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Swedish review board finds misconduct by Macchiarini, calls for six retractions – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 1, 2017

An ethical review board in Sweden is asking journals to retract six papers co-authored by former star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, after concluding that he and his co-authors committed misconduct.

One of the papers is the seminal 2011 article in The Lancet, which described the first case of a transplant using an artificial trachea seeded with the patient’s own stem cells, and now bears an expression of concern from The Lancet editors. Over time, multiple authors have asked to be removed from the paper.

The Expert Group on Scientific Misconduct at the Central Ethical Review Board has determined that concerns over that paper — and five others co-authored by Macchiarini, once based at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) — were justified. In a press release, it says:

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Also see
(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

What Merits Correction? – The Grumpy Geophysicist (August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 30, 2017

The topics are important for HDR candidates and other early career researchers. Better handling of good faith errors,disputes and allegations can help avoid the pain of formal inquiries.

A rather interesting comment chain on the website of a social scientist got GG thinking about corrections. (The blog post and comments deal with how to address published mistakes, with comments ranging from “never contact the authors” to “of course you contact the authors”). If fact, GG has gotten into lukewarm water with a couple of folks for pointing out things in their published papers in this blog. Anyways, what merits a correction? And what merits making a stink when there is no correction?

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Fraud Scandals Sap China’s Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower – The New York Times (Amy Qin | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 28, 2017

BEIJING — Having conquered world markets and challenged American political and military leadership, China has set its sights on becoming a global powerhouse in a different field: scientific research. It now has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States.

When thinking about research misconduct in China it’s important to remember the immense size of their research base and how quickly it has grown. Significant sanction and penalty efforts are underway (see the second linked story) but focusing on the culture of research practice would be better.

But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together, according to Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and seeks to publicize retractions of research papers.

Now, a recent string of high-profile scandals over questionable or discredited research has driven home the point in China that to become a scientific superpower, it must first overcome a festering problem of systemic fraud.

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Also see China’s High Court issue a warning to Life Science companies

A paper on field theory delivers a wake-up call to academics – Physics Today (Andrew Grant | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 27, 2017

Oliver Rosten believes the postdoctoral system played a role in his friend’s suicide. Disseminating that opinion in a scientific journal took perseverance.

This isn’t a research integrity story, it’s more about early career researcher surviving modern research culture – but we admired the actions of the author so much we felt we had to include it in the Resource Library. We hope you won’t mind.

Oliver Rosten hasn’t received much feedback on the scientific merits of his new conformal algebra paper in the European Physical Journal C. But one paragraph, printed in small type before the references, has a lot of people talking. It’s the acknowledgments.

Most study authors reserve their acknowledgments section for a laundry list of thank-yous to colleagues and reviewers. In his paper Rosten uses the section to issue a call for change. He dedicates the paper to his friend Francis Dolan, who died by suicide five years after the two started working together as postdoctoral researchers at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) in Ireland. Troubled by the toll of those years on his friend, who suffered from severe depression, Rosten writes that he is “firmly of the conviction that the psychological brutality of the post-doctoral system played a strong underlying role in Francis’ death.” He then advocates reforms to protect researchers with mental health problems. It’s a remarkably candid piece of writing for a scientific paper—so candid, in fact, that two journals refused to include it.

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