DIY peer review.. wildly exaggerated breakthroughs.. how to commit fraud without being caught
by Ivan Oransky
Another busy week at Retraction Watch. Here's what was happening elsewhere:
- "..as I am the first author of this manuscript,it would probably be better if someone else performed the review. Keon West on the strangest e-mail I've had to send in a while. Of course, he could have just done his own peer review.
- "...¦most breakthrough discoveries are false, unreplicable, or at least wildly exaggerated, says James Coyne.
- "Scientists disprove their own hypotheses in scientific articles less and less, writes the University Post in Denmark. And according to an expert on biasâ, Daniele Fanelli, this damages the scientific process.
- Related: Publication bias in studies of rheumatoid arthritis is alive and well.
- It is possible to produce substantial amounts of research that is entirely made up provided that one keeps it plausible and boring so nobody is tempted to replicate it. Luca Turn on fraud.
- A predatory publisher has organized a conference with the same name as a legitimate conference, reports Jeffrey Beall.
- A choose-your-own adventure in research misconduct, courtesy of the Office of Research Integrity.
- "This paper is, to my knowledge, unique in the medical literature", writes Neuroskeptic of a piece by the editor of a journal with a strange history. In it, the editor of a medical journal devotes a whole 15 pages to defending his own behavior as editor, and refuting charges of misconduct against him.
- Are journals paying attention to post-publication peer review sites such as PubPeer?
- Speaking of PubPeer, the site says more about the legal threat it received recently.
- "How do you get your grant renewed?" asks Carl Wunsch. "A common answer is to distort the calculation of the uncertainty, or ignore it all together, and proclaim an exciting story that the New York Times will pick up."
- "Is Bibioleaks Inevitable?" A paper Ivan peer-reviewed that went online in April, but that we've just seen.
- "A high-profile 2013 study that concluded that different kinds of happiness are associated with dramatically different patterns of gene activity is fatally flawed, according to an analysis published on Monday which tore into its target with language rarely seen in science journals", Sharon Begley of Reuters reports. Some background on this saga here.
- "Instructions for Authors are where substantive discussions go to die," says Kent Anderson.
- "A report from an animal rights group finds accredited labs violate animal welfare rules more often than non-accredited facilities," The Scientist reports.
- "Those who pay for an opinion are not going to hire someone known to be excessively tough." Thoughts from the world of finance.
- RIKEN "will downsize, rename, and relaunch the research center at the heart of the" STAP stem cell controversy.
- Sad and poignant: A footnote remembers five Ebola study co-authors who died of the disease.
- True: “Ivan Oransky uses PubMed Commons to annotate recent retractions.” An update on how scientists and others are using the site.
- The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences is holding a conference in December and has put out a call for papers on “work that elaborates new tools and strategies to increase the transparency and reproducibility of research.”
- “Women make up half the population, but in surgical literature, 80 percent of the studies only use males,” reports The Scientist.
- Whistleblowing pays.
- A manufacturer of a device used in hysterectomies is threatening to sue a doctor who is pushing for a partial ban on the device after his wife’s cancer spread during an operation that used it.
The article first appeared here.