Weekend reads: Brazen plagiarism; why animal studies don’t hold up in humans; motherhood citation penalty

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The week at Retraction Watch featured the delisting of more than a dozen journals from one publisher, all at once; an odd correction in a journal unrelated to where the original work was published; and a look at whether we’ll one day be able to screen for image duplication the way we do for plagiarism. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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7 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Brazen plagiarism; why animal studies don’t hold up in humans; motherhood citation penalty”

  1. Is there a listing of retracted papers by discipline? I have a suspicion they may be concentrated in the life sciences as opposed to the physical (inanimate) sciences (chemistry, physics, geology, etc.) not because of the way science is done in each case but because of the nature of the subject matter. Outright fraud is likely no different, but live beings are never alike in the same sense that two atoms of the same isotopic element are alike.

  2. “Brazen plagiarism” is when I take someone else’s sculpture and make a brass cast of it.

  3. Why the people have trouble with the Institution of Science.

    Samir Zakhari appears to have been alcohol researcher editing volumes on serious topics like alcohol and cancer:

    Retires from the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

    To become the SVP of an alcohol lobbying groups known as the Distilled Spirits Council, whose homepage greets the reader with enticing quip “Get to know Tequila”.

    Can we believe there is even an ounce of integrity between institutions that work this way? Can we blame any member of the public for being immensely suspicious as to how any of this makes any sense?

  4. “The scientific paper is obsolete,” writes James Somers.

    OK, I’ve only skimmed this, but he also writes the following:

    The more sophisticated science becomes, the harder it is to communicate results. Papers today are longer than ever and full of jargon and symbols.

    “Math class is tough.” Jesus, Frege’s Begriffsschrift would probably make his head explode.

  5. “Is recycling Methods text from an old paper, to use in a new paper that applies the same techniques, efficient writing – or self-plagiarism?”

    Will they ever stop asking this non-question? People pondering over such “issues” have far too much free time that would be certainly better spent elsewhere.

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