Archive for the ‘sci eng ethics’ Category
When it comes to detecting image manipulation, the more tools you have at your disposal, the better. In a recent issue of Science and Engineering Ethics, Lars Koppers at TU Dortmund University in Germany and his colleagues present a new way to scan images. Specifically, they created an open-source software that compares pixels within or between images, looking for similarities, which can signify portions of an image has been duplicated or deleted. Koppers spoke with us about the program described in “Towards a Systematic Screening Tool for Quality Assurance and Semiautomatic Fraud Detection for Images in the Life Sciences,” and how it can be used by others to sleuth out fraud.
Retraction Watch: Can you briefly describe how your screening system works?
In many fields, first authors on scientific papers represent the person who’s performed the bulk of the research. Sometimes, that determination can be difficult to make, so we’ve seen many papers that list multiple first authors, noting that each contributed equally to the work. But is it possible — or ethical — to claim six authors all deserve top billing on a paper?
In a recent letter in Science and Engineering Ethics, Govindasamy Agoramoorthy — at Sengamala Thayaar Educational Trust Women’s College in India and Tajen University in Taiwan — flags a 2014 paper in The Plant Journal that lists six first authors, noting all “contributed equally to this work.”
As Agoramoorthy notes in “Multiple First Authors as Equal Contributors: Is It Ethical?“: Read the rest of this entry »
In Latin America, retractions for plagiarism and other issues have increased markedly — which may be a positive sign that editors and authors are paying closer attention to publishing ethics, according to a small study published in Science and Engineering Ethics.
The authors examined two major Latin American/Caribbean databases, which mostly include journals from Brazil, and have been indexing articles for more than 15 years. They found only 31 retractions, all of which appeared in 2008 or later. (Roughly half of the retractions were from journals indexed in the Thomas Reuters’ Journal of Citations Report® (JCR).)
This was a notable result, the authors write: Read the rest of this entry »
A few unusual acknowledgements added by authors after finalizing the manuscripts have highlighted a common element in science publishing – right before going to press, authors can make minor changes to manuscripts that editors won’t necessarily review before publication.
We were reminded of this when reading two opinion papers published in August by Science and Engineering Ethics.
Take us at our word when we tell you this isn’t some exercise in meta-irony or meta-criticism or any other meta-bullshit, but a pair of researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia have published a paper calling for an end to irony in science.
First, some background: In 2001, an Israeli researcher named Leonard Leibovici wrote a letter to the famously lighthearted Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal describing a randomized controlled trial in which intercessory prayer at a distance — in other words, people praying for other, sick people — was found to improve the health of patients with bloodstream infections. All the more remarkable was that this prayer was “retroactive,” as in, it purportedly occurred years after those sick patients had either left the hospital or died. Read the rest of this entry »
Publishing gadfly demands journal editor’s resignation, then has “fairly incomprehensible” paper rejected
A scientific publishing gadfly who was banned earlier this year from an Elsevier journal for “personal attacks and threats” has had a paper rejected by a Springer journal after he called for the editor’s resignation because of alleged incompetence.
As detailed in a comment left at Retraction Watch, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva submitted a manuscript titled “One Conjunction, a World of Ethical Difference: How Elsevier, the ICMJE and Neurology Define Authorship” to Science and Engineering Ethics on November 11, 2012. As of last week, despite a number of messages sent to editors of the journal, he had not had a decision on the manuscript.
As a result, on July 14 of this year, Teixeira da Silva sent this letter to journal editor Raymond Spier and to Stephanie Bird, an editorial board member assigned to the manuscript: Read the rest of this entry »