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The week at Retraction featured a paper by Kim Kardashian, four retractions for an author who lied about his identity, and a story about the “Journals Mafia” that we’re still not sure what to make of. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “South Korean apps are outsourcing academic fraud to freelance ghostwriters,” reports Juwon Park. (Quartz) Read an interview with a researcher who looked into that market here.
- In those fields where authors are ordered alphabetically, the practice “discriminates against authors whose names appear late in the alphabet,” argues Matthias Weber. (LSE Impact Blog)
- Two researchers in India — Rashmi Madhuri and Prashant Sharma from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) — are up to 14 retractions. R. Prasad has more details. (The Hindu)
- When it comes to reproducibility, “Those who are saying ‘nothing to see here, move along’ cannot retain any credibility,” says Dorothy Bishop. (Bishop Blog)
- “[R]esearchers have managed to cheat and make sure that their articles are ‘reviewed’, obviously with complacency, by friends, even by themselves!” Fake peer review, with findings from the Retraction Watch database, in Le Monde. (David Larousserie)
- “So what core rights do authors have, for which scientific editors bear clear responsibility?” Hilda Bastian’s top 6. (Absolutely Maybe, PLOS)
- In China, “anyone who violates academic integrity could have their projects cancelled and their sponsorship and funds withdrawn” — or even be expelled. (Zhuang Pinghui, South China Morning Post)
- “To have practical relevance, scientific claims should be accurate.” (Rolf Zwaan and Anita Eerland, PsyArXiv)
- “Are Big Clinical Trials Relevant? Researchers Disagree,” writes Lucette Lagnado. (Wall Street Journal)
- “Don’t let publication be the end of the story,” says Lucy Lambe, who suggests “transforming research into an illustrated abstract.” (LSE Impact Blog)
- “[T]here seems to be an agreement on that although the quality of an actual research paper is improved by the peer review process, the vast majority of studies cannot be fundamentally improved by revision once the work is done,” says Ádám Dénes. “This is one of the reasons why most studies including those with really poor design will eventually get published somewhere.” (F1000Research blog)
- The U.S. National Academics of Science “may adopt new policies allowing [them] to eject members who have committed harassment and other forms of misconduct.” (Meredith Wadman, Science)
- A new version of SPRITE — a way to find anomalies in data in papers — has just been published by some self-professed “data thugs.” (PeerJ)
- “Opinions about which research contributions deserve authorship credit on a scholarly paper vary markedly across scientific disciplines — and even within the same field, a survey of thousands of researchers reveals.” (Georgia Guglielmi, writing in Nature about a preprint we highlighted a few weeks ago)
- A World War II program that allowed U.S. publishers to reprint exact copies of German science books boosted citations by 67%. (Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser, Vox EU)
- “One of the few French specialists in scientific integrity.” (Sandrine Cabut, Le Monde)
- “Fewer than two out of every 10,000 scientific papers remain influential in their field decades after publication,” according to a new paper. (Gemma Conroy, Nature)
- “Assessment of an individual’s research contributions should primarily be based on the impact of what is published rather than on where it is published.” (Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Science)
- Double-blind review is “effective at mitigating (both conscious and subconscious) bias in reviewing, and judge the extra administrative burden to be relatively minor and well worth the benefits.” (Communications of the ACM)
- “Neglecting data citations is probably short-sighted,” says Tim Vines. (The Scholarly Kitchen)
- “All publishers are predatory,” says Olavo Amaral. “Some are bigger than others.” (Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências)
- “Who should fix poorly reviewed predatory journals–government or academics?” (The Print)
- “Not all open-access journals are predatory, nor are all subscription journals of high quality,” writes Jeffrey Beall.
- “The classical scientific paper has its limits, but is it time to abandon them? Here, I respectfully disagree.” (Gary Miller, ToXchange)
- A former researcher at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has just had four more papers retracted, over his objection, bringing his total to six. Here’s the backstory.
- An “applicant’s race or gender doesn’t appear to influence NIH peer reviewers,” finds a new study. (Jocelyn Kaiser, Science)
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