Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘RW announcements’ Category

Is our database missing a retraction? Tell us!

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As many readers know, we’ve been hard at work curating a comprehensive database of retractions, and are now up to more than 16,000 entries. Despite that large number — as much as triple what you’ll find in commonly used databases — we know there are notices we’re missing.

We’re doing our best to fill in the gaps, but the work will go faster with help. So if you come across a recent or previous retraction, and don’t see it in our database, let us know about it using this form. None of the fields is required, but the more information we have, the quicker we’ll be able to add the relevant details. Please note: This isn’t for papers that you think should be retracted; send us tips about those to retractionwatchteam@gmail.com. (And to answer a question we are often asked: Yes, we plan for an API of the database, once it’s comprehensive.)

Thanks in advance!

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth, 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. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at retractionwatchteam@gmail.com.

Written by Alison McCook

January 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in RW announcements

The 2017 Retraction Watch Year in Review (hint: Our database is nearly done)

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One journal broke a retractions record by pulling more than 100 papers in one day for faked reviews, a Harvard graduate student obtained a restraining order against his boss after being forced to undergo a psychiatric exam, and a well-known food scientist at Cornell faced heavy criticism about his research.

And that’s just some of what we reported in the first few months of 2017.

This year, our team worked hard this year to dig deeper into retractions and hold publishers and institutions accountable, while filing more public records requests (including investigation reports, which journals have noticed), and exploring larger stories affecting academic publishing.

But our biggest accomplishment this year was working on our database — now close to complete (thanks to the hard work of more than a dozen graduate students, librarians, and others), it includes just shy of 16,000 retractions.

Here’s a sampling of what else we worked on this year:

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Written by Alison McCook

December 29th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in RW announcements

Top 10 retractions of 2017

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It’s time for the “Best of 2017” lists to start appearing — so why not do one for retractions? We think it’s a good idea, so have partnered with The Scientist for the last few years to compile our most notable notices of the year.

From new records to mass resignations, you can check out our picks for 2017 here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

December 18th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Posted in RW announcements

On Giving Tuesday, consider supporting the work of Retraction Watch

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We know there are a lot of causes that matter to you, but since you’re reading this, we may be one of them. So we’d like to ask for your support.

On this Giving Tuesday, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to The Center For Scientific Integrity, the 501(c)3 parent organization of Retraction Watch. Any amount helps. Your donation will help us shine a spotlight on scientific misconduct, and hold accountable the entities that profit from publishing, including journals, institutions, and individuals.

Here’s what your donations will continue to help make possible:

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Written by Alison McCook

November 28th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in RW announcements

Pay to play: Scientists are bristling over the cost of a common research tool

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A commonly used questionnaire designed to predict how well patients will stick to their drug regimen is stirring up some controversy in the publishing world. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 13th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in RW announcements

The Olympics of research into scientific publishing is happening now. Follow along here.

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CHICAGO — As many Retraction Watch readers may know, the Peer Review Congress happens every four years — much like the Olympics. For three days here on the shores of Lake Michigan, researchers will present findings on subjects from bias to data sharing to misconduct. Our Ivan Oransky is there, and will be tweeting, so follow along at @RetractionWatch and at #PRC8. And if you’re there, say hello. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 10th, 2017 at 10:27 am

Posted in RW announcements

Paid to publish: It’s not just China

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A recent pre-print showed that scientists in China can earn up to $165,000 to publish a paper in a top journal, but that’s not the only place where researchers can get some extra cash.

Recently, we conducted an informal search for other institutions around the world that offer cash prizes for publishing research — and were surprised at what we found.

People have raised concerns about these incentives, given that they often just overload top journals with submissions, but don’t necessarily increase publication rates. Furthermore, there are concerns that these kinds of incentives can encourage fraudulent publishing practices — such as fake peer reviews — out of countries such as China.

Check out where else scientists can earn almost $14,000 USD per paper, as part of our latest feature in Science, out today.

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

August 10th, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Posted in RW announcements

Happy birthday to Retraction Watch! (We’re 7.) And an update on our database.

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August 3rd is a big day around here — it’s our birthday. Today, we celebrate seven years since two science journalists decided, not exactly on whim but close to it, to launch a blog about retractions. Little did they know. (To hear our co-founder Ivan Oransky talk more about this milestone, check out his podcast interview with Cara Santa Maria, host of “Talk Nerdy.”)

Once again, it’s been a big year. What we’re most excited about is having launched a still-in-progress retractions database. Speaking of still in progress, here’s where we are: The database contains just shy of 8,000 carefully curated and detailed entries, which, when we first started gathering material, seemed to be most of the retractions out there. We now think that there are closer to 9,000 retractions of papers so far, which would mean we’re about 90% of the way to being complete. (For comparison, as of today, PubMed — which is almost exclusively focused on the biomedical literature, rather than all subjects — lists 5,176 retracted papers, and 5,461 retractions of publications.) Along the way, however, we have become aware of large swaths of retracted conference abstracts, some of which we’ve reported on, but most of which we haven’t. Including those, we estimate there are about 15,000 retractions — so there’s still some work to do.

This spring, we were grateful recipients of a $325,000 grant renewal from the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Trust, and our other generous funders — the MacArthur Foundation and the Arnold Foundation — have enabled us to continue our work, including hiring two new staff writers, Victoria Stern and Andrew P. Han.

Some other highlights:

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Written by Alison McCook

August 3rd, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Posted in RW announcements

The Harvard lab head, the grad student, and the restraining order: An ongoing saga

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Lee Rubin via Harvard

Regular Retraction Watch readers may recall a remarkable story from January involving Harvard’s Lee Rubin and one of his graduate students. As we reported in Science at the time, the graduate student, Gustavo German, said he had been subjected to a forced psychiatric evaluation as “an act of revenge by Rubin, retaliation prompted by German’s allegation of scientific misconduct against Rubin and two of his students.” And a judge “agreed with German, concluding [last August] that Rubin was ‘motivated by bias and revenge, not by a legitimate interest in keeping German safe.'”

That led to a restraining order that required Rubin to remain 100 feet from German at all times — including in the lab where German was working on his PhD.

Today, we have an update on the story, also in Science: “At Harvard, extraordinary court battle between Ph.D. student and prominent researcher grinds on.” As our Alison McCook writes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 27th, 2017 at 4:26 pm

The RW week in review: Doing the right thing, two journals’ first retractions

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Did you miss some of this week’s posts? Here they all are, in one handy roundup: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 16th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in RW announcements