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The week at Retraction Watch featured retractions and expressions of concern for a prominent cancer researcher; retractions for a deceased star researcher at Stanford; and a new director for a U.S. government watchdog. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
- An eye researcher at UCSD has resigned following questions about his ties to China.
- A Chinese graduate student at the University of Florida committed suicide last month. Two posts on Medium offer more on the story, and other thoughts. The university is investigating allegations of scientific misconduct by the student’s faculty adviser.
- “BMJ policy requires prospective registration of randomised trials but we do not consider a failure to enforce that policy grounds for retraction.” A BMJ journal corrects a paper about a method of treating chronic fatigue syndrome in children.
- “The greatest threat to medical science is not fabrication of results but ‘presentational fraud.'” (Terence Stephenson, BMJ)
- “I see too many cases where nothing happens.” Our Ivan Oransky talks to Pesquisa FAPESP about where Retraction Watch has been, and where it’s going.
- “In an analysis of 30 introductory psychology textbooks, including some of the best-selling volumes in North America, scientists based at the University of Guelph found that the vast majority defined or explained statistical significance inaccurately.”
- “Science Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry? Apologies for Scientific Misconduct,” a new paper in the journal Science Communication.
- “I don’t see why retraction should be a career-altering, or career-damaging, move—except to the very minor extent that it damages your career by making that one paper no longer count.”
- “After Abe had finished his plenary, however, things started to get a little weird.” Ruairi J. MacKenzie takes us inside of a predatory conference.
- “A new code aimed at stamping out ‘ethics dumping’ is gaining momentum,” Nick Mayo reports.
- “Novelty is important for science but must not be the sole requirement for publication decisions as this can lead to publication bias and seriously distort the scientific literature.”
- A new working paper claims to show “that commonly-exercised flexibility at the experimental design and data analysis stages of replication testing can make it appear that a finding was not replicated when, in fact, it was.” Here’s Brian Nosek’s take on the papers.
- “All modern academics know that it’s publish or perish, but is regular publication a gateway or a barrier to groundbreaking scholarship?”
- How to write a paper in twelve weeks. A Q&A by Bec Crew of Wendy Belcher in Nature Index.
- “The risk of embarrassing, high-profile retractions also prevents data from being published that could correct the published literature.”
- “Chinese scholars appear to be losing interest in Donald Trump, with the number of academic papers citing the US president falling dramatically since his election in 2016, despite the ongoing trade war.”
- A “scandal-weary Swedish government takes over research-fraud investigations.”
- “Here’s how to deal with failure, say senior scientists.”
- “editors, journals, and societies are protected from accountability by the power they hold to make or break people’s careers, by the fact that most of their process is kept secret, and by norms that tolerate, or even encourage, a system in which the rich get richer,” writes Simine Vazire.
- “Is peer review a good idea?” ask Remco Heesen and Liam Kofi Bright.
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