel Engber, Slate)
- Panelists weigh in on the merits and dangers of preprints in biomedical research. (Clinical Chemistry)
- A group of foundations has created a partnership “committed to the open sharing of research outputs. This will benefit society by accelerating the pace of discovery, reducing information-sharing gaps, encouraging innovation, and promoting reproducibility.”
- Controversy is brewing over an industry-funded paper “that says global recommendations on limiting sugar are based on weak evidence.” (Candice Choi, AP, via CNBC)
- PLOS ONE turned 10 this week. What has it learned?
- “Poor experimental design and statistical analysis could contribute to widespread problems in reproducing preclinical animal experiments,” according to a new study. (Ramin Skibba, Nature)
- According to Hindawi’s Richard Bennett, “full text availability on PubMed Central is boosting the usage of our articles and serving our authors in the best possible way.”
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