Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Weekend reads: Suicide after misconduct; taxonomic vandalism; a disastrous Nature editorial

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Written by Ivan Oransky

September 9th, 2017 at 9:36 am

Posted in weekend reads

Weekend reads: A hoax involving a “conceptual penis;” fake reagents; plagiarism irony

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a survey of researchers in China with an alarming result, and asked whether philosophy has a plagiarism problem. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 20th, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

Weekend reads: A publisher sends the wrong message on data sharing; jail for scientific fraud; pigs fly

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The week at Retraction Watch featured three new ways companies are trying to scam authors, and a look at why one journal is publishing a running tally of their retractions. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 11th, 2017 at 9:31 am

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Weekend reads: Sabotage in the lab; a lab animal database disappears; PACE authors push back

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The week at Retraction Watch featured the launch of the greatest journal ever, and a story about the backlash against widely covered research on why men eat more. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 4th, 2017 at 9:30 am

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Weekend reads: Why so much research is dodgy; why scientists should shun journals; ethical grey zones

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a cancer researcher retracting 19 studies at once from a single journal, and the story of how a 7-year-old came to publish a paper. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 22nd, 2016 at 9:30 am

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Weekend reads: How to create tabloid science headlines; sugar industry buys research; the citation black market

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a look at whether we have an epidemic of flawed meta-analyses, and the story of a strange case involving climate research and pseudonyms. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 17th, 2016 at 9:52 am

Posted in weekend reads

Philosopher earns 14th retraction for plagiarism

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978-1-4020-3001-7Today, we bring you a case of a serial plagiarizer.

Martin W. F. Stone was a philosophy professor at the University of Leuven — by one account “widely admired and highly respected” — until 2010, when an investigation at the school concluded that his work is “highly questionable in terms of scientific integrity.” Over the past several years, he has racked up retractions, earning his 14th this spring, and spot #30 on our leaderboard.

Stone’s retractions were brought to our attention by philosopher Michael Dougherty, who found a notice for “Michael Baius (1513–89) and the Debate on ‘Pure Nature’: Grace and Moral Agency in Sixteenth-Century Scholasticism,” a chapter in Springer’s Moral Philosophy on the Threshold of Modernity.

The retraction notice says that the chapter Read the rest of this entry »

Death camp dog satire retracted when German journal wasn’t in on joke

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Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 2.46.54 PMTotalitarianism and Democracy has removed a paper claiming that German Shepherds belonging to guards at the Berlin Wall descended from dogs used at concentration camps, after learning that the paper was a work of satire, The Guardian reports.

The paper, and its author, are the creation of the anonymous group “Christiane Schulte and friends.”

This isn’t the first hoax we’ve seen in publishing: Don’t forget journalist John Bohannon, who submitted hundreds of fake papers to open access journals, and more recently conjured up a study that showed chocolate helps you lose weight. (And, of course, a paper in a Romanian magazine that listed porn star Ron Jeremy and Michael Jackson among its references.) Like many other hoaxers, the group say in a statement their purpose was to shine light on problems in academic publishing.

The latest victim: a Dresden-based journal, The Guardian explains:

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Don’t trust an image in a scientific paper? Manipulation detective’s company wants to help.

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Mike Rossner. Source: S. Peterson

Mike Rossner. Source: S. Peterson

Mike Rossner has made a name for himself in academic publishing as somewhat of a “manipulation detective.” As the editor of The Journal of Cell Biology, in 2002 he initiated a policy of screening all images in accepted manuscripts, causing the journal to reject roughly 1% of papers that had already passed peer review. Other journals now screen images, but finding manipulation is only the first step – handling it responsibly is another matter. Rossner has started his own company to help journals and institutions manage this tricky process. We talked to him about his new venture.

Retraction Watch: What are the primary services offered by your company?

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Written by Alison McCook

February 24th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Weekend reads: What do PhDs earn?; university refuses to release data; collaboration’s dark side

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booksThis week at Retraction Watch featured a look at the huge problem of misidentified cell lines, a check-in with a company that retracted a paper as it was about to go public, and Diederik Stapel’s 58th retraction. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 12th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads