Weekend reads: Sugar paper tussle at a reunion; “Sex, lies, and video-taped experiments;” p-value harm?
The week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of a psychology paper because of manipulation by an unnamed graduate student, and a tale about the cost of being a whistleblower, even when you’re successful. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- Andrew Larkin has a Harvard Medical School reunion coming up. So does NEJM editor Jeffrey Drazen. Sparks may fly in a debate over 50-year-old sugar papers. The latest from our co-founders in STAT.
- “In my opinion, null hypothesis testing and p-values have done significant harm to science.” (Frank Harrell, Statistical Thinking blog)
- “Scientists like to think that such blatant dishonesty is rare, but I myself have witnessed several serious cases of scientific misconduct, from major data manipulation to outright fabrication.” There need to be stringent demands for proof of scientists’ work, says Timothy D. Clark. (Nature)
- The National Hockey League has subpoenaed Boston University research records on studies of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but scientists worry that giving access to their data would “impose an incredible burden and disrupt…[their] operations.” (Rick Westhead, TSN)
- Yes, you can try too hard to force an acronym. Here are Six Examples of Wistful Acronyms in Scientific Papers (SEXWASP). (Academia Obscura)
- “We rarely get the opportunity to watch a chilling effect in action, but you can almost see the breath of researchers caught up in a debate over the proper role of scientists in the crisis.” Our co-founders ask: Should scientists engage in activism? (The Conversation)
- Research is susceptible to reporting bias, and journals aren’t doing enough to combat it, says the author of a new paper on the subject. (John Elmes, Times Higher Education)
- “Unfortunately, many studies are analysed or presented so poorly that readers find it difficult to find and interpret the key results. This means that many studies can mislead readers.” (Paul Glasziou, The BMJ Opinion)
- Algorithms can review scientific papers faster and in bulk than human reviewers, but that’s not necessarily better. Our co-founder Adam Marcus discusses the pros and cons of A.I. in publishing on Science Friday.
- “It’s starting to look as though accessibility of publications increases in waves, with those waves arriving in different intervals, geographically and by academic discipline: 2020 looks like the year to watch now.” (Hilda Bastian, PLOS Blogs)
- “The plan to rely on the consensus of authority figures seems to me to have the fatal flaw that some of the authority figures endorse junk science.” Psychology’s authority figures aren’t helping the state of the field, says Andrew Gelman.
- Even though Brazilian law allows for copying portions of court sentences without citation, the Minister of Justice Alexandre de Moraes may be in hot water for copying portions intended for teaching purposes. And an update. (Maurice Tuffani, Direto Da Ciencia, in Portuguese)
- Sharon McCulloch, who has been researching academics’ writing practices, says there’s tension between university expectations and individual career goals. (The LSE Impact Blog)
- A journal will retract a study “because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China,” Dalmeet Singh Chawla reports in Science.
- What can we learn from tweets linking to research papers? ask the authors of a new paper in Scientometrics. (sub req’d)
- A new study “suggests that peer-reviewed publications are much more dominated by non-university academics than we previously thought.” (Scientometrics, sub req’d)
- What factors influence unethical authorship behavior for research papers? (BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics, sub req’d)
- The reproducibility crisis may be caused in part by scientists pushed to make their results seem more novel than they actually are, says Jeffrey Flier. (Maulik Pathak, Livemint)
- The chair of the U.S. House Science Committee wants a 2015 Science paper on climate change retracted. But a critic says the data were “not trumped up data in any way shape or form.” (AP)
- Two senior scientists at India’s Bhabha Atomic Research Centre get in a fistfight over misconduct allegations. (Munish Pandey, Mumbai Mirror) See our coverage of one of the researchers, who has a history of plagiarism, here.
- Why we should all be concerned about predatory publishers. (Graham Kendall, The Conversation)
- Our co-founder Ivan Oransky discusses Retraction Watch, its supporters and detractors, and how to tackle misconduct. (Marie Lambert-Chan, Quebec Science, in French)
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