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Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini to be reviewed – The Local SE (December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 14, 2018

The Swedish Public Prosecution Authority is to re-examine manslaughter and related charges against former Karolinska surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, following a new appeal by plaintiffs.

The Public Prosecution Authority in Gothenburg will inspect four cases even though only two plaintiffs made an appeal.

In October, public prosecutor Jennie Nordin dropped the case following the conclusion that Macchiarini’s failed plastic trachea operations did not directly cause the death of three patients operated on at the Stockholm-based Karolinska University Hospital.

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Also see
(19/12/2017) – Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini… – The Local SE
(29/09/2016) – Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark – Euroscientist
(01/09/2017) – Dr Con Man: the rise and fall of a celebrity scientist who fooled… – The Guardian


Seven Costs of the Money Chase: How Academia’s Focus on Funding Influences Scientific Progress – APS (James McKeen | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 13, 2018

This essay is adapted from the article “Psychology’s Replication Crisis and the Grant Culture: Righting the Ship,” published as part of the Special Symposium on the Future of Psychological Science in the July 2017 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science.

You may recall Willie Sutton, the thief who, when asked by a reporter why he robbed banks, purportedly replied, “because that’s where the money is.” Whether or not Sutton actually said this (he denied it), the Willie Sutton Principle makes a point self-evident to those familiar with the matching law: When organisms, including academicians, are confronted with two or more choices that differ substantially in reinforcement value (read: grant dollars), they will apportion more of their efforts to the alternative possessing the highest reinforcement value. This pattern of behavior is amplified when administrators impose incentives (e.g., tenure, promotions, awards, salary increases, resources) and penalties (e.g., threats of being denied tenure, loss of laboratory space) tied to the acquisition of grant dollars.

As our field gradually rights the ship — addressing questionable research practices (QRPs) that have contributed to the replication crisis — we have been insufficiently proactive in confronting institutional obstacles that stand in the way of our scientific progress.

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(Australian case) – Authors retract paper on psychopathic traits in bosses – Retraction Watch (Andrew P. Han | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 13, 2018

paper on the prevalence of cruel social behavior in the corporate world has been retracted, following an investigation at the authors’ university. According to the senior author, she inadvertently paraphrased a dissertation on the same topic that did not belong to her student and co-author.

On Sept. 21, 2016, Katarina Fritzon, a professor at Australia’s Bond University, and Nathan Brooks, who was Fritzon’s graduate student at the time, published “Psychopathic personality characteristics amongst high functioning populations,” in Crime Psychology Review. The paper suggested that as many as one in five corporate executives exhibited the hallmarks of a psychopath, such as lack of remorse or egocentricity.

Fritzon told Retraction Watch the paper drew largely from the introduction to Brooks’s doctoral dissertation. Along with Brooks’ research, it received media attention worldwide. But Fritzon told us that in October 2016 she received a complaint from another university about the work:

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To catch a fraudster: Publisher’s image screening cuts down errata, “repeat offenders” – Retraction Watch ( | November 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 12, 2018

When a publisher rolls out image screening on its journals over an eight-year-period, some surprising things happen. For one, researchers whose papers were flagged are less likely to make the same mistake again. That’s according to new findings presented by the American Physiological Society (APS), which began increasingly checking images in accepted papers for splicing and other tweaks before they are published. (Note: they are not the only outlet to institute such checks.) At the recent International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication, the APS presented findings from seven journals, spanning from 2009 when very few articles were checked, all the way to 2016, when all seven journals screened images before publishing them. We spoke with APS associate publisher for ethics and policy Christina Bennett about the data — which also showed that, over time, fewer papers were flagged for images concerns, and those that were flagged were addressed prior to publication (which reduced the number of corrigenda published to correct image errors). What’s more, the percentage of papers with questionable images has fallen by 0.7% each year since 2013.

This interview discusses yet another way the tools to catch cheats are improving

Retraction Watch: What prompted APS journals to start doing image checks?

Christina N. Bennett: APS has been doing image checks in all accepted articles prior to publication for several years. When we first began, we thought it would serve a dual role.  First, we would better ensure that the digital images published in our 13 research and review journals were free from poor presentation practices and that any major digital modifications were fully described and declared.  Second, we thought that it would help educate our authors about APS standards for digital image presentation. Our standards are similar to the image presentation guidelines recommended by The Journal of Cell Biology.

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