Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘RW announcements’ Category

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.

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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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Meet our new staff writer, Andrew P. Han

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Andrew P. Han

Please welcome Andrew P. Han, the newest addition to the Retraction Watch team.

Andy comes to Retraction Watch and the Center for Scientific Integrity from GenomeWeb, where he covered the explosion of CRISPR/Cas9 into the research and biotech scene over the last several years. He has also freelanced for Wired.com, Popular Mechanics.com, Newsweek, and Food & Wine. 

Andy’s beat at Retraction Watch will of course be retractions, but he’ll also be helping us broaden our coverage of the intersection between scientific misconduct at the law — so if you have court documents or stories, send them along.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 9th, 2017 at 11:30 am

Posted in RW announcements

Announcing the DiRT Award, a new “doing the right thing” prize — and its first recipient

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It takes a lot of work to clean up the scientific literature, and some researchers and organizations deserve special recognition. That’s why we’ve established a “doing the right thing” category when we see praise-worthy progress in individual retractions, and have now gone a step further: We’ve created the DiRT Award, a new annual prize to recognize particularly note-worthy behavior.

As our co-founders announce today in STAT, the first recipient of the DiRT Award is the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Regular readers may suspect why — here’ a hint — but to learn more about the award, and why it’s going to the ADA, check out our co-founders’ STAT column out today. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 5th, 2017 at 8:00 am

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