2018 was another productive year for Retraction Watch. Topping our own leaderboard of achievements was the launch of our database of retractions, along with an analysis published in Science. With more than 18,000 entries, the repository is the largest of its kind. We are grateful to all of those who helped make it happen, including the MacArthur Foundation and Arnold Foundation, our generous funders for the project over the years, as well as individual donors. And we would like to thank our researcher, Alison Abritis, without whose efforts the project would never have come to fruition.
But that wasn’t all we did in 2018. We continued to break stories and write in-depth analyses of research misconduct cases and other misadventures in science publishing. Some of these articles include:
- Two Researchers Challenged a Scientific Study About Violent Video Games—and Took a Hit for Being Right, Motherboard, July 25
- Errors Trigger Retraction Of Study On Mediterranean Diet’s Heart Benefits, NPR’s Shots, June 13
- Scientist Who Received Millions From NIH Leaves Alabama Posts, The Scientist, May 24
- Repeat Offenders: When Scientific Fraudsters Slip Through the Cracks, Undark, May 14
- Prominent health policy researcher plagiarized colleagues’ work, Dartmouth investigation finds, STAT, August 20
- Harvard and the Brigham call for more than 30 retractions of cardiac stem cell research, STAT, October 14
- More science than you think is retracted. Even more should be.
Washington Post, December 27
We also published, with C.K. Gunsalus at the University of Illinois, an article in JAMA about the importance of transparency in institutional reports of research misconduct, and we continue to report regularly on such inquiries — often with the aid of documents that we’ve requested using public records laws.
As in years past, in 2018 we told you stories of whistleblowers and other sleuths. We look forward to bringing more of those tales in 2019.
Larger media outlets continued to be interested in retractions and related issues (a good sign, we believe) and we received many calls and emails for comment about prominent cases, such as:
- The New York Times’ coverage of Brian Wansink
- WGBH’s coverage of Piero Anversa on the Living Lab podcast
- Vox’s coverage of our database
- The Irish Times’ coverage of scientific misadventure writ large
- ABC’s (Australia) coverage of China’s black market in scientific publishing
and many more.
Thank you, as always, dear readers, for sticking with us, for your story ideas, critiques, and suggestions. We would be remiss if we did not ask you to let anyone you know who might want to support our work that such contributions are tax-deductible, and that if they use this link, PayPal doesn’t charge us any fees. We can also accept donations through Crowdrise, and by check made out to The Center For Scientific Integrity and sent to 121 W. 36th St., #209, New York, NY 10018.
All best for 2019.
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