Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘biological conservation’ Category

Should journals reject papers solely on ethical grounds?

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biological-conservation

Recently, an ecology journal received a submission that made them pause. In order to conduct their research, the authors had to kill thousands of fish. The study had been approved by conservation authorities, but it still wasn’t sitting well with the journal.

So it rejected the paper, on ethical grounds.

Biological Conservation explained its decision in a recent paper, noting the killing of thousands of vertebrates (marine and freshwater fish) in a protected area was “unnecessary and inappropriate,” and adds the journal will continue questioning and rejecting papers that “do not meet reasonable standards of practice.”

This is not a universal practice, however — years ago, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published the results of a research project that resulted in 90 people becoming infected with HIV. Again, that study had obtained the necessary ethical approvals — but should the journal act as the final judge?

According to the editors of Biological Conservation, yes. In “Field work ethics in biological research,” they write: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

November 15th, 2016 at 11:30 am

“I’m so done with it”: Conservationist speaks out against sexism in science

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Amanda Stanley

Amanda Stanley

Last week, we wrote about conservationist Stuart Pimm receiving criticism for casual sexism in a recent book review.

The journal did not retract the review, but it released an editor’s note condemning the language Pimm used, including quoting a movie scene in which a man told a woman “I don’t take whores in taxis.” Some readers have questioned whether this is really an instance of sexism, including here in the Retraction Watch comments.

So we reached out to Amanda Stanley, a conservation scientist who was so troubled by the book review that she wrote a letter to the editor, to be published soon in Biological Conservation. Here’s her powerful explanation of where this fits in the overall conversation about sexism in science:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 11:30 am

‘‘I don’t take whores in taxis”: Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor’s note

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Author Stuart Pimm.

Author Stuart Pimm

The Elsevier journal Biological Conservation has put out an apology, but not a retraction, after outcry over a bizarre, misogynistic non sequitur in a book review by Duke conservation biologist Stuart Pimm.

Here’s the introduction to Pimm’s review of Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, which went online in October ahead of its December print publication: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 21st, 2014 at 11:40 am

Not in my journal: Two editors take stock of misconduct in their fields — and don’t find much

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biol conservToday brings two journal editorials about misconduct and retractions. They take, if we may, a bit of an optimistic and perhaps even blindered approach.

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 »