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(Australian QLD case) Parkinson’s researcher avoids jail following fraud conviction – Retraction Watch (Dalmeet Singh Chawla October 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 26, 2016

Parkinson’s researcher Caroline Barwood was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence today after being found guilty of fraud yesterday by a jury in Brisbane, Australia.

A jury had found Barwood guilty of five out of the seven charges against her.

Earlier this year, Bruce Murdoch, a former colleague of Barwood’s at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, pleaded guilty to 17-fraud-related charges, and earned himself the same sentence. In Barwood’s week-long trial, the court heard that she was previously in an intimate relationship with Murdoch. Both left the UQ in 2013.

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[Australian QLD case] Australian court finds Parkinson’s researcher guilty of fraud0

Posted by Admin in on October 24, 2016

A court in Brisbane, Australia, has found Parkinson’s researcher Caroline Barwood guilty of two charges of fraud and three counts of attempted fraud.

Barwood, 31, was formerly based at the University of Queensland (UQ). Released on bail in 2014, Barwood had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges. Yesterday, according to 9News, a jury found her guilty on the five counts, but not on two others.

She will be sentenced tomorrow.

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Gossip as Social Control: Informal Sanctions on Ethical Violations in Scientific Workplaces (Papers: Brandon Vaidyanathan September 2016)EH0

Posted by Admin in on October 22, 2016

The described phenomena might be a part of peer-based social control, but it also might be a recognition of the problems of whistleblowing.

Abstract: Research on misconduct in science has largely focused on egregious violations such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. Recent scholarship, however, calls for greater attention to forms of everyday misconduct and how scientists navigate ethical ambiguity when they are unable or unwilling to make formal accusations. Drawing on interview data from 251 physicists and biologists from both elite and non-elite universities and research institutes in the United States, United Kingdom, and India, we find that scientists are often reticent or unable to take formal action against many behaviors they perceive as unethical and irresponsible. As a result, they resort to informal gossip to warn colleagues of transgressors. Many express confidence that such pro-social gossip can serve as a means of social control by tarnishing the reputations of transgressors. Yet its effectiveness as a form of social control is limited, particularly when transgressors enjoy higher status than gossipers. We identify two types and three consequences of such gossip and assess the effectiveness of gossip as a means of social control. Finally, we consider the implications of our study for understanding and decreasing misconduct in science.

Keywords: Gossip; Misconduct; Science; Scientists; Ethics

Vaidyanathan B, Khalsa S and Ecklund EH  (2016) Gossip as Social Control: Informal Sanctions on Ethical Violations in Scientific Workplaces
Social Problems DOI: 10.1093/socpro/spw022

Read Retraction Watch’s interview with Brandon Vaidyanathan about this work

What publishers and countries do most retractions for fake peer review come from? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 21, 2016

A new analysis – which included scanning Retraction Watch posts – has identified some trends in papers pulled for fake peer review, a subject we’ve covered at length.

For those who aren’t familiar, fake reviews arise when researchers associated with the paper in question (most often authors) create email addresses for reviewers, enabling them to write their own positive reviews.

The article – released September 23 by the Postgraduate Medical Journal – found the vast majority of papers were retracted from journals with impact factors below 5, and most included co-authors based in China.

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