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The week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of a paper by a journalist in Australia whose work has prompted controversy; an energy researcher’s tally of retractions growing to 18; and a look at how journals are falling down on the job when it comes to duplication in their pages. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “I believe a more worrisome source of research bias derives from the researchers seeking to fund and publish their work, and advance their academic careers.” (Jeffrey Flier in New York Times, talking to Aaron Carroll)
- “Over recent years there has arisen an alarming concern among scientific journals about the existence of scams using fake reviews to facilitate publications.” (The Asian Journal of Andrology)
- “One of many odd things about scientific journals, which are at the heart of the scientific process, is that most of them are edited by amateurs.” (Richard Smith, BMJ blogs)
- “We need to make clear that getting it right is more important than getting it published in a high-profile journal and that the answer to an important question is important regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.” (Russell Poldrack, Neuron)
- “While we believe that egregious misconduct such as fraud, fabrication of data, or plagiarism is rare, scientific integrity is much broader than the absence of misconduct.” A group of researchers take on scientific integrity in environmental toxicology and chemistry. (Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, sub req’d)
- “A few years ago, as I started researching my book about the science of exercise recovery, I found something curious: the methodological flaws that have roiled psychology were also lurking in sports science.” (Christie Aschwanden, FiveThirtyEight.com)
- A new study finds that “almost half of papers could be misclassified in journal classification systems.” (Journal of Informetrics)
- “How did this paper get published and promoted uncritically like this?” Hilda Bastian wonders about a study that she says “could encourage midwives and women into choices they will bitterly regret for the rest of their lives.” (PLOS/Absolutely Maybe)
- A profile of John Carlisle, whose work has exposed statistical flaws in scores of papers. (The BMJ, sub req’d)
- What do the subjects covered in high and medium impact factor journals in neuroscience tell us? (William Kenkel, bioRxiv)
- A study in LIBER Quarterly finds that “experienced researchers from the developed world publish in predatory journals mainly for the same reasons as do researchers from developing countries.” (Najmeh Shaghaei, Charlotte Wien, Jakob Pavl Holck, et al)
- “Why are you reading a medical journal at a wedding reception?” A joke only scientists will love, from Markian Hawryluk.
- Two of JAMA’s most talked about articles in 2018, as measured by Altmetric scores, were by meta-researcher John Ioannidis.
- “A Marquette University Law School professor who might otherwise weigh in as an expert on such issues has been suspended over allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.” (Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- “Below is a peer review I wrote for an earlier version of this manuscript.” If journals won’t publish peer reviews, there’s always PubPeer. Co-founder Boris Barbour provides one example, of a study of telomere length in a form of IVF.
- A study of hundreds of engineering papers shows that “retraction does not end citation, thus threatening scientific credibility.” (Ethics & Behavior, sub req’d)
- PNAS has a new editor-in-chief as of yesterday: May Berenbaum. Here’s a press release about the move from October. You might say that Berenbaum is an etymologist’s entomologist.
- “What to do when you read a paper and it’s full of errors and the author won’t share the data or be open about the analysis?” (Andrew Gelman)
- “Most academics agree that science would benefit if researchers owned up to their mistakes a little more readily,” writes Chris Havergal. “But, when you ask scholars to publicly confess their errors, it turns out that most would still rather keep shtum.” (Times Higher Education)
- “Papers with female first authors attract more readers,” according to a new study, reports Gemma Conroy. (Nature)
- “[O]ne of the central allegations in both cases—and the grounds on which the UW-appointed panel concluded misconduct had occurred—was that DeLuca clandestinely misused papers from other scientists to his and WARF’s advantage.” (Bill Leuders, Isthmus)
- “Over a 10-year period, 200 publications derived from misconduct were identified. For 20.5% of those papers, no retraction notice was published.” (Research Ethics)
- A study of “freeloading in biomedical research,” say the authors, “underscores that questionable authorship practices are endemic to the biomedical research, which calls for alternative methods to evaluate a scientist’s qualities.” (Scientometrics, sub req’d)
- “Most pediatric journals recommend that authors deposit their data in a repository, but they do not provide clear instructions for doing so.” (Scientometrics, sub req’d)
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