Cell attributes image problems in cloning paper to “minor” errors; sees no impact on conclusions

cell cloningYesterday we reported that Cell was looking into problematic images in a recent paper on human embryonic stem cell cloning. We’ve now heard from the journal about the nature of the inquiry.

Mary Beth O’Leary, a spokeswoman for Cell Press — an Elsevier title — tells us that:

Based on our own initial in-house assessment of the issues raised in PubPeer and in initial discussions with the authors, it seems that there were some minor errors made by the authors when preparing the figures for initial submission.  While we are continuing discussions with the authors, we do not believe these errors impact the scientific findings of the paper in any way. 
Continue reading Cell attributes image problems in cloning paper to “minor” errors; sees no impact on conclusions

An illuminating profile of Diederik Stapel in the New York Times Magazine

stapel_npcThe New York Times Magazine has a great profile — featuring an in-depth interview — of Diederik Stapel this weekend. Check it out. (Or, if you’re visiting us because the magazine was kind enough to include a link to Retraction Watch, welcome! And find all of our Stapel coverage here.)

One of a number of highlights in the piece by Yudhijit Battacharjee: Continue reading An illuminating profile of Diederik Stapel in the New York Times Magazine

Brian Deer’s modest proposal for post-publication peer review

brian-deer-d-fullBrian Deer’s name will no doubt be familiar to many Retraction Watch readers. Deer, of course, is the award-winning investigative reporter known for his reporting on numerous medical issues, including Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted research into autism and vaccines.

Deer is giving a talk next week at the UK’s “Evidence Live” conference,and has a proposal that he hopes will make it more difficult for dishonest researchers to hide their misdeeds — and make it easier for journals to retract fraudulent papers. He has expressed concern before that voluntary codes have no teeth. Deer is proposing an amendment to the ICMJE’s Uniform Requirements for the Submission of Manuscripts to Biomedical Journals:

Continue reading Brian Deer’s modest proposal for post-publication peer review

Is a retraction in the works for America’s Got Talent star?

We try to avoid straying beyond science on this blog, but sometimes — as in the case of This American Life, which not long ago had to retract a segment featuring Mike Daisey that had been critical of the conditions in a Chinese factory linked to Apple — we can’t help ourselves. Like now.

A retraction might be the next tune for one Timothy Michael Poe, who has been a contestant on America’s Got Talent. According to the Associated Press, the aspiring country singer told the show’s judges that:

Continue reading Is a retraction in the works for America’s Got Talent star?

More details emerge on ScienceBlogs-National Geographic deal

Yesterday, we reported that National Geographic had bought ScienceBlogs. We’ve now obtained a recording of a conference call between various members of National Geographic senior management, ScienceBlogs management, and ScienceBloggers — aka Sciblings — that adds some details.

What we’ve learned is that Nat Geo plans to assume control of operations, editorial content, and ad sales by June 1 of this year. And while a post from PZ Myers post said “basically, we’ve been bought,” and we had further confirmation last night of the contents of yesterday’s post from someone familiar with the situation, we want to make sure to point out, high up, that one of the first things that SEED CFO and vice president of finance and operation’s Vera Scavcic said on the call was that SEED would maintain ownership: Continue reading More details emerge on ScienceBlogs-National Geographic deal

So who bought ScienceBlogs? Retraction Watch exclusive: National Geographic

This afternoon, PZ Myers, of the wildly popular Pharyngula blog on ScienceBlogs, started a post with a few lines that set science writers on Twitter abuzz:

I have news. Scienceblogs is going to be folded into a new organization sometime soon — basically, we’ve been bought. I can’t discuss all of the details just yet, but let’s just say it is a prestigious national magazine with a healthy bottom line that will do us a lot of good.

Retraction Watch has learned, from a source familiar with the negotiations, that the buyer is National Geographic. We don’t have any details at this point, and Nat Geo has not returned a request for comment [see update at end], but we are confident in reporting this.

Readers may recall PepsiGate, Continue reading So who bought ScienceBlogs? Retraction Watch exclusive: National Geographic