DailyDirt: Mistakes In Science Publishing
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It’s amazing some of the stuff that gets published in peer-reviewed scientific journals these days. For example, recently there was a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in which the images appeared to be photoshopped. The photoshopping was so badly done that it was obvious upon looking at the images that they were doctored. The paper was withdrawn after this was discovered, but why didn’t the journal editors catch this before it was published? Here are some other examples of questionable things that have made their way into journals.
- The supporting information for a recently published chemistry paper contained an editorial note that was inadvertently left in the published document. Not only did the journal’s editors fail to catch this, but the paper’s author is apparently being told to make up fake data: “Emma, please insert NMR data here! where are they? and for this compound, just make up an elemental analysis…” [url]
- A bizarre and completely unintelligible journal article that was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal has people wondering if it’s a joke. The author spends most of the time explaining, in the most convoluted and incomprehensible manner, what the paper is apparently about, without really telling the audience what the paper is about. [url]
- The number of retracted scientific papers is increasing — but not necessarily because more scientists are fabricating, falsifying, or modifying data. It’s more likely because there is now an increased awareness of research misconduct, a greater audience thanks to the internet, and better software to detect plagiarism, image manipulation, etc. The blog Retraction Watch keeps track of scientific papers that have been retracted. [url]
- Check out some of last year’s worst scientific mistakes, missteps, and misdeeds. These include at least one author who faked the e-mail addresses of and impersonated his paper’s reviewers. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: authorship, fake data, fraud, journals, peer review, publishing, retracted paper, science
Comments on “DailyDirt: Mistakes In Science Publishing”
Yes, blatant BS in scientific papers is very disturbing, and needs to be addressed, however I am a bit skeptical of the motivations behind and possible encouragement of these bad submittals. Mistakes happen, but these seem a bit over the top.
I’m sure stories like this will be used as “evidence” in many misguided attempts to discredit scientific research spanning decades which has endured multitudes of reviews over the years.
It is simple to point at one example and pretend it represents all … hoping your viewers are gullible or at least subject to confirmation bias.
These submittals found to contain blatant errors or fabrications represent what percentage of all submittals? This would be an interesting tidbit to add in the story. Also of interest is the origin of these horrible papers, is there any commonality amongst them? Could it be that in the hurry for patent rights upon BS claims, there might be some BS data? Nah, that would never happen.
Re: check the 3rd bullet point link
These submittals found to contain blatant errors or fabrications represent what percentage of all submittals?
so in 2011, it was a few hundred papers retracted per years, with tens of thousands of papers submitted weekly… that’s a pretty small fraction.
“Emma, please insert NMR data here! where are they? and for this compound, just make up an elemental analysis…”
It’s all made up in the end anyway.
I don’t come across as jaded, do I?
Huh, you remember those websites in popularity a while back that would run a bot against you in a chat program, and it was supposed to pretend it was good enough to hold up a conversation? (Do you like ice cream? *SUBJECT ICE CREAM. QUERY PERSONAL LIKE. REPLY AFFIRM/NEG RANDOM YES/NO* Why yes, I do like ICE CREAM).
That second peer article sounds like someone’s attempt to make an AI that would pump out a series of loosely connected sentences that talk without really talking, and see if they can get it past overwhelmed peer-review journalist interns. He did, and is now trying to keep up the ruse as long as he can before he has to break down, laugh, and admit it was just another Sokal affair.
That second one scans like poetry, rather than study results.
No matter what people do, be it write blogs, work for NSA, work for the Government, or the police, or Techdirt, or the military, or in scientific research.
People will cheat, lie, steal, break the law, break the rules, make things up, CENSOR, commit crimes and do other sundry nasty things
It’s what people do !!!
Re: Human condition
Nah, people like that are out…liars.
re: That second one scans like poetry, rather than study results
At a glance, I agree. I’ve no interest in spending more time on the article in question, but for what it’s worth, most number-crunching scientists are not qualified to assess the merits of an article in Qualitative Inquiry.
It’s an academic variation on “you’re a bad person for liking things I don’t like.”
Re: re: That second one scans like poetry, rather than study results
What is a “number-crunching scientist”?
As opposed to a number illiterate scientist?
Re: Re: re: That second one scans like poetry, rather than study results
Unlike you, I don’t assume that all scientists are hung up on trying to be physicists or on playing statistical games. Nor do I assume that no researcher who uses qualitative methods can ever be considered a scientist.
Re: Re: Re: re: That second one scans like poetry, rather than study results
“Unlike you, I don’t assume”
But there you did.
“trying to be physicists or on playing statistical games”
They are not physicists? Why?
Do you understand how math is used to model the physical world?
Not all statistics are used for BS, are you familiar with Nate Silver?
I did not say anything about qualitative methods, I asked about your flippant dismissal of math.
You seem rather defensive, I guess there is a reason for that, but I really do not care.
And we’re supposed to trust science and scientists?
Faith? Nah, forget that old-time religion stuff, man. Science is where it’s at. Science will never steer you wrong…right?