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Elsevier investigates hundreds of peer reviewers for manipulating citations – Nature (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 17, 2019
 

The publisher is scrutinizing researchers who might be inappropriately using the review process to promote their own work.

This week is peer review week, which is a good time to reflect on the professional development your institution provides on peer review.  Hopefully, it includes warning against reviewers directing reviewed authors to cite their work.  This case is a good example of why.

The Dutch publisher Elsevier is investigating hundreds of researchers whom it suspects of deliberately manipulating the peer-review process to boost their own citation numbers.
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The publisher is looking into the possibility that some peer reviewers are encouraging the authors of work under review to cite the reviewers’ own research in exchange for positive reviews — a frowned-on practice broadly termed coercive citation.
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Elsevier’s probe has also revealed that several of these reviewers seem to be engaging in other questionable publishing practices in studies that they have themselves authored. The Elsevier analysts who uncovered the activity told Nature that they “discovered clear evidence of peer-review manipulation” and of academics publishing the same studies more than once. Elsevier said that their investigations will lead to some of these studies being retracted.
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European universities dismal at reporting results of clinical trials – Nature (Nic Fleming | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 11, 2019
 

Analysis of 30 leading institutions found that just 17% of study results had been posted online as required by EU rules.

Failing to post the results of a clinical trial is not only a technical breach, it is a waste of resources, places an unwarranted burden on volunteers, is a waste of resources and is a public health issue.  Does your institution follow-up to check if results have been reported?  Is action taken if it hasn’t?

Many of Europe’s major research universities are ignoring rules that require them to make public the results of clinical trials.

A report published on 30 April found that the results of only 162 of 940 clinical trials (17%) that were due to be published by 1 April had been posted on the European Union’s trials register. The 30 universities surveyed are those that sponsor the most clinical trials in the EU. Fourteen of these institutions had failed to publish a single results summary.

If three high-performing UK universities are excluded from the figures, the results of just 7% of the trials were made public on time. Campaigners say the resulting lack of transparency harms patients by undermining the efforts of doctors and health authorities to provide the best treatments, slows medical progress and wastes public funds.

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(Japan) Former university president up to ten retractions – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 24, 2019
 

The former president of Tohoku University in Japan has just had a tenth paper retracted, because it duplicated one of his earlier works.

One of the most recent retractions by materials scientist Akihisa Inoue, late last month, was of a paper in Materials Transactions that had duplicated a now-retracted paper and was subject to an expression of concern in 2012:

This article had been acknowledged by the Editorial Committee of Materials Transactions as the secondary publication from the previously published paper, because the contents were almost identical. Recently, the original paper was retracted. Unreferred reproduction from another paper which was not pointed out in the announcement has also been found. Therefore, this article is improper as a scientific paper, and it is retracted with the primary author’s agreement. The authors are required to pay more careful attention to contributing papers.

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(US) NIH probe of foreign ties has led to undisclosed firings-and refunds from institutions – Science (Jeffrey Mervis | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 17, 2019
 

An aggressive effort by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to enforce rules requiring its grantees to report foreign ties is still gathering steam. But it has already had a major impact on the U.S. biomedical research community. A senior NIH official tells ScienceInsider that universities have fired more scientists—and refunded more grant money—as a result of the effort than has been publicly known.

Since August 2018, Bethesda, Maryland–based NIH has sent roughly 180 letters to more than 60 U.S. institutions about individual scientists it believes have broken NIH rules requiring full disclosure of all sources of research funding. To date, the investigation has led to the well-publicized dismissals of five researchers, all Asian Americans, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Emory University in Atlanta.

But other major U.S. research universities have also fired faculty in cases that have remained confidential, according to Michael Lauer, head of NIH’s extramural research program. And some have repaid NIH “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in grants as a result of rule violations, he says. “I can understand why [the universities] aren’t talking about it,” Lauer says. “No organization wants to discuss personnel actions in a public forum.”

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