Weekend reads: Unauthorized vaccine trial leads to criminal investigation; outrage over a skeleton study; how much plagiarism is OK?

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a look at how likely it is for researchers who retract papers to retract other papers, more retractions for a natural products researcher, and an update on a child psychiatrist whose research was suspended indefinitely. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Unauthorized vaccine trial leads to criminal investigation; outrage over a skeleton study; how much plagiarism is OK?”

  1. We could all take great care with our inboxes, triaging mail, using honeywords and forwarding addresses…

    OR journals could just use a contact form with a CAPTCHA before forwarding us mail instead of posting it online for everyone to see?

  2. Times Higher Ed is taking that study about citations and social media out of context. The original article provides zero evidence that tweeting about your research will increase citations. The original article simply found a general correlation between social media activity and citation rates. (The original article did not separate the authors’ own social media activity vs. the social media activity of everyone else.)

    In other words, people tend to tweet (and blog, etc.) about exciting research they plan to cite. No surprise there.

  3. The Panjab University recommendation is actually quite reasonable and if anything, goes too far in acting against plagiarism. Turnitin is quite sensitive and papers that are properly written can easily come up with 30 or even 40% similarity scores with 0% real plagiarism. The similarity score is really an indicator of how much attention the assessor needs to pay to the similarity report. Got a ‘high’ score? Could be just highlighting technical phrases, author-date citations and the reference list. Alternatively, a 20% score could be a work that’s 80% gibberish and 20% pasted from wikipedia.

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