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The week at Retraction Watch featured some big numbers: 26 retractions for an engineer in Italy, all at once; 15 expressions of concern for Piero Anversa’s cardiac stem cell research; three retractions and 10 corrections for a researcher in South Korea; and also the retraction of a paper on ketamine for bipolar depression. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “If you see a thread, pull it, and see what comes out. If you see one problem with an author, then you check everything that they’ve done.” Meet the new research integrity czars. (STAT)
- Duke is on the verge of settling a case brought by a former employee who claims the university included faked data in applications and reports for federal grants worth nearly $200 million.
- “The collapse of this cannabis stock” — which involved a researcher who committed misconduct — “offers a valuable lesson to every investor,” write Ciara Linnane, Francine McKenna, and Tomi Kilgore. (MarketWatch)
- “Two whistleblowers say dangerous medical research was performed on veterans suffering from alcoholism and liver disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System,” reports Brad Racino. (inewsource). One of the main players, Samuel B. Ho, has had a paper retracted.
- “The ECRI Institute has officially launched a new database of clinical practice guidelines following the closure of the National Guideline Clearinghouse.” (Paige Minemeyer, Fierce Healthcare) Our column on why closure of that database was a bad idea, from June.
- “The board that runs a leading machine-learning conference has decided to stop using the acronym commonly used to refer to the event — NIPS — following a long-running row over whether it is offensive,” Holly Else reports in Nature.
- “Europe’s largest basic-research agency, the CNRS, wants to improve how it tackles misconduct investigations.” (Declan Butler, Nature)
- “That is how science advances: evidence, criticism, more evidence to examine the viability of the criticisms,” says Brian Nosek. (Brian Owens, Nature)
- “The ‘myth’ of scientific facts infected decades of criminal cases where bitemark dentists were presented as scientific experts.” (C. Michael Bowers, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine)
- “Science is mired in a ‘replication’ crisis,” writes Andrew Gelman. “Fixing it will not be easy.” (New York Times)
- In a discussion of “fake news” in medicine, Raina Merchant and David Asch write that “it is surprising that some scientists are now embracing preprint publication that eliminates many of the protections between the creation of information and its dissemination.” (JAMA)
- “The National Science Foundation’s biology branch has rescinded a policy that limited the number of grant proposals on which scientists could be listed as principal investigator to one per year,” Ashley Taylor reports. (The Scientist)
- Royal Academy of Music teacher Francesca Carpos-Younh “was wrongfully dismissed for referring to violinists as ‘gypos’, a tribunal ruled.” (The Telegraph, UK)
- “Articles published by citizen science projects are cited four times more on average than those that do not involve the public, a recent analysis has found,” writes Smriti Mallapaty. (Nature Index)
- India’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has released penalties for plagiarism ranging “from barring publications of the author to dismissal of the services.” (Shimona Kanwar, Times of India)
- A professor at Mumbai University is facing plagiarism allegations. (Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai Mirror)
- The Salk Institute has settled the last of three lawsuits filed against it for gender discrimination. (Meredith Wadman, Science)
- The Journal of Controversial Ideas is “academic freedom without responsibility, and that’s recklessness,” say two researchers in The Conversation. Editors respond to other criticism in The Guardian.
- “A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with peer review but humans are still in the driver’s seat.” Artificial intelligence in peer review? (Douglas Heaven, Nature)
- “Maybe, the greatest challenge is to get ECRs involved in peer review at all and to get them the necessary training to be confident reviewers.” (Andreas Vilhelmsson, PLOS Blogs)
- A new paper finds that “only one in one thousand publications are replication studies.” (LSE Impact Blog)
- “Reviewers make an essential contribution to scientific progress; Nature Communications will now formally acknowledge their role in published articles.” (Nature Communications)
- There “have been improvements over the last few years in certain key indicators of reproducibility and transparency, [but] opportunities exist to improve…” (PLOS Biology) A co-author of the paper, John Ioannidis, discusses the findings. (Shawna Williams, The Scientist)
- “Those food truisms might not all be true. We won’t know for sure for a very long time.” Happy Thanksgiving. (Megan Molteni, WIRED.)
- “An appeals court on Nov. 19 upheld the acquittal of a former employee of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG’s Japanese unit who stood accused of manipulating data to falsely advertise the effects of the firm’s blood pressure drug.” (The Mainichi) Background here.
- “Sometimes infecting volunteers with a disease can lead to new treatments,” writes Linda Nordling. “But how much risk and compensation is acceptable for those in poor nations?” (Undark)
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