Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘RW announcements’ Category

Thank you, Helmsley Charitable Trust: $325,000 grant renewal will help us build a sustainable future

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We’re very pleased to announce an 18-month grant renewal for $325,000 from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to The Center For Scientific Integrity, our parent non-profit organization.

The generous funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust will allow us to build on the work funded by our original Helmsley grant. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

April 6th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in RW announcements

“Publications of questionable scientific value:” A scientist models a potential prom date

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Barry Cottonfield

Eve Armstrong had an important question: How would things have turned out if she had summoned the nerve to ask a certain Barry Cottonfield to her high school’s junior prom in 1997? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 1st, 2017 at 11:24 am

Posted in RW announcements

Meet the latest addition to our team, Victoria Stern

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Please join us in welcoming our newest staff writer, Victoria Stern, to the Retraction Watch team.

Vicky first worked with editor Alison McCook in 2009 at The Scientist. Since then, she has been freelancing for a number of outlets, including Medscape, Scientific American Mind (where she became a contributing editor), General Surgery News, MedPage Today, and Reuters Health.

Funding for Vicky’s position is primarily thanks to Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 2nd, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in RW announcements

Happy birthday, RW Daily. Have you signed up yet?

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A year ago tomorrow, we announced that we were starting The RW Daily, an email that would summarize the previous day’s news and link to other relevant stories elsewhere — a sort of sneak peek at Weekend Reads.

In about six and a half years, we’ve published more than 3,600 posts; that’s a lot of science publishing news. For people who feel overloaded by individual email alerts every time a new post appears, a daily digest is a good option. Here’s today’s, if you want to take a look. If you haven’t already, click here to subscribe. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

January 24th, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Posted in RW announcements

The Retraction Watch 2016 year in review — and a sneak peek at our database

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It’s been another exciting year for us at Retraction Watch. As always, there has been more to cover than we have time for. At the same time, we’ve expanded our efforts in other media, telling bigger stories and offering more analysis. And we’ve made major progress on our database — more on that in a moment.

A sampling of what happened this year: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 30th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Posted in RW announcements

We removed a post temporarily. It’s back. Here’s why.

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On December 15, we removed a post from view as a result of a law that some have misused to have content removed from the web. Today, we have reinstated that post.

Here’s what the post about, if you’re curious: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 29th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Posted in RW announcements

The top 10 retractions of 2016

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It’s that time again, when top-10 lists start appearing — and we’re no exception.

So check out our list of the 10 most noteworthy retractions of the year, posted by our friends at The Scientist.

Like Retraction Watch? Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post, or subscribe to our daily digest. Click here to review our Comments Policy. For a sneak peek at what we’re working on, click here.

Written by Alison McCook

December 21st, 2016 at 9:30 am

Posted in RW announcements

We’ve temporarily removed a Retraction Watch post. Here’s why. (Hint: A bad law.)

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Longtime Retraction Watch readers may recall that in 2013, we were forced to temporarily remove ten posts following a false — and frankly ridiculous — copyright infringement claim.

Well, it’s happened again.

On Wednesday, our host, Bluehost, forwarded us another false copyright claim — aka a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice — by someone calling himself “Jiya Khan” and claiming to be based in Delhi, India. (Well, specifically, in “Rohini,sector-12,” which would mean that he or she is based at one of  two petrol stations.)

Khan insisted under penalty of perjury that a December 2014 post of ours — which we have now temporarily removed from public view (more on that in a moment) — violated his or her copyright.

What actually happened, in an eerie echo of the 2013 case, is that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 16th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Retractions holding steady at more than 650 in FY2016

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pubmedDrumroll please.

The tally of retractions in MEDLINE — one of the world’s largest databases of scientific abstracts — for the last fiscal year has just been released, and the number is: 664.

Earlier this year, we scratched our heads over the data from 2015, which showed retractions had risen dramatically, to 684. The figures for this fiscal year — which ended in September — have held relatively steadily at that higher number, only dropping by 3%. (For some sense of scale, there were just shy of 870,000 new abstracts indexed in MEDLINE in FY2016; 664 is a tiny fraction of this figure, and of course not all of the retractions were of papers published in FY2016.)

Of note: In FY2014, there were fewer than 500 retractions — creating an increase of nearly 40% between 2014 and 2015. (Meanwhile, the number of citations indexed by MEDLINE rose only few percentage points over the same time period.) Which means the retraction rate in the last two years is dramatically higher than in 2014.

We have often wondered whether the retraction rate would ever reach a plateau, as the community’s ability to find problems in the literature catches up with the amount of problems present in the literature. But based on two years of data, we can’t say anything definitive about that.

Here’s an illustration of retraction data from recent years:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

December 5th, 2016 at 11:40 am

It’s Giving Tuesday: Consider supporting Retraction Watch

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RW logoWithout you, we wouldn’t exist. Plain and simple.

From story tips, to encouragement, to comments that add more substance to a story, we thank you, and are forever grateful. With your help, we can continue to shine a spotlight on scientific misconduct and hopefully improve the process of self-correction.

And there’s another way in which you’ve supported us throughout the years: With generous donations. Now, on this Giving Tuesday, we’re hoping some of you will consider making tax-deductible charitable contributions to The Center For Scientific Integrity, the 501(c)3 parent organization of Retraction Watch. Please consider financially supporting our work — any amount helps. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

November 29th, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in RW announcements