Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘daniele fanelli’ Category

Why do researchers commit misconduct? A new preprint offers some clues

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Daniele Fanelli

“Why Do Scientists Fabricate And Falsify Data?” That’s the start of the title of a new preprint posted on bioRxiv this week by researchers whose names Retraction Watch readers will likely find familiar. Daniele Fanelli, Rodrigo Costas, Ferric Fang (a member of the board of directors of our parent non-profit organization), Arturo Casadevall, and Elisabeth Bik have all studied misconduct, retractions, and bias. In the new preprint, they used a set of papers from PLOS ONE shown in earlier research to have included manipulated images to test what factors were linked to such misconduct. The results confirmed some earlier work, but also provided some evidence contradicting previous findings. We spoke to Fanelli by email.

Retraction Watch (RW): This paper builds on a previous study by three of your co-authors, on the rate of inappropriate image manipulation in the literature. Can you explain how it took advantage of those findings, and why that was an important data set? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 14th, 2017 at 9:00 am

What does “reproducibility” mean? New paper seeks to standardize the lexicon

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Science Translational MedicineWhat is the difference between “reproducible” and “replicable”? And how does each relate to results that are “generalizable” and “robust”?

Researchers are using these terms interchangeably, creating confusion over what exactly is needed to confirm a scientific result, argues a new paper published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Here’s how the US National Science Foundation (NSF) defines “reproducibility,” according to the authors: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

June 1st, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Researchers’ productivity hasn’t increased in a century, study suggests

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.50.25 AMAre individual scientists now more productive early in their careers than 100 years ago? No, according to a large analysis of publication records released by PLOS ONE today.

Despite concerns of rising “salami slicing” in research papers in line with the “publish or perish” philosophy of academic publishing, the study found that individual early career researchers’ productivity has not increased in the last century. The authors analyzed more than 760,000 papers of all disciplines published by 41,427 authors between 1900 and 2013, cataloged by Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

The authors summarize their conclusions in “Researchers’ individual publication rate has not increased in a century:”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

March 9th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Pressure to publish not to blame for misconduct, says new study

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plosoneA new study suggests that much of what we think about misconduct — including the idea that it is linked to the unrelenting pressure on scientists to publish high-profile papers — is incorrect.

In a new paper out today in PLOS ONE [see update at end of post], Daniele Fanelli, Rodrigo Costas, and Vincent Larivière performed a retrospective analysis of retractions and corrections, looking at the influence of supposed risk factors, such as the “publish or perish” paradigm. The findings appeared to debunk the influence of that paradigm, among others:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 10th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Danish high court clears Pedersen in misconduct case

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Klarlund Pedersen

Lawyers one, scientists nil.

Danish judges have overruled scientists in that nation, concluding that a panel of experts erred in finding that physiologist Bente Klarlund Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, was guilty of misconduct.

Last September, Pedersen announced that she would fight the ruling of the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD, Danish acronym UVVU), which had said she had committed misconduct in four of 12 articles it had examined.

As we reported then, Pedersen’s case is tied to that of another Copenhagen scientist, Milena Penkowa, with whom she had collaborated and who also has been found guilty of scientific misdeeds. (The new ruling does not address Penkowa.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 18th, 2015 at 5:31 pm

“Research misconduct accounts for a small percentage of total funding”: Study

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elifeHow much money does scientific fraud waste?

That’s an important question, with an answer that may help determine how much attention some people pay to research misconduct. But it’s one that hasn’t been rigorously addressed.

Seeking some clarity,  Andrew Stern, Arturo Casadevall, Grant Steen, and Ferric Fang looked at cases in which the Office of Research Integrity had determined there was misconduct in particular papers. In their study, published today in eLife: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 14th, 2014 at 11:46 am

“Barriers to retraction may impede correction of the literature:” New study

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faseb june 2014One of the complaints we often hear about the self-correcting nature of science is that authors and editors seem very reluctant to retract papers with obvious fatal flaws. Indeed, it seems fairly clear that the number of papers retracted is smaller than the number of those that should be.

To try to get a sense of how errors are corrected in the literature, Arturo Casadevall, Grant Steen, and Ferric Fang, whose work on retractions will be familiar to our readers, in a new paper in the FASEB Journal, look at the sources of error in papers retracted for reasons other than misconduct.

Here’s the abstract (emphasis ours): Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend reads: Retraction Watch on NPR; “hysteria” over replication; when a paywall might be a good thing

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booksIt’s been another busy week at Retraction Watch, mostly because of the unfolding Jens Förster story. Here’s what was happening elsewhere on the web: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 3rd, 2014 at 9:00 am

How common is scientific misconduct in Nigeria?

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nigeriaWe’ve only covered one retraction from Nigeria. But as we’ve often noted, retraction rates don’t necessarily correlate with rates of problematic research, so the low number doesn’t really answer the question in this post’s title.

Lucky for us, a group of authors have started publishing surveys of Nigerian scientists on the subject. In a new such survey published in BMC Medical Ethics, Patrick I. Okonta and Theresa Rossouw asked 150 researchers to fill out a questionnaire during a scientific conference in 2010. Most of them — 133 — complied. Their findings? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 15th, 2014 at 9:30 am

“Why Growing Retractions Are (Mostly) a Good Sign”: New study makes the case

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Daniele Fanelli

Daniele Fanelli

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 »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm