Weekend reads: Making research true; peer review in Shakespeare; a 79-year-old postdoc

booksThe week at Retraction Watch began with the retraction of a paper touted by Dr. Oz. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

10 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Making research true; peer review in Shakespeare; a 79-year-old postdoc”

  1. In the photo accompanying the entry “•First, it was Bob Dylan lyrics. Now, we learn that researchers have been adding “a reference to mothers in leopard-print G-strings” to papers”, the knickers in question obviously are not of the G-string variety. I am sure that Retraction Watch will retract that claim.

    1. Have you read the Acknowledgement of the Ioannidis paper? It states: “Author Contributions: Wrote the first draft of the manuscript: JPAI. Wrote the paper: JPAI. ICMJE criteria for authorship read and met: JPAI. Conceived the ideas and concepts discussed: JPAI.” I should expect so: there is only one author.

      1. Those requirements are not just meant to ward off gift authorships to those who were not sufficiently involved; they also serve to prevent ghost-authorships. So these are not necessarily “obvious” statements to make, I guess…

        1. Thanks Rolf! One wonders, with all these plagiarism scandals in Germany, are they a sign of a worse than elsewhere misconduct epidemic or the result of what would come out everywhere if someone simply starts looking?

          1. When you say “all these plagiarism scandals”, you probably refer to the suspiciously high number of German politicians losing their doctorates because of plagiarism. I don’t know if this is unique to our country. It could also be due to the fact that we have a very active internet platform of volunteers, Vroniplag, who are hunting for plagiarisms.

  2. Maybe the Dowling story offers a solution to the problematic glut of young postdocs and dearth of faculty positions. When a prof hits 65 (though Dowling waited til age 79 – which is typical in academics), make them step down to a postdoc. That way labs can remain staffed with cheap experienced labor while young people can move ahead. Kidding, of course, but really any solution is welcome and I haven’t heard many better solutions.

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