Weekend reads: STAP stem cell controversy grinds on, plagiarism puzzles

booksAnother busy week here at Retraction Watch, with many in the scientific world glued to their browsers for more information on the latest stem cell controversy. Hear Ivan on the BBC discussing what that story means for post-publication peer review. Elsewhere around the web:

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5 thoughts on “Weekend reads: STAP stem cell controversy grinds on, plagiarism puzzles”

      1. Seems like the real focus is actually the group’s sub-leader, Dr. Sasai Yoshiki. Incidentally, the position that Sasai holds will have a billion-yen-a-year salary (roughly 1 million US$), so this as well as the funding that Riken was supposed to receive starting April may have been factors that made this case much more politicized than other misconduct by other Japanese professors.
        Main source: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140316-00001307-bengocom-soci

    1. In fact, the PhD thesis has not been retracted. She has voluntarily indicated that she is willing to retract it, but her university has yet to decide as this is the first such case in its history. Obokata is now being officially “tracked” 24 hours a day, presumably because there is a risk of suicide. Few science-related stories have actually hit headlines in Japan this many times and for this long, so this could bring about some interesting reform in 2014. Maybe this is the year of post-publication peer review, after all.
      Sources:
      http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140317-00000053-jij-sctch
      http://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20140315000093.html (hierarchical structure shown here)
      http://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20140315000093.html
      http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/nonsec/social/245124/

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