Weekend reads: One of the most highly cited papers ever; a pharma buys peer-reviewed praise; how to get more citations

The week at Retraction Watch featured revelations about a cancer researcher in Canada and an author’s worst nightmare come true. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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3 thoughts on “Weekend reads: One of the most highly cited papers ever; a pharma buys peer-reviewed praise; how to get more citations”

  1. Weird to see you refer to the Bradford paper as the most cited paper in history.

    According to Nature, some two years ago, it is a paper by Lowry that holds the distinction, with Bradford’s paper only in third place, behind a paper of Laemmli:
    Also using Google Scholar Bradford is ‘only’ third.

    THE gets it right: it is “one of the most cited papers”.

  2. Regarding the most cited paper in the story of science, the 1st author commented in an autobiographical account [1] that after the first submission of this “not very original” paper to the JBC, it was returned by the editors for drastic shortening. According to Oliver Lowry, “this shortening may have improved the paper, but forced us to omit some details that perhaps would have lessened the plethora of papers by others describing improvements and precautions”.
    The case is cited in a very interesting study published by Juan Miguel Campanario (Univ. de Alcalá de Henares, Spain), who reviewed a collection of such high-profile papers which were first ignored by editors and/or readers [2].

    [1] O. H. Lowry “How to Succeed in Research Without Being a Genius”, Annu. Rev. Biochem. 59 (1990), 1-27. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bi.59.070190.000245

    [2] J. M. Campanario “Consolation for the Scientist: Sometimes It is Hard to Publish Papers That are Later Highly-Cited”, Social Studies of Science, 23 (1993) 342-362.
    (paywalled, however I have a hardcopy, if someone is interested).

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