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The week at Retraction Watch featured a “clandestine retraction,” faked data at the University of Washington, and the retraction of yet another paper claiming a link between vaccines and behavioral issues. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- $50 million is a lot of money, but fining one predatory publisher won’t fix the problem of bad science in journals, our Adam Marcus writes in STAT.
- “The paper absolutely will not be retracted, because it’s a completely legitimate published paper.” Critics raise questions about a tarantula that may have been poached. (Rachel Nuwer, New York Times)
- Banning statistical significance “may foster statistical confusion and create problematic issues with study interpretation, a state of statistical anarchy,” says John Ioannidis. (JAMA)
- “It is a challenging problem to try to move science publishing from its 17th century home to one in the 21st century,” says Michael Eisen, the new editor in chief of eLife. (Cal Berkeley News)
- A new analysis shows that in psychology, “between the late 1990s and 2012, there was a steep increase” in the number of scientific retractions. (Johannes Stricker and Armin Günther, Zeitschrift für Psychologie)
- “Our research suggests that common views about predatory journals (eg, no peer review) may not always be true, and that a grey zone between legitimate and presumed predatory journals exists.” (BMJ Open)
- “Science laundering is the washing away of inconvenient data, methodological weaknesses, failed replications, weak effect sizes, and between-study inconsistencies.” (Chris Ferguson, The Psychologist)
- “For every instance in which freedom-of-information requests are abused, there are many more in which they help expose researchers behaving badly.” (Charles Seife, Los Angeles Times)
- The American College of Cardiology has revoked press access for Reuters reporters to its next annual meeting, following an embargo break.
- “The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., will ask its members this month to change the organization’s bylaws to allow proven sexual harassers and those guilty of other misconduct to be ejected from their ranks.” (Meredith Wadman, Science)
- The IIT-Kanpur (IIT-K) Senate has recommended cancelling the PhD dissertation of a Dalit teacher, who had complained of harassment and discrimination by four colleagues last year, on allegations of plagiarism, although the institute’s Academic Ethics Cell had found “no reason to revoke the thesis.” (Ritika Chopra, Indian Express)
- “Pathologic pursuit of credit adversely affects the scientific enterprise,” says Jeffrey Flier. (Project Muse)
- “Duke University’s huge misconduct fine is a reminder to reward rigour,” says microbiologist Arturo Casadevall. (Nature)
- “The Los Angeles Superior Court upheld the expulsion of former Gould School of Law student Claudine Tinsman Monday after a trial court granted her a writ of administrative mandamus challenging the University’s 2014 decision. According to the court opinion, Tinsman allegedly hacked another student’s computer to plagiarize documents for a law competition.” (Daily Trojan)
- “[H]ow much knowledge is lost from scientific bias and misconduct?” Daniele Fanelli asks in a new paper, among other questions.
- “A university in central China has revoked a business graduate’s master’s degree and removed a professor from his teaching position after allegations of plagiarism proved to be true.” (Linda Lew, SCMP)
- “Assistant professor V Hemamalini had published an article in the journal Gene Reports (Elsevier) on June 2018 based on a same article which had been published in a Delhi journal in June 2017.” (The New Indian Express)
- “Two doctoral students are suing a Michigan State University professor who they say used his authority as an academic adviser to force them to work long hours at his engineering company for little or no pay.” (AP, via The Detroit News)
- “Professor Neeraj Hatekar, who teaches economics at Mumbai University and enjoys rockstar status with his students, has been found guilty of plagiarism.” He rejects the findings. (Mumbai Mirror)
- “Does a new generation of social scientists have to publish more to achieve less?” Rob Warren suggests the answer is yes. (LSE Impact Blog)
- In which David Sanders reveals how Science’s “molecule of the year” came to be — and suggests how grant peer review could be improved. (Times Higher Education)
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