Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘RW announcements’ Category

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

Post you may have missed: Tomato study squashed by authorship, data problems

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A technical glitch prevented a story from reaching our email subscribers earlier today, so in case you missed it:

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

November 18th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Posted in RW announcements

Post you may have missed: Prominent researcher in Scotland resigns

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With apologies that our email software appears to have had another hiccup today, read about a researcher who has resigned from the University of Dundee following an investigation that found he had committed misconduct.

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 11th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Posted in RW announcements

What should you do if a paper you’ve cited is later retracted?

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RW logoWe all know that researchers continue to cite papers long after they’ve been retracted, posing concerns for the integrity of the literature. But what should you do if one of the papers you’ve cited gets retracted after you’ve already cited it?

We posed this question to some members of the board of directors of our parent non-profit organization, who offered up some valuable advice based on many years of experience working at journals and organizations such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The first step: Determine whether the fact a reference has been retracted has any impact on the conclusions of your own paper. From Elizabeth Wager, publications consultant, Sideview; former chair, COPE:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

November 1st, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Posts you may have missed: Congress investigating lab, meet Hindawi’s head of research integrity

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The email alerts for two of today’s posts didn’t didn’t go out, due to a programming glitch. So in case you missed them, here they are:

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

October 3rd, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Posted in RW announcements