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The week at Retraction Watch featured a reminder that sometimes science just needs more bullshit; a call to make misconduct investigation reports public; and a puzzle about why retractions took so long. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- “The incoming dean of a leading Canadian pharmacy school has ‘voluntarily withdrawn’ from the new position after a book review he wrote was retracted from The Lancet in May.”
- “A commission of inquiry of the University of Tübingen has found scientific misconduct by the renowned brain researcher Niels Birbaumer and his colleague Ujwal Chaudhary.”
- “A less frequently used strategy is to submit a research manuscript to medium-impact journals. If the journal accepts the manuscript with only minor suggestions for improvement, authors then withdraw the paper and aim for a higher–impact factor journal.”
- “Journalists must realize the harm that can be caused when they fail to detect spin and promote it to their readers.” Our Ivan Oransky is one of the authors of a new study of how spin in coverage of medical studies affects perceptions.
- “About 6 months ago, a reporter from the New York Times drew our attention to the possibility that the disclosure of conflicts of interest of authors of a research article that we published about 12 months prior may not have been complete.” And now the journal, Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, has made four corrections.
- “Given the nature of authors’ claims, which would constitute a serious criticism of a methodology that has been tried and tested over many years, we strongly urge your editorial board to reflect on the validity of this research and whether it is in fact a publishable item.” Clarivate pushes back on a study that suggested a flaw in its methodology for counting citations.
- “Credit data generators for data reuse: To promote effective sharing, we must create an enduring link between the people who generate data and its future uses, urge Heather H. Pierce and colleagues.”
- “Respondents said that the most important element that would enable the better reproducibility of published research would be that authors describe methods and analyses in detail.”
- “If all funding agencies were to mandate posting of preprints by grantees—an approach we term Plan U (for “universal”)—free access to the world’s scientific output for everyone would be achieved with minimal effort.”
- “[W]hilst a shift to gold (pay to publish) open access would deliver wider access to research, the lack of price sensitivity amongst academics presents a risk that they will be locked into a new escalating pay to publish system that could potentially be more costly to researchers than the previous subscription model.”
- “That’s when disaster struck – not because of a problem with the research, nor an unlucky break, but because of a reckless act that triggered a grim change in the course of my life.”
- “We find continued increase in the representation of women as authors in academic medicine but demonstrate that disparity still exists, especially in the last author position.”
- “A priest accused of decades of plagiarism will no longer be attending the annual conference of a left-wing American priests’ association.”
- “After outcry, USDA will no longer require scientists to label research ‘preliminary.” We had written about the policy earlier.
- “Research integrity is much more than misconduct,” writes Nature. “All researchers should strive to improve the quality, relevance and reliability of their work.”
- IEEE has lifted a ban on peer reviewers from Huawei, after clarifications from the US government about sanctions.
- This paper was so badly done, the journal didn’t just withdraw it —they withdrowned it.
- The “Next step of Plan S will require publishers to release acceptance rates and review times.” (Rachael Pells, Times Higher Education)
- India’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has called for an investigation into more than 100 papers questioned on PubPeer.
- A preprint with impact: “For instance, the overlap between the two Cabell lists reportedly was due to an internal system error by Cabell’s Scholarly Analytics and was rectified after we published the preprint.”
- When it comes to misconduct, what makes a story a story? Our Ivan Oransky’s slides from WCRI2019 in Hong Kong.
- The former rector of the University of Amsterdam is facing charges of plagiarism.
- The British Journal of Anaesthesia’s publishes two conclusions for a single paper, “to broaden replicability efforts beyond just methods and results.”
- “Clinical researchers can now share initial versions of their manuscripts through a free preprint server.”
- A Stanford researcher who studied chronic fatigue syndrome has been fired for sexual harassment and misconduct.
- A unique correction: “The badges for Open Data and Open Materials were initially not awarded to this article because the authors had not applied for them. The Editor in Chief subsequently noted that the article was eligible for both badges, and since the data and materials had been uploaded prior to the article’s acceptance, he asked the authors if they wished to apply.”
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