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The week at Retraction Watch featured revelations about a Harvard lab being investigated by federal officials; a researcher who blamed a dead colleague for plagiarism; and the retraction of a paper on mindfulness. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “The MD Anderson Cancer Center here has ousted three senior researchers after the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, informed it that the scientists had committed potentially ‘serious’ violations of agency rules involving confidentiality of peer review and the disclosure of foreign ties.” (Mara Hvistendahl, Science)
- “The National Science Foundation (NSF) has joined the list of federal agencies that Senator Chuck Grassley (R–IA) has asked for explanations of how they are preventing foreign scientists from ripping off U.S. taxpayers.” (Jeffrey Mervis, Science)
- “[V]iolations by Dr. Kang Zhang, an eye doctor at the University of California San Diego, show just how easily that well-intentioned framework can collapse.” (inewsource)
- “One under-recognized variety of plagiarism—designated here as compression plagiarism—consists of the distillation of a lengthy scholarly text into a short one, followed by the publication of the short one under a new name with inadequate credit to the original author.” (Michael Dougherty, Argumentation, sub req’d)
- An analysis of a Vatican spokesperson’s literary output reveals “his plagiarism is a long, consistent habit.”
- He’s at it again: This time, “data thug” James Heathers is fighting hype in the media, one tweet at a time. In mice. (Shradda Chakradhar, STAT)
- “In fact, for this review, the traditional bibliographic sources did not provide a complete picture of retracted articles. A total of eight (15%) articles were only identified on the Retraction Watch website, highlighting difficulties in retrieving retractions and suggesting poor transparency in the reporting of retractions.” (PLOS ONE)
- Brazil’s new education minister is accused of publishing the same paper “With the same title, abstract, body of text and tables, and differing only in the form of presenting bibliographical references.”
- “How many reviewers are required to obtain reliable evaluations of NIH R01 grant proposals?” (PsyArXiv)
- “Peer reviewers are four times more likely to give a grant application an ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’ score rather than a ‘poor’ or ‘good’ one when they are chosen by the grant’s applicants, an analysis of Swiss funding applications has found.” (Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Nature)
- “The former director of the People’s Liberation Army’s Institute for Disease Control and Prevention has been stripped of his doctorate due to plagiarism, according to a notification from the university seen by Caixin.” (Ma Danmeng and Ren Qiuyu, Caixin)
“Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.” (Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed)
- “To standardize the reporting of contributions across disciplines, irrespective of whether a given contribution merits authorship or acknowledgment, the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) was launched in 2014,” write Valerie Matarese and Karen Shashok. “Our assessment, however, shows that in practice, CRediT is a detailed authorship classification that risks denying appropriate credit for persons who contribute as non-authors.” (Publications)
- A bill in California “would carve out major exemptions from the California Public Records Act for researchers at public post-secondary educational institutions.” (Zoe Loftus-Farren, Undark)
- “A controversial British academic who claims childhood vaccines can cause autism has been blocked from raising research funds after protests by other scientists.” An earlier retraction.
- “[J]ournals have retracted roughly 280 papers covering topics in gastroenterology, involving approximately 1,530 authors,” reports our Alison Abritis in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News.
- Stanford clears a professor “of any wrongdoing in his interactions with a Chinese researcher who roiled the scientific world by creating the first gene-edited babies.”
- A retraction: “On April 17, 2019, The Stanford Daily ran an article covering a Stanford Medicine Dean’s Lecture event featuring GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley. The Daily did not indicate that it would be reporting at the event, which was off the record. We regret this error.”
- Could moving to all APC-based open access journals mean that “high-quality journals become more lenient and start accepting lower quality articles?”
- “Participants believed that all forms of [publication misconduct] have a direct influence on the credibility and authenticity of true research and it is a crime against humanity (particularly in medicine).” (National Medical Journal of India)
- “Over the last three years, around 3,700 Nature referees across the natural sciences have chosen to be publicly recognised and around 80% of Nature papers have at least one referee named.” (Nature)
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