It is those who commit research misconduct – not those who expose them – that damage science, according to David Sanders. But while the biologist has embraced the role of data detective thrust upon him, he wishes more scientists would share the thankless, legally fraught burden
It was possible when I was a graduate student in the mid 1980s to have read every article in my field of study, bacterial chemotaxis. I did so, and I was known among my colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley for having achieved a feat that would be impossible now.
Just because a paper is published in a reputable journal, peer reviewed and not retracted, is it safe to cite? This troubling paper suggests not. This paper suggests why it is the responsibility of us all to speak up if we spot a problem with a research output. An important read for all involved in research.
I was stunned. Having confirmed with more senior researchers that this was indeed the universal view, and having learned the reasons, I enquired whether the publication had been retracted or corrected, or whether any subsequent article had stated that the data were incorrect. The answer was no.
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