Misconduct investigation reports are uneven at best. Here’s how to make them better.

Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that over the past year or so, we have been making an effort to obtain and publish reports about institutional investigations into misconduct. That’s led to posts such as one about a case at the University of Colorado, Denver, one about the case of Frank Sauer, formerly of the University of California, Riverside, and this story on a case out of the University of Florida.

We’ve obtained the dozen-plus reports we’ve published so far by a variety of means, from public records requests to court documents to old-fashioned leaks. Reading these reports confirms what others — including the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. National Science Foundation — have found. Namely, the reports — which are subject to an inherent conflict of interest, given that institutions are investigating their own — are uneven at best.

We’d like to do something about that. Continue reading Misconduct investigation reports are uneven at best. Here’s how to make them better.

Retraction Watch is back at full speed. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you’re seeing our content.

Our readers will likely know that the site has been having significant trouble for more than two weeks. Thanks for your patience, your offers to help, and for sticking with us during that time. We’re happy to say that we seem to have identified all of the various issues involved, and have solved them. Some of those fixes may mean that you’ll need to resubscribe to our email alerts, so keep reading (or skip over the vaguely technical stuff in the next few paragraphs if you’d rather). Continue reading Retraction Watch is back at full speed. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you’re seeing our content.

The RW Week In Review: Anti-gay bias, an authorship lawsuit; misconduct in industry vs. academia

We’ve been having some technical issues with the site, which may have kept some readers from accessing our content this week. We think we’ve figured out what was wrong, and fixed it, but in the meantime here’s what we were up to this week, in case you missed it:

Continue reading The RW Week In Review: Anti-gay bias, an authorship lawsuit; misconduct in industry vs. academia

Is our database missing a retraction? Tell us!

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.

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

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:

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

Top 10 retractions of 2017

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. Continue reading Top 10 retractions of 2017

On Giving Tuesday, consider supporting the work of Retraction Watch

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:

Continue reading On Giving Tuesday, consider supporting the work of Retraction Watch

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

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

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

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

Paid to publish: It’s not just China

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.