Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.
The week at Retraction Watch featured more troubles at Duke; a misconduct finding at Boston University; and a journal that tells authors 19% plagiarism is just fine. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- A book review by the incoming dean of a leading pharmacy school in Canada has been retracted from the Lancet because “substantial passages…match parts of a review of the same book” by a newspaper columnist. (Ivan Oransky, Medscape)
- “Emory University has found that two of its researchers did not disclose money they were taking from Chinese sources, and that the two did more work for research institutions and universities in China than they had let on.” (Ariel Hart, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) One of the scientists is contesting the charges. (Jon Cohen, Science)
- An MIT prof, it’s alleged, said others’ discoveries were his own. (Damian Garde, STAT)
- “’What’s most outrageous is they knew going back for decades about this man, and what they did is typical of large institutions: They protected the institution over the safety and welfare of the children,’” Paul Mones, an attorney representing 200 of Archibald’s former patients, told BuzzFeed News.” (Stephanie Lee, BuzzFeed)
- An investigation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found research misconduct. (Jaime Adame, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
- “Dorothy Bishop from the University of Oxford argues that institutions and funders that supported candidate-gene work in depression should also be asking themselves some hard questions.” (Ed Yong, The Atlantic)
- Hmm: A company “has developed a new writing support tool to help students avoid accidental plagiarism and reduce student anxiety around unintentional cheating.” (Anton Crace, The PIE News)
- “News claims—even headlines—can become better aligned with evidence. Cautious claims and explicit caveats about correlational findings may penetrate into news without harming news interest.” (BMC Medicine)
- A professor says a donor’s son asked that “he send him lectures in advance and that he encourage his non-Muslim students to convert to Islam.” (Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed)
- “The Romanian laboratory, designed to push the boundaries of nuclear physics, is locked in a legal tussle that is preventing the completion of its gamma source — a beam of high-intensity gamma rays that would allow the study of nuclear structure at unprecedented resolution. And a separate dispute at the Hungarian site has led to the resignation of three members of the lab’s science advisory committee.” (Alison Abbott, Nature)
- “My academic colleagues have often said that it’s easier to critique science than do science.” The journey from medical skeptic to researcher. (John Mandrola, Medscape)
- “A solution to psychology’s reproducibility problem just failed its first test,” reports David Adam. (Science)
- “A serious case of academic fraud may have been uncovered in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.” (Samson Folarin, Punch)
- Is it time for a “national inquiry into the burden of research ethics and governance” in Australia? (Adrian Barnett, AHRECS)
- “Taiwan’s science ministry is thinking of introducing double-blind peer review to assess research-grant proposals, a trend being adopted by some journals to eliminate bias.” (Andrew Silver, Nature)
- “I wanted to introduce myself to our blog readers and offer some pointers on common but entirely avoidable errors that often drive reviewers crazy.” (Birgit Neuhuber, NIA)
- Kenya “has proposed the establishment of a mechanism for accrediting academic journals, with a view to encouraging more publications by Kenyan scholars in high-quality academic journals.”
- “In retracting the May 14th story, the paper corrected matters promptly, to its credit. But it did so in a manner less prominent, careful and clear than optimal.”
- “Despite the ubiquity and advantages of the peer review system, it is not perfect. The evaluative process of peer review has not changed or been improved for several decades.” (Archives of Plastic Surgery)
- “We show that the scientific process may not converge to truth even if scientific results are reproducible and that irreproducible results do not necessarily imply untrue results.” (PLoS ONE)
- The University of Bristol retracted a press release on the Voynich manuscript. More from Ryan Mandelbaum at Gizmodo.
- “Thinking About Starting Your Own Academic Journal?” Thoughts from two researchers who just did.
- “Starting today, ALL PLOS journals will offer authors the option to publish their peer review history alongside their accepted manuscript!”
- Unearthed emails “shed light on claims of scientific misconduct.”
- One of Australia’s “leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science.”
- “This Is Easily the Best Correction in Science Publishing This Month,” says Ryan Mandelbaum. (Gizmodo)
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, sign up for an email every time there’s a new post (look for the “follow” button at the lower right part of your screen), or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at email@example.com.