Weekend reads: Investigations need sunlight; should we name fraudster names?; how to kill predatory journals

The week at Retraction Watch featured a lawsuit threat following criticism of a popular education program, and the new editor of PLOS ONE’s explanation of why submissions are down. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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5 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Investigations need sunlight; should we name fraudster names?; how to kill predatory journals”

  1. With regard to the Slate article on “universities policing their own researchers” by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky, I think the biggest problem is NIH (or HHS) facilitating that when potential misconduct is reported to the NIH. Instead they should ask the FBI to investigate; after all these are Federal funds, runs into millions of dollars, may have caused harm to patients if clinical trials had been conducted based on the research data in question. These fraudster PIs and their minions deserve extended jail time, not quiet retirement or continued federal funding after the sanctions have worn off!

  2. Thank you for mentioning the open letter calling for retraction of the PACE trial paper claiming that graded exercise and CBT led to recovery in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The letter has been signed by over 100 scientists, clinicians, and patients’ organisations in many countries.

    Patients find it extraordinary that this paper has stood in the literature for four years. It includes “recovery” thresholds that allowed patients to have worse physical function at the end of the trial than they needed to enter it, and yet still be classed as “recovered”.

    Last year, over 12,000 patients and supporters signed a petition asking for the “misleading” analyses to be withdrawn. The journal, Psychological Medicine, ignored it.

    I hope you’ll cover the story in more detail. It really is jaw-dropping, and this trial’s outcome is influencing the treatment of millions of patients worldwide. As one of them, it seems to me that the institutions of science are broken.

  3. Perhaps I’m missing something. Can someone explain why:
    1) a relatively innocuous insinuation in IJR that Obama might have met with a federal judge in Hawaii prior to him striking down the travel ban is grounds for retraction and the resignation of the reporter, but
    2) the entire media speculating endlessly about how Trump is personally profiting from alleged connections to the Russians and that also he is alleged to have paid two prostitutes to have urinated on a bed once used by Obama is NOT grounds for the retraction of anything or the resignation of anyone.


  4. From what little I can gather from reading the reporting on this story, the reporter who resigned felt that the publication of this rumor was ethically unacceptable. I would say that resigning because you think your employer is violating journalistic ethics is an admirable act, and it remains so no matter what other journalists at other publications may or may not be doing.

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