Skip to comments.Science publishing: The trouble with retractions
Posted on 10/06/2011 8:27:07 AM PDT by toma29
This week, some 27,000 freshly published research articles will pour into the Web of Science, Thomson Reuters' vast online database of scientific publications. Almost all of these papers will stay there forever, a fixed contribution to the research literature. But 200 or so will eventually be flagged with a note of alteration such as a correction. And a handful maybe five or six will one day receive science's ultimate post-publication punishment: retraction, the official declaration that a paper is so flawed that it must be withdrawn from the literature.
It is reassuring that retractions are so rare, for behind at least half of them lies some shocking tale of scientific misconduct plagiarism, altered images or faked data and the other half are admissions of embarrassing mistakes. But retraction notices are increasing rapidly. In the early 2000s, only about 30 retraction notices appeared annually. This year, the Web of Science is on track to index more than 400 (see 'Rise of the retractions') even though the total number of papers published has risen by only 44% over the past decade.
Perhaps surprisingly, scientists and editors broadly welcome the trend. "I don't think there's any doubt that we're detecting more fraud, and that systems are more responsive to misconduct. It's become more acceptable for journals to step in," says Nicholas Steneck, a research ethicist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. But as retractions become more commonplace, stresses that have always existed in the system are starting to show more vividly.
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
It is the very nature of science that it will never completely settle anything ... ever.
"I don't think there's any doubt that we're detecting more fraud, and that systems are more responsive to misconduct. It's become more acceptable for journals to step in," says Nicholas Steneck, a research ethicist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not
conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
LaTeX is pretty neat. It can make a resume stand out, for example.
Please freepmail me if you wish to be added or dropped from the mitten ping.
"Ethics" and "Ann Arbor" in the same sentence--isn't that a sign of the coming apocalypse?
The fear factor, says Wager, is because publishers are very frightened of being sued. "They are incredibly twitchy about publishing anything that could be defamatory," she says.
Blame the lawyers!
The science is as settled as the lash in my right eye. My lash has more rights once I dig the thing out BTW. Let us please talk science.
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