Weekend reads: Dean withdraws from post after retraction of Lancet book review; star researcher committed misconduct; a new way to game peer review?

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a reminder that sometimes science just needs more bullshit; a call to make misconduct investigation reports public; and a puzzle about why retractions took so long. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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7 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Dean withdraws from post after retraction of Lancet book review; star researcher committed misconduct; a new way to game peer review?”

  1. RE: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/csir-orders-probe-into-journals/article27473309.ece

    “On June 3, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) began an investigation into the large-scale manipulation and/or duplication of images within the same paper or in different papers by scientists at the Lucknow-based Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR).

    At last count, 130 papers published in peer-reviewed journals by scientists from the institution have problems with the images. A chief scientist at the institute Dr. Yogeshwer Shukla alone has published 40 such papers.”

    Another CISR institute, this time in Kolkata: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/csir-indian-institute-of-chemical-biology-scientist-has-28-papers-with-manipulated-duplicated-images/article27697386.ece

  2. When it comes to the firing of Montoya, I just do not understand why it is the university and not the legal system that should judge facts concerning sexual harassment. Moreover, we have no evidence to judge whether the university is acting correctly. The legal system is supposed to be more independent of other contingent concerns. That story definitely makes me feel uneasy.

  3. “A less frequently used strategy is to submit a research manuscript to medium-impact journals. ”

    Less frequently than submitting for high-impact journals for peer review rather than acceptance, an occurrence they describe as entirely hypothetical (based on the ludicrous suggestion that higher impact journals produce higher quality peer review). So, I’m skeptical that anyone has ever submitted to a mid-tier journal, then withdrawn after a favourable review to submit to a higher tier journal under the naive impression they’d also get a favourable review there.

    1. This editorial made little sense. Even if there are authors that withdraw manuscripts after receiving comments on their work (which I agree has to be exceedingly rare), what’s the downside if ultimately a better study ends up being published? The real problem is that peer review remains a largely altruistic exercise, with few tangible benefits for the referee.

      1. «The real problem is that peer review remains a largely altruistic exercise, with few tangible benefits for the referee. »

        And that should definitely change. What mechanism could enforce that peer review gets professionalized?

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