Weekend reads: Journals’ Russia bans; a chronic fatigue syndrome retraction; a Twitter retraction notice feature?

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up to 214. There are now more than 32,000 retractions in our database — which now powers retraction alerts in EndNoteLibKeyPapers, 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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10 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Journals’ Russia bans; a chronic fatigue syndrome retraction; a Twitter retraction notice feature?”

  1. Re: “Australian researchers push to end politicians’ power to veto grants.” While no-one wants political censorship, the buck stops at the minister for the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. No members of the ARC committee will ever be held to account for the expenditure of government (taxpayer) funds. Neither link provided the titles or topics of the grants vetoed by the minister which included “Playing Conditions: How Climate Shaped the Elizabethan Theatre”, “Cultural Production of Religion by Science Fiction and Fantasy novels”, and “Finding friendship in early English literature”. These are not in my areas of study, but seem to be – as is a lot of published research – obscure topics of great interest to a small number of academics in the field but of very little impact to the rest of the world. Can the ARC really justify spending Australian taxpayer dollars on Elizabethan theatre?

    And yes, let’s acknowledge there is a finite amount of government funding available to support research.

    1. If we really started considering the impact outside the academia, we should a lot more than Elizabethean theatre research. Even most STEM research is very, very far removed any practical use. I’m a cosmologist, but to be honest, I don’t see a good reason why my field should be publicly funded and literature research not.

    2. Sure. Let them allocate all the money to studies about how mixing in fly ash, rice husk ash, or whatever else, improves various properties of the concrete. And see how the least principled one wins (hello Ali Nazari).

    3. I for one agree that research into Elizabethan theatre design would reward the investment of research funding many times over.
      Frances Yates argued in ‘The Art of Memory’ that some features of the Globe Theatre reflected the vogue for Giulio Camillo’s “Memory Theatre”. This is important stuff.

      1. One line I remember from a video of F. D. Signifier is, paraphrasing, social sciences [and humanities] are often termed “soft sciences” by people who dislike their work and findings. The real STEM-SocSci problem put so concisely, so clearly. These misrepresentations love to pick on the most “niche” social or humanities research, ignoring a plethora of disciplines with great “impact” on the struggle for social justice, like the many critical studies, like sociolinguistics, sociology, study of discourse and rhetoric, and so on. That of course is very telling.

        Assuming this is not a platform non-academics / non-students don’t follow, it’s sad to encounter people like the OP who ignore how any discipline has a spectrum of interests ranging from purely applied/”appliable” to deeply theoretical, and how all of this spectrum vitally interacts with and feeds into each other. I can’t but feel like it’s either wilful ignorance, or stems from— ;-P —a disregard for areas of social study, especially Science and Technology Studies and History of Science, which, of course, draw on many a “soft scientific” discipline, theory and technique.

        It’s also painful how people love to “forget” how all technology, all “STEM” knowledge, is ultimately created, published, and operated by humans in society, and thus impacts and is impacted by, above all, the human society.

        Almost no “developed” and “developing” government lacks the money to fund research in all areas. They spend the money elsewhere. At the very very least, in many a university, if the institution was paying their deans and rectors a bit less generously, a very decent number of extra projects would become financially possible. If schools were spending less on prestige and the kind of research that’s only useful to the ruling classes, that number would increase greatly. “At the very very least” being the key phrase there.

        1. Well, you’ve convinced me, GK! I would, at the very, very least, prefer funding be made available for research of climate impact on Elizabethan theatre and friendship in early English literature instead of social justice struggles, critical theory, and sociolinguistics.

          I *DO* agree that less spending on administrative workers (e.g. highly-titled deans whose duties are known to few) is a widely needed reform measure.

  2. The headline mentions “a chronic fatigue syndrome retraction” but none of the titles in the blog post mentions the phrase in their title. I am having trouble finding it, can you give me a hint as to where to find the news/info about the chronic fatigue syndrome retraction? Thank you.

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