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When misconduct strikes: A fictional tale (Author interview by Retraction Watch)0

Posted by Admin in on March 6, 2016
 

“Pernille Rørth is not your typical novelist. She was a scientist for 25 years and was also editor-in-chief of the EMBO Journal for five years. But now, she’s written a novel – Raw Data – about an incident of misconduct that forces a top lab in Boston to retract a prominent Nature paper. The novel exposes how scientists – even the most well-intentioned – can crack under the intense pressure of such a career-killing event. (There’s even a twist at the end.) We spoke to Rørth about her novel, and what she wants it to achieve.”

Read the Retraction Watch interview

Selecting a publisher: Essential resources for HDR candidates and early career researchers0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2016
 

Research integrity codes like the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research direct that the results of research should only be reported once. Of course this does not preclude the reporting of a completely new analysis of data collected for a project that has previously been reported (albeit with appropriate citation of the earlier output). This underlines the importance of the selection of a quality publisher/avenue to ensure  the maximum impact for your work.

In the case of journals a good place to start is Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2015. Beall’s list is widely a regarded as one of the best lists of its kind. It is however important to remember that a single resource, especially a static list, should not conclude your assessment of a potential publisher. A couple of things to remember about Beall’s list include:

i) not all open access journals are necessarily predatory or of a poor standard; and

ii) in some cases predatory journals can take over the name of dead respected journals (a phenomenon sometimes referred to as a Zombie Journal) and so not necessarily appear on the Beall’s list .

Another useful resource is Ulrich’s international periodicals directory – check with your library to see whether your institution has paid for access to Ulrich’s directory.

If you are a HDR candidate you should always discuss the selection of a publisher with your supervisor and consult a research librarian for your area. If you are an early career researcher your colleagues and mentors are a good source of ideas/information.

Another Australian retraction has been added to Retraction Watch – 16 Feb 20160

Posted by Admin in on February 20, 2016
 

“An 8th paper has been retracted for Anna Ahimastos, a heart researcher who faked patient records.

It’s the last in a chain of retractions that were the result of an investigation by her former workplace, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia. As with the others, she did not agree to the retraction.

The investigation found fabricated patients records in some papers; in other papers, such as the newly retracted 2010 study in Atherosclerosis, the original data source could not be verified. The latest retraction – “A role for plasma transforming growth factor-β and matrix metalloproteinases in aortic aneurysm surveillance in Marfan syndrome?”  – followed up on a previous clinical trial, examining how a blood pressure drug might help patients with a life-threatening genetic disorder.

16 February 2016 – 8th retraction appears for researcher who faked patient records

About Retraction Watch
We launched Retraction Watch in August 2010, and although we didn’t predict this, it’s been a struggle to even keep up with retractions as they happen. While we occasionally dip into history in our “Best Of” series, realistically we don’t want to fall even further behind. If we ever have the resources to grow the site, this will be one of our priorities.

Self Correction: What to do when you realize your publication is fatally flawed (Papers: Kerry Grens 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 18, 2016
 

“At a Keystone Symposia meeting a couple of years ago, Pamela Ronald delivered the most difficult talk of her life. She studies plant immunology at the University of California, Davis, but instead of discussing her group’s latest findings, she decided to detail its recent mistake: while performing routine validation assays, students in her lab had found that one of the lab’s bacterial strains was mislabeled. They also discovered that a protein assay they had used was not reliable. That meant that her conclusions in two papers she’d published in 2011 and 2009 about the identity of a long-sought bacterial protein recognized by the rice immune system were likely wrong.

“Never had I heard anyone give a talk like that,” she says. But she felt compelled to use the platform to let her peers know about the error. Audible gasps arose from the crowd. At one point, someone in the audience covered his face with his hands and shook his head, she recalls. “I’ll never forget it.”

Ultimately, Ronald retracted both papers, one from PLOS ONE and another from Science. As word got around about how forthcoming she was—in her talk at the conference and in alerting the journals to the problems—she began to receive pats on the back. The blog Retraction Watch applauded Ronald for “doing the right thing,” and researchers echoed the sentiment, saying it must have been a tough decision. “On the one hand I was really very flattered I got that reaction from people, but [I was] also a little bit puzzled,” Ronald says. “I never thought there was a choice.””

Tags: science publishing, retraction, publishing, literature, culture and corrections

Grens K (2015) Self Correction: What to do when you realize your publication is fatally flawed. The Scientist. 29(12) Available from: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/44594/title/Self-Correction/ (Accessed 19 February 2016).

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