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The week at Retraction Watch featured a high-profile paper about cataract surgery and the risk of death that turned out to be wrong; a press release retraction following outrage over a study of trans teens; and a UConn researcher who “recklessly” used false data in grant applications. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- China: “It’s home to a thriving black market for fake papers, fake peer reviews, and beyond.” Our Ivan Oransky talks to Natasha Mitchell, host of ABC Australia’s Science Friction.
- Hebei University found that the authors of a now-retracted paper on the controversial NgAgo gene editing technique did not commit misconduct. (press release) Background here.
- “We will end this menace of predatory journals.” India cracks down. (Subhra Priyadarshini, Nature)
- “Online Bettors Can Sniff Out Weak Psychology Studies,” reports Ed Yong. “So why can’t the journals that publish them?” (The Atlantic)
- Last Week Tonight host “John Oliver would like to retract a few things.” But he’d also like to retract a retraction. (Matthew Dessem, Slate)
- “But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened.” The U.S. Department of Education’s school shooting data is a wild overestimate, NPR finds.
- “[H]omogeneity between author and gatekeeper gender and nationality is associated with the outcomes of scientific peer review.” (bioRxiv)
- “[W]ith very few exceptions, agency and journal criteria fail to recognize the complexity of sex/gender, including the intersection of sex/gender with other key factors that shape health.” (Research Integrity and Peer Review)
- “We wonder whether some journals inadvertently –or perhaps intentionally –discourage [post-publication peer review] submissions by making it needlessly difficult for authors to prepare and submit them…” (Shashok and Matarese, RT: A Journal on Research Policy & Evaluation)
- “The claim that effectiveness has been demonstrated in the Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health (PEACH) childhood obesity intervention is unsubstantiated by the data.” Another takedown by David Allison and colleagues. (British Journal of Nutrition)
- “And just like those who make a living reporting on politics, science journalists must often relate unflattering facts about the people and institutions they cover.” (Bob Grant, The Scientist)
- “Using citation metrics as part of academic recruitment decisions leads to an increase in self-citations.” (LSE Impact Blog)
- Yale retracted a release about a cardiologist named as an endowed professor after faculty expressed anger that it had gone to someone found guilty of sexually harassment. (Cho/Feibel, Yale Daily News)
- Any authorship system “will be misleading and unfair,” says a new paper. (Learned Publishing, sub req’d)
- Go ahead, self-archive!, say a group of authors. (PsyArXiv)
- An apology and retraction: “In the column, I wrongly stated that Rebel Media publisher Ezra Levant would be “hugging himself and weeping tears of joy at the thought of all those brown people leaving the country.” (The Barrhead Leader)
- An investigation has found that a Finnish member of Parliament — who also ran for president in 2018 — “plagiarised large parts” of her master’s thesis. She says it was unintentional. (Alice Cuddy, EuroNews)
- What’s it like to be called a “scientific zealot” and a “scientific terrorist” in front of a roomful of chemists at the American Chemical Society national meeting? Here’s Raphael Levy’s take. (Rapha-Z-Lab)
- “Long shrouded in secrecy, the contents of peer review are coming into the open.” In Nature, Jessica Polka and colleagues explain that more and more journals have signed a letter at ASAPbio saying that they will publish their peer reviews.
- “[A] professor allegedly copied up to 48% of a report that formed part of [one university’s] National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) submissions, from a number of websites.” (Legally India)
- “Activists are protesting imbalanced conferences, editorial boards, and other professional activities by refusing to join.” (Diana Kwon, The Scientist)
- Ashley Smart explains “How a hidden coding error fueled a seven-year dispute between two of condensed matter’s top theorists.” (Physics Today)
- “A medical watchdog group is calling on the National Institutes of Health to immediately stop the enrollment of patients in a clinical trial of sepsis treatment and launch an investigation of how the study received approval, arguing that it puts patients at risk of serious harm, including death.” (Sharon Begley, STAT)
- The American Geophysical Union “is working with other leading publishers to implement common standards for authorship and recognize and value specific contributions across cultures.” (Brooks Hanson, Susan Webb, Eos)
- “Incorrect Content” indeed! A major mixup causes a case report to be published twice — once without all authors listed, and once under a very incorrect title.
- Has there been a drop in the number of papers with inappropriate image manipulations in one journal? (Arturo Casadevall)
- “We have received notification from the author, Yonghui Shen, that he had added Dr. Wei Zhang (the first author) as a co-author fraudulently, without his permission or authorization, and that he falsified the confirmation from Dr. Zhang.” (Medical Science Monitor)
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