Weekend reads: “Too good to be true” results; the paper as an “artificial landmark”

booksThe week at Retraction Watch kicked off with news of the European Science Foundation threatening to sue a scientist for calling a review process “flawed.” Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

11 thoughts on “Weekend reads: “Too good to be true” results; the paper as an “artificial landmark””

  1. “Please congratulate the Retraction Watch dogs on the publication of their first scientific paper”.
    Have I missed something here? The link leads to a pdf having a very strong SCIgen taste…

    1. But that has an advantage in some parts of academia. If a paper doesn’t say anything, then it can’t say anything wrong.

    2. My congratulations to the watchdogs and I look forward to seeing which journal accepted the manuscript.

    3. All Royal Society content is currently free to access from October 20 to October 26. This gives post-publication peer review critics a golden oportunity to scrutinize papers that are traditionally behind paywalls.

      1. One of the biggest discoveries for me this past week was an anti-Retraction Wacth blog that appears to have spring up fairly recently [1]. It appears* to have been developed and posted by Diedrik Stapel, as a revenge call against the outing of his fraud and his path to “success” based on his desire to profit from from and capitalize on his unethical deeds. Very unfortunately, he seems to be confusing the concepts of “vitriol”, “hate” and other loosely defined adjectives with facts and freedom of opinion.

        No matter whose blog that is, the war in science publishing is certainly starting to heat up, and will no doubt affect more and more scientists and publishers, who will lash out in defense, sometimes blindly.

        Enjoy the read, as it is quite astonishing what has been writen there, and I would actually advise RW to make this a separate and independent story at RW to highlight the risks that they face as the scientific community starts to fight back and lash out at retractions, the easiest way being to attack RW since it is simply reporting on the errors and the fraud.

        The aggressive personal attacks on Ivan, Adam and even Cat are quite amazing. Clearly there are no moderation policies there. I suggest that someone take screen-shots of all those pages to preserve this historic document.

        Actually, I wish to correct the ignorance of that blog owner since JATdS is in fact my actual name, as almost everyone who follows me at RW knows, simply the abbreviated frm because it is cumbersome to write the full name each time I post a comment. I do not, as the blog owner state falsely, “hides in anonymity to shoot more comfortably while waving his hand from the upper moral ground.”

        * Of course, I do not have the technical skills to determine whose blog this is, but I see no criticism of Stapel on that blog, only loving defense of him, and angry attacks on RW bloggers there, leading me to believe that this site / blog was established by Stapel. This could be an extension of his brilliant sock-puppetry (referring to oneself in the third person so as to feign being someone else and give the readership a false impression).

        [1] https://scienceretractions.wordpress.com/tag/diederik-stapel/

      2. One of the saddest discoveries for me this week was an anti-Retraction Watch blog [1]. Who owns this blog? Why is there no “About me/us” page? Why should they be able to state “Hatred is the driving force behind Retraction Watch, no doubt about this”? And what proof do they have to substantiate their claim other than irritation with a handful of bloggers – including me – at RW? The person(s) who run that blog is/are clearly confused about the importance of PPPR and the urgent need to correct the literature and why RW represents the only web-site on the planet highlighting the issues underlying retractions. Very unfortunately, any comment in defense of RW posted on that blog are immediately erased, as are any questioning the motives for the existence of that blog other than to smear the name of RW. At least, that’s how I see it.

        [1] https://scienceretractions.wordpress.com/

  2. So there, non-genetic trait inheritance was during all these decades of research plain and obvious for all to see, even in small sample experiments, like in Nature Neuroscience. There must be a huge conspiracy of evolutionary biologists in place to cover up such clear evidence for non-genetical trait inheritance. Or Gregory Francis does have a valid point.

    1. Linked to the Nature paper on peer review, and on the issue of traditional peer review, and its weaknesses, the following paper may be of interest to RW readers, as it will reveal several reasons why so much of what was “peer reviewed” in the literature needs to be re-reviewed as post-publication peer review, given the inherent weaknesses and pit-falls of traditional peer review:
      Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki (2015) Problems with Traditional Science Publishing and Finding a Wider Niche for Post-Publication Peer Review. Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance 22(1), 22-40

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