Retraction Watch readers will no doubt be familiar with the fact that retraction rates are rising, but one of the unanswered questions has been whether that increase is due to more misconduct, greater awareness, or some combination of the two.
In a new paper in PLOS Medicine, Daniele Fanelli, who has studied misconduct and related issues, tries to sift through the evidence. Noting that the number of corrections has stayed constant since 1980, Fanelli writes that: Read the rest of this entry »
The title of this post is the title of a new study in PLOS ONE by three researchers whose names Retraction Watch readers may find familiar: Grant Steen, Arturo Casadevall, and Ferric Fang. Together and separately, they’ve examined retraction trends in a number of papers we’ve covered.
Their new paper tries to answer a question we’re almost always asked as a follow-up to data showing the number of retractions grew ten-fold over the first decade in the 21st century. As the authors write: Read the rest of this entry »
The National Institutes of Health earlier this month notified the scientists it funds that, thanks to the sequester, many may soon face cuts in those grants as the agency tries to deal with a reduction in its $30.9 billion budget. In her March 4 letter to grantees, NIH’s Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research, wrote:
At this time, the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH are taking every step to mitigate the effects of these cuts, but based on our initial analysis, it is possible that your grants or cooperative agreement awards may be affected. Examples of this impact could include: not issuing continuation awards, or negotiating a reduction in the scope of your awards to meet the constraints imposed by sequestration. Additionally, plans for new grants or cooperative agreements may be re-scoped, delayed, or canceled depending on the nature of the work and the availability of resources. Read the rest of this entry »
In an editorial titled “Scientific misconduct occurs, but is rare,” Boston University’s Richard Primack, editor of Biological Conservation, highlights a Corrigendum of a paper by Jesus Angel Lemus, the veterinary researcher who has retracted seven papers: Read the rest of this entry »
Partial retractions — as opposed corrections or the full monty — are unusual events in scientific publishing. But they appear to come in twos.
The article in question, by a group from the University of Kentucky in Lexington led by Susan Straley, appeared online in 2007. It was titled “yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a New Virulence Determinant for Bubonic Plague,” and, as the words suggest, involved a gene marker for the virulence of plague. Or so it initially seemed.
Regular Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that many of the people whose fraud we write about are men. Certainly, the top retraction earners — Yoshitaka Fujii, Joachim Boldt, Diederik Stapel, and Naoki Mori, to name a few — all have a Y chromosome. But that doesn’t necessarily mean our sample size is representative.
Now along comes a study of U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) reports suggesting that men are in fact overrepresented among scientists who commit fraud. In a study published online today in mBio, Ferric Fang and Arturo Casadevall — whose names will also be familiar to Retraction Watch readers for their previous work — along with Joan Bennett analyzed 228 ORI reports since 1994, and found that 149 — or 65% — were male. (The vast majority of the 228 cases — 94% — involved fraud such as falsification or fabrication, while the others presumably involved misconduct such as plagiarism.)
And it’s not just that there are more men in the life sciences. At every stage of a life science career, the percentage of males found by the ORI to have committed misconduct was higher than the percentage of male life scientists overall: Read the rest of this entry »
We have a few follow-ups from stories we’ve recently covered:
Terry Elton case initially chalked up to “disorganization,” not misconduct
Ohio State University (OSU), which along with the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) recently sanctioned a pharmacy professor for image manipulation, “failed at first to recognize his deception,” according to an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch based on university documents.
The piece, which quotes Ivan, reveals that OSU needed some prompting from the ORI before it concluded that Terry Elton was guilty of misconduct, and not just unintentional errors that he at one point blamed on a research technician who lost her job in October 2011: Read the rest of this entry »
We’re not generally — or ever — in the habit of running job ads here on Retraction Watch. But the purpose of this post is to highlight a new position available at the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB) that we think is a great opportunity and a step forward for the society.
As regular Retraction Watch readers know, we frequently beat up on one of the ASBMB’s journals, the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), for publishing retraction notices that say simply “This article has been withdrawn by the authors.” We’re not the only ones; Ferric Fang and colleagues name-checked the journal’s policy when they wrote about factors that Read the rest of this entry »
October, apparently, is “studies of retractions month.” First there was a groundbreaking study in PNAS, then an NBER working paper, and yesterday PLoS Medicine alerted us to a paper their sister journal, PLoS ONE, published last week, “A Comprehensive Survey of Retracted Articles from the Scholarly Literature.”
The study, by Michael L. Grieneisen and Minghua Zhang, is comprehensive indeed, reaching further back into the literature than others we’ve seen, and also including more disciplines: Read the rest of this entry »