A paper on “the role of conspiracist ideation in climate denial” whose puzzling publication (and retraction) history formed the basis of a series of Retraction Watch posts in 2013 and 2014 is back, as part of a new article in a different journal.
Whatever the issues with the paper, we and others have been saying that the journal stumbled since the study was first retracted last year. The publisher continues to insist, for example, that there is no contradiction between their retraction notice — agreed upon by the editors and the authors — which said that the journal “did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study” and a later statement saying that the paper “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects.”
Today, editor-in-chief Henry Markham acknowledged missteps in a blog post. Here’s how it starts:
…my opinion is that, with their latest statement and their decision to retract the paper, Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees and editors. But the main problem is that we have here another example of the climate of intimidation that is developing around the climate issue.
We — and others — have been scratching our heads about the real reasons for the formal retraction on March 21 of a Frontiers in Psychology paper since the journal issued a statement on the subject on Friday that seemed to contradict the retraction notice and that certainly differed from accounts on some blogs. Today, we learned a few more details about what happened in the year between when the paper was provisionally removed and then formally retracted from a post by Stephan Lewandowsky, one of the co-authors of the paper.
A year after being clumsily removed from the web following complaints, a controversial paper about “the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science” is being retracted.
The paper, “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation,” was authored by Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, Klaus Oberauer, and Michael Marriott, and published in Frontiers in Psychology: Personality Science and Individual Differences.
Last week, we covered the complicated story of a paper by Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues that had been removed — or at least all but the abstract — from its publisher’s site. Our angle on the story was how Frontiers, which publishes Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, where the study appeared, had handled the withdrawal. It happened without any notice, and no text appeared to let the reader know why the paper had vanished.