Weekend reads: Scientists citing themselves; gender and clinical trials; jail after plagiarism

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The week at Retraction Watch featured allegations of text reuse by a Harvard professor, news about a new predatory publishing scam, and the refusal of a journal to retract a paper by Paolo Macchiarini. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Scientists citing themselves; gender and clinical trials; jail after plagiarism”

  1. I started to see a trend here in retraction watch showing papers about gender diversity. Although there are only 2 gender (male and female), I think the term gender diversity is like showing there is more than 2 gender. (Yes, i am reffering to the “trend” in the united states.)

    For example, one of the post here regarding the study ” female last author shows adequate statistical power”. The study conclude and said we needed to included more female into medical research group. But the usage of “female and male” might be better than the term gender diversity. That term is more decisive and emphasizing their result than the gender diversity.

    This because people from those factions (the one that said there are many genders) like to play with gender terminology. I’m afraid that these papers will be cited for their cause because the used of ambigious terminology. Just my thoughts.

    1. For most of us, yes, gender will tend to be masculine or feminine. But there is diversity in how we perform our gender roles – e.g. more or less masculine/feminine. There are also people who do not conform to the gender role that corresponds to their biological sex. Look up ‘gender’ on wikipedia.

      I don’t see any benefit from using alternative phrasing – ‘gender diversity’ is a much more concise way of saying ‘a mixture of men and women’. For the most part, the term ‘gender diversity’ usually connotes ‘more females’. I think that’s OK because most of these fields have or are still male-dominated.

      If you’re worried that the term ‘gender diversity’ will mean that this paper is appropriated by queer activists to advance their cause then I don’t think you should worry. Queer and feminist fields are closely related and often overlapping, but there is a distinction and the people involved are mostly intelligent enough to appreciate it.

      I think we should just take away from these papers that treating people with respect regardless of sex/gender/race etc can help us not just build a fairer society but also improve our lab’s performance.

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