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The week at Retraction Watch featured a publisher error that led to eight withdrawals; a paper on the benefits of tea whose cup overflowed; and a paper that seemed to have everything wrong with it. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- Piero Anversa, the cardiac stem cell researcher, has had a 16th paper retracted, this one from The Lancet. (Kerry Grens, The Scientist)
- “Predatory science publishers, the wolves of the research world, are dressing themselves in a fancier quality of sheep’s clothing: Online videos.” Another sting from Tom Spears of the Ottawa Citizen.
- “At issue is the failure of medical journals to flag research that’s been identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as potentially fraudulent, a task made difficult by the FDA itself.”
- “Three guidelines and 15 systematic reviews and meta-analyses were also identified that cited retracted articles as valid work.” (Daniel Hamilton, Int Journal of Radiation Oncology)
- “I don’t want to retract any paper after years of work.” A researcher doesn’t seem to know which papers included problematic samples taken from U.S. veterans. (Jill Castellano, Brad Racino, inewsource)
- “The Acts commentary was based on Thomas’ sermons, which contained some word-for-word plagiarism from talks by theologian Sinclair Ferguson.” (Emily Belz, World Magazine)
- “How to write a good scientific paper.” (John Sumpter, Brunel University London)
- “Ye is now in hot water after Silvain accused him of plagiarizing his work since the 1990s in Belgian media Het Laatste Nieuws in February.” (Zhang Yu, Global Times)
- “The head of [University College Dublin] UCD’s computer science department has issued an apology after an email was forwarded to students asking them to help develop a sexual consent application.” (Garreth MacNamee, The Journal)
- Would “an open two–sided market in which buyers and sellers of peer review services would both be subject to a set of recursive quality indicators” improve peer review? (
- A university will not ask for the retraction of studies involving a group that a jury found was a ‘dangerous cult.'” (Josh Robertson, ABC)
- “More than two years after the initial complaints were made, ETH Zurich has submitted a request to its board to fire a professor in the former Institute for Astronomy over accusations of misconduct towards PhD students.” The university did not find evidence of scientific misconduct. (Science Business)
- “After close to a decade of scandals that have felled numerous high-flying German politicians, the war on academic fraud is gradually being won,” writes David Matthews (THE).
- “[P]articularly in Physics, Clinical Medicine, and Public Health, metrics agree relatively well with peer review and may offer an alternative to peer review.” (Palgrave Communications)
- “Should journals become more like content curators?” (Craig Nelson, ResearchResearch)
- “In brief, the article fails completely in presenting a convincing, or even a viable, case. But that is not the worst problem.” How did an article get past peer review? asks Daniel Jung. (Government Information Quarterly)
- “Science tends to be presented as a firmly established epistemological method. But it isn’t.” (Darren Dahly, Medium)
- “Our results suggest that journals with higher Impact Factors are more likely to have data sharing policies; use shared data in peer review…” (Resnik et al, Accountability in Research, sub req’d)
- Journal blacklists and whitelists give “relatively little emphasis to the quality of peer review.” (PeerJ)
- “A faculty grievance committee last month upheld a decision to deny tenure to BethAnn McLaughlin…who has become a prominent spokesperson for the #MeToo movement in science.” (Meredith Wadman, Science)
- “Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers?” asks Kelly Crowe. “Blame the paywall.” (CBC)
- “By failing to effectively communicate that peer review is imperfect, the message conveyed to the wider public is that studies published in peer-reviewed journals are “true” and that peer review protects the literature from flawed science.” (PeerJ)
- “Retractions are on the rise, with a faster growth rate than scientific publications, which provides perhaps the most general and persuasive [evidence] that a systemic problem exists.” (Donald Hantula, Perspectives on Behavior Science)
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