How journal editors can detect and deter scientific misconduct

Misconduct happens. So what can journal editors do find and prevent it?

While we don’t claim to be experts in working on the other side of the fence — eg as editors — Ivan was flattered to be asked by session organizers at the Council of Science Editors to appear on a panel on the subject. He was joined on the panel by:

Their presentations were chock-full of good tips and data. Bradford, for example, said that Science had published 45 retractions since 1997. And Laine recommended copying all of a manuscript’s authors on every communication, which could help prevent author forgery that seems to be creeping into the literature.

So we hope their slides will be online soon. In the meantime, Ivan’s slides are here (scroll down a bit so that the entire first slide, and navigation, are visible below the CSE banner):

[slideshare id=7808148&doc=csescientificmisconduct-110502144649-phpapp01]

We look forward to your feedback.

9 thoughts on “How journal editors can detect and deter scientific misconduct”

    1. Now it works. It was Mozilla Firefox without Flash Player. Internet explorer worked fine.

      Also, thanks, Ivan, very important contribution!

  1. The council should recognize that they are operating under the same assumptions as the editors of Social Text, of The Sokal Hoax fame. They think their intellect stands as an impenetrable barrier to, not only misconduct, but all forms of false information. Perhaps a dose of humility from time to time would help them improve their track record. A retraction should be every bit as detailed as any scientific paper submitted to them.

  2. The most compelling thing the journals could do would be to enforce their own requirements on making PRIMARY data available as a condition of publication. I’ve lost track of how many papers don’t have e.g. the clinical outcomes and corresponding data for individual patient samples, even when these are supposed to be available. The Nature journals, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research are amongst the worst in this respect.

    A paper with no data attached to it belongs in the Journal of Irreproducible Research, not a serious science journal.

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