Weekend reads: A Russian paper mill under an X-ray; AI and doctored images; COVID-19 vaccine paper earns scrutiny

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up to 205. There are now more than 32,000 retractions in our database — which now powers retraction alerts in EndNotePapers, and Zotero. And have you seen our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions lately — or our list of top 10 most highly cited retracted papers?

Here’s what was happening elsewhere (some of these items may be paywalled, metered access, or require free registration to read):

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A Russian paper mill under an X-ray; AI and doctored images; COVID-19 vaccine paper earns scrutiny”

  1. Regarding The Post and Courier‘s story about the resignation of Bob Caslen as president of the University of South Carolina: The plagiarism thing was sufficiently minor (although the faculty member who was most vocal about it is a friend of mine) that it was incredibly obvious when Caslen resigned so quickly that he must have been very unhappy with the job here. So the e-mails in the story come as no particular surprise. He probably felt that he was facing quite a bit of hostility on capus. Although I personally thought Caslen did a fairly good job, and in an especially difficult period, there were plenty of other faculty who were not willing to give him any benefit of the doubt—in light of the inappropriate political interference that led to his hiring.

  2. While I obviously disapprove of the killing of the sheep by cutting the throats without stunning, NSW veterinarians have very little access to firearms, even captive-bolt pistols, to properly and safely euthanize animals. Given this is the case, where they do need to euthanize, they should be aware of how to do it without these basic tools.

    Also, NSW allows the absolutely barbaric practice of kosher slaughter, which is universally conducted without prior stunning and without any regard for the suffering of the animals. This is NOT the case for halal slaughter, where relevant authorities like Imam Khamenei have decreed that pre-cut stunning is 100% acceptable. If barbaric practices are routinely being conducted against animals every day, surely it is acceptable for veterarians to learn to do this in a far more humane manner?

    1. So, manually cutting the animal’s throat without stunning is “absolutely barbaric” when done for kosher slaughter, but just about OK when it is done in order to teach vets how to “euthanize”?
      And the regular commercial slaughter of e.g. poultry, which are shackled, hung upside down on a production line, moved through electrified water to stun them, then conveyed to a mechanical neck cutter – is that the height of humane refinement then?

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