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The week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction and replacement of a paper on whether gun control laws are linked to domestic violence, a call for more transparency from universities, and developments in a lawsuit by a researcher who has faced misconduct allegations. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “Which is the better option when it comes to running academic journals – the professional editor or the academic one?” A look from Rachael Pells at Times Higher Education.
- “Many Chinese doctorate students can’t graduate until they publish articles in academic journals — a demand that pushes many into corruption.” Wang Yiwei looks at this “dark world.’ (Sixth Tone)
- A chemistry graduate student pleads guilty to poisoning a co-worker with a lab compound. (Andy Extance, Chemistry World)
- What researchers in Pakistan should know about predatory conferences. (Aamir Raoof Memon and Muhammad Ehab Azim, Journal of Pakistan Medical Association)
- Peter Gøtzsche, who was kicked out of the Cochrane Collaboration, has been “suspended as head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen.” (Gretchen Vogel and Martin Enserink, Science)
- The rector of the Technical University of Varna in Bulgaria is set to lose his job “after an ethics commission found evidence of extensive plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation.” (The Sofia Globe)
- “As a result of this investigation, the Houston Chronicle is retracting eight stories written by Ward. In each case, the story’s premise was based on sourcing we cannot confirm. We are correcting an additional 64 stories, each of which had at least one unconfirmed source but whose premise did not rest on an unconfirmed source.” (Nancy Barnes, Houston Chronicle)
- “Scientists struggle with confusing journal guidelines,” reports Dalmeet Singh Chawla based on a survey of nearly 7,000 researchers from more than 100 countries. (Nature)
- “I have this recurring experience on social media where I say something that, to me, seems bleedingly obvious but ends up offending senior academics.” (Chris Chambers, NeuroChambers)
- “No, the problem isn’t failing to publish reproductions. It is failing to recognize when we are reproducing older work,” says Craig Jones. “And it is going to get worse.” (The Grumpy Geophysicist)
- How should early career researchers navigate the peer review process? Tips from Margaret K. Merga, Shannon Mason and Julia E. Morris. (LSE Impact Blog)
- Another sting? “Could fake grants help clean up the peer review process?” asks David Kent. (University Affairs)
- “A different kind of publishing crisis” results from an audit culture, says Marc Spooner. (LSE Impact Blog)
- The Wansink fallout continues: Don’t rely on letters responding to a now-retracted paper by him, says JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Another correction for Jose Baselga for failure to disclose conflicts of interest, this one in Science Translational Medicine.
- “Not everybody can — or will — take the time to go back and double-check that the study they’re citing hasn’t been withdrawn. All of that could change, though, because the largest database of scientific retractions just went live and makes the process a whole lot easier.” (Oisin Curran, HowStuffWorks)
- “Being a scientist is unfortunately no guarantee that you can manage your own biases.” Hilda Bastian on journals and vaccines. (PLOS Blogs)
- “It’s not fun to admit being wrong, but sometimes it’s necessary,” writes Lior Pachter. “I have to admit to being wrong again.” It’s Pachter’s third time. (Bits of DNA)
- “Preprints are likely to create confusion and distortion, and they are not the solution for paywalls,” says Jay Desai. “They need to be reconsidered.” (The Wire)
- The most important reason I’d recommend using Retraction Watch Database as the main source for retraction searches is the ability to search by and view reasons for retraction. A librarian compares our database to PubMed. (Joelle Mornini)
- Is there a “home team” advantage for Harvard faculty at the New England Journal of Medicine? A new paper says, not really. (Scientometrics, sub req’d)
- “There are lots of journals that have never retracted anything, and I’m not so sure that that really reflects the utmost transparency. And … I’m probably being a little too kind.” Retraction Watch on the radio.
- “Peer review is still better than the alternatives,” says Aaron Carroll in the New York Times. “It might make more sense, though, to see it (and publication) as steps on the road to assurance, not a final stamp of approval.”
- A journal that suspended submissions earlier this summer said it had a plan to clear its backlog. (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed)
- JAMA has corrected a paper that came out of the PREDIMED study, for improper randomization. NEJM had retracted and replaced a similar study in June.
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