Weekend reads: 100 fake professors; study on police killings retracted; false data won’t scuttle company buyout

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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7 thoughts on “Weekend reads: 100 fake professors; study on police killings retracted; false data won’t scuttle company buyout”

  1. A retraction, for even stronger reasons, would be wrong. That would be saying to a reader or viewer: ‘Forget about what you read in the past; it never happened.’

    The Sentinel Source this links to is such a privacy problem that they have opted not to have an internet presence in Europe and block any reader from the EU because they cannot comply with EU privacy laws.

    451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time.“

  2. Trump should be careful about setting a precedent regarding products of federally funded research, lest he destroy the private biotech industry. Many (most?) biotech companies are built on patents and products developed through federally funded research. If we argue that all federally funded data should be immediately free, couldn’t we extrapolate to say that all products/inventions/IP from federally funded research should be free too? After all, a paper is a research product just like an invention.

    1. Like most things that are Trump related, this rumor has caused instant derangement of otherwise reasonable people. Your reductio ad absurdum extrapolation is particularly strange since
      1) Not that it matters, but I’m willing to bet that biotech companies will support it.
      2) The rumored policy would simply be an American version of “Plans S”, already supported by science centers and research councils across Europe, and I have yet to hear about IP laws going out the window.
      3) In 2013 the Obama administration were going for (but never implemented) the same policy, so it must be okay.
      https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2013/02/22/expanding-public-access-results-federally-funded-research

      1. By the way, the Obama administration did implement something. It’s called the 12 month embargo, and it works just fine.

  3. Couple things: You’ve assumed that my argument came from a political prejudice, and in so doing you immediately revealed yours. Thus, all your credibility is lost. In fact, my concern is that the bill will be paid by researchers, since nearly all open access journals require the researchers themselves to pay up. That will be one more drain on already strained research budgets. The difference with Plan S is that the stakeholders agreed on a timeline so alternative routes to keep the journals funded could be mapped out. An executive order would likely be effective immediately, or would leave the details of a plan in the hands of Trump. Finally, once a precedent is set, the doors could be open for a commotion related to Bayh Dole, though I’ll admit that would be a hard sell.

  4. The paper was a little different, but I have been hesitant to post on PubPeer (since it is outside my normal research, and I thought that might have more of a negative connotation then a regular comment).

    However, if there is a discussion about Fatal Encounters database, I did notice some differences between these sources:

    Fatal Encounters: https://fatalencounters.org/our-visualizations/

    Washington Post Police Shootings: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/police-shootings-2019/

    In a sense, perhaps having different sources helps give a sense of the range of estimates. However, in absolute terms, you may notice some differences.

    I also tried to use these resources to get a relative sense of the incidence for death from police versus other causes:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/homicide_mortality/homicide.htm

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

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