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The week at Retraction Watch featured a $112.5 million settlement at Duke following allegations of misconduct; a bizarre paper featuring ancient astronauts; and the retraction of two papers about homeopathy. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- The authors of a study that claimed to find a link between typical male brain anatomy and autism have retracted and replaced it. (Medscape)
- Michael Eisen, eLife’s new editor-in-chief, “says the scientific community’s ‘addiction to high-impact factor journals poisons hiring and funding decisions.'” (Cambridge Independent)
- Meet the EMBO Press data detective, Erica Wilfong Boxheimer, who checks the images in all submitted manuscripts. (EMBO Press) We wrote about a number of such detectives for STAT in November.
- “In 4 of the 5 journals, use of patient-centric keywords increased significantly (absolute increase, 18.9%-34.3%; P < .001 for 3 journals; P = .01 for 1 journal), with the New England Journal of Medicine as the exception.” (JAMA Network Open)
- A Japanese court has ruled that a reporter defamed a neurologist by writing that he had fabricated data about a vaccine. (Science)
- “Academics and editors need to stop pretending that [plagiarism] software always catches recycled text and start reading more carefully.”
- In a case involving Robert Ryan, University College Cork “has concluded that while there were significant shortcomings in the conduct and oversight of the relevant research activity, there was no evidence on the part of current UCC personnel of wilful intent to deceive.”
- “Authors, reviewers, editors, and readers must all guard against honest mistakes, sloppy science, and fraud. The integrity of the scientific community is on the line.” (Journal of Clinical Investigation)
- Do the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine have undisclosed conflicts of interest when they discuss Plan S? Richard Smith thinks so.
- “Plagiarism and Data Falsification are the Most Common Reasons for Retracted Publications in Obstetrics and Gynecology.” (BJOG)
- “The research director of a government science institute has been charged with misconduct for failing to disclose his financial interests in two companies before endorsing over half a million dollars worth of purchases.” (Danny Lee, South China Morning Post)
- “The value of a journal is the community it creates, not the papers it publishes,” argue Lucy Montgomery and Cameron Neylon. (LSE Impact Blog)
- “A prestigious university in central China’s Hunan province said Thursday it had launched an investigation following allegations that a student thesis plagiarized a confidential proposal for research funding from a national science organization.” (Li You, Sixth Tone)
- “Academic publishing is in ‘crisis’ and must be put on a more sustainable and open footing, the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators annual conference has been told.” (Craig Nicholson, ResearchResearch)
- Nature’s editor “would like to force researchers to make the data and code behind their discoveries openly available.” (Times Higher Education)
- An editor reverses a retraction decision “after taking advice from lawyers at the journal’s publisher Wiley” and COPE. (Science)
- Among 239 retractions by authors from India over a period of more than 20 years, the most common reason was plagiarism. (Scientometrics, sub req’d)
- Reuters will not face sanctions for breaking the embargo on two cardiology papers published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
- A professor arrested in a prostitition sting told police he was conducting research, according to police. (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed)
- According to a new preprint, the “quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average.” (bioRxiv)
- “Interest is mounting in modernizing peer review,” writes Jessica Polka. (The Scholarly Kitchen)
- “A Seoul university professor forced students to write her daughter’s thesis to gain entry to an elite dental school,” AFP reports.
- “Data suggest US, UK universities fall woefully short on reporting clinical trial results.” (Natalie Grover, Endpoints News)
- The NIH “reminded the research community this week that the agency can…bar scientists accused of sexual harassment from serving as peer reviewers.” (Science)
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