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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:
- “The Food and Drug Administration has launched a criminal investigation into research by a Southern Illinois University professor who injected people with his unauthorized herpes vaccine.” (Marisa Taylor, Kaiser Health News)
- “All this media noise is not related to scientific relevance,” write a group of researchers in Chile about the Atacama skeleton. “We condemn in the strongest possible way this type of unethical and illegal behaviour and actions, clearly reflecting the lack of serious research and scientific colonialism.” (Etilmercurio) Meanwhile, the relevant paper in Genome Research has earned a note from the editor and publisher, and from the authors.
- The Indian government says “a small amount of plagiarism—10% of a thesis, article, book, research paper, or other document—is acceptable.” (Pallava Bagla, Science) Meanwhile, “A Panjab University committee has recommended that an overall similarity index up to 20% should be acceptable while checking theses for plagiarism using using Turnitin software.” (Vishakha Chaman, Times of India)
- “We noted in our paper that the cephalothorax resembled a coffee bean, and, well, sure enough, it was.” A retraction of a new spider species, courtesy of the Onion.
- “But when Dr. Arthur Kellerman asked the academy to dismiss Dr. Noji as well, he hit a roadblock. Nothing in the academy bylaws allowed for ousting a member who had committed scientific misconduct.” (Sheila Kaplan, New York Times)
- “I have a hypothesis though, which is when you look within any one journal, research is getting ever more rigorous, whereas when you look across all journals, it may be getting less rigorous because of the influx of new journals.” David Allison talks to the American Society for Nutrition about rigor in nutrition research.
- A gamer “was officially stripped of his ‘Donkey Kong’ and other video game high scores and banned from submitting scores to the world’s largest tracker of video game world records following a decision that he cheated,” Brian Crecente reports. (Variety)
- “The standard practice of publishing their email addresses on journal articles makes research academics ready targets for email spam, which, Clemons insists, is not merely a nuisance but a time-sink.” Jeffrey Perkel canvasses for some tips on tackling your inbox. (Nature Index)
- Springer Nature wants to raise $1.5 billion in an IPO. (Arno Schuetze, Reuters)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt “is weaponizing a legitimate academic debate that has been improving scientific research for some time and, addressed properly, could do even more in the future.” (Robert Gebelhoff, The Washington Post)
- Federal U.S. appeals court judges have sided with the EPA “in a dispute over its responses to Freedom of Information Act requests on alleged scientific misconduct,” Amanda Reilly reports. (E&E Greenwire)
- Following a report by Reveal, “House and Senate Democrats are calling on the Department of the Interior’s inspector general to investigate whether the National Park Service (NPS) has violated its scientific integrity policy.” (Kyla Mandel, ThinkProgress)
- “Researchers who actively push their papers on social media gain more citations,” reports Rachael Pells. (Times Higher Education)
- More than a decade ago, Daniel P. Wirth, a researcher who had published numerous studies of paranormal healing was jailed for fraud. Why haven’t more of his papers been retracted? asks Edzard Ernst.
- “This survey indicates that trainees believe that the pressure to publish impacts honest reporting, mostly emanating from our system of rewards and advancement.” (Clinical Cancer Research)
- Listeners who tuned in to All Things Considered Wednesday may have heard a strangely vague on-air story retraction that raised as many questions as it answered,” writes Elizabeth Jensen. (NPR)
- A doctor at the University of Iceland will not face sanctions after referring a patient for a fatal transplant. “The surgeon who developed the technique, Paolo Macchiarini, has been the center of a misconduct scandal that led to his firing from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and Kazan Federal University in Tatarstan, Russia,” Gretchen Vogel reports. (Science)
- “Pouvoir critiquer anonymement la science permet de mieux la corriger:” The co-founders of PubPeer explain why the ability to remain anonymous is important in criticism of science. (Brandon Stell and Boris Barbour, Le Monde, in French)
- “An investigation into whether staff at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) alcoholism institute broke ethics rules by wooing beverage industry funding will also examine new allegations that Director George Koob later improperly declined to fund certain studies critical of industry advertising.” (Jocelyn Kaiser, Science)
- Clarivate has acquired Kopernio, “a startup launched last year to streamline access to scholarly content.” (Roger Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen)
- “This is a case study in how replication can easily go off the rails.” (Dan Kahan, via Andrew Gelman)
- “How to spot a problem paper – and what you should do about it.” By Manisha Lalloo, Chemistry World.
- “Historians Want to Be Cited in the Media,” writes Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez. “Here’s Why It Matters.” (Chronicle of Higher Education)
- “The more revisions a paper undergoes, the greater its subsequent recognition in terms of citations.” (LSE Impact Blog)
- “[T]he Chinese government has decreed that all scientific data generated in China must be submitted to government-sanctioned data centers before appearing in publications.” (Dennis Normile, Science)
- [S]cientific collaborations among cities increase in chemistry by 36% after Southwest introduces a new low-cost route between them.” (Rebecca Trager, Chemistry World)
- “Do Journal Article Recommendation Features Change Reader Behavior?” (Anne Stone, The Scholarly Kitchen)
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