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Inside Publishing Misconduct: Fraud, Plagiarism and Other Editorial Misadventures


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Adam's talk to the ORI Conference on Research Integrity, March 15, 2012, Washington, DC

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Inside Publishing Misconduct: Fraud, Plagiarism and Other Editorial Misadventures

  1. 1. Inside Publishing Misconduct: Fraud, Plagiarism and OtherEditorial Misadventures
  2. 2. Adam MarcusManaging EditorAnesthesiology
  3. 3. Co-founder, with Ivan Oransky, MD, ofRetraction Watch: 3
  4. 4. Slide courtesy of Steven L. Shafer, MD Professor of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Adjunct Professor of Anesthesia, Stanford UniversityAdjunct Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Editor-in-Chief, Anesthesia & Analgesia 4
  5. 5. What is Fraud?• Plagiarism• Data Fabrication• Misappropriation of funds• Forgery• Ethics violations• All of the above 5
  6. 6. Scott Reuben
  7. 7. Data Fabrication 7
  8. 8. Joachim Boldt
  9. 9. Naoki Mori
  10. 10. What’s Yours is Mine 10
  11. 11. Yoshitaka Fujii, MD — a new record? 11
  12. 12. Retractions on the Rise 12 -The Wall Street
  13. 13. Retractions on the Rise -Neil Saunders 13
  14. 14. Retractions on the Rise -Nature 14
  15. 15. Why Do Journals Retract? -Journal of Medical Ethics 2010 15
  16. 16. Why Do Journals Retract?• Error is more common than fraud• 73.5% of papers were retracted for error (or an undisclosed reason) vs 26.6% for fraud• Most common reason for retraction: a scientific mistake (234 papers; 31.5%)• Fabrication (including data plagiarism) more common than text plagiarism• Multiple reasons for retraction cited for 67 papers (9.0%), but 134 papers (18.1%) were retracted for ambiguous reasons -Journal of Medical Ethics 2010 16
  17. 17. What Happens to Retracted Papers?Budd et al, 1999:• Retracted articles received more than 2,000 post-retraction citations; less than 8% of citations acknowledged the retraction• Preliminary study of the present data shows that continued citation remains a problem• Of 391 citations analyzed, only 6% acknowledge the retraction 17
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. Furman et al. 2012 Research Policy:“Our findings suggest that attention is a key predictorof retraction – retracted articles arise most frequentlyamong highly-cited articles. The retraction system isexpeditious in uncovering knowledge that is everdetermined to be false (the mean time to retraction isless than two years) and democratic (retraction is notsystematically affected by author prominence). Lastly,retraction causes an immediate, severe, and long-lived decline in future citations.”* 65% decrease in citations 19
  20. 20. IS IT ALL ACADEMIC?Steen G. J Med Ethics. 2011 DecRetractions in the medical literature: how canpatients be protected from risk? 20
  21. 21. “Retracted clinical trials treated more patients (p=0.0002) and inspired secondary studies that put more patients at risk (p=0.0019) than did other kinds of medical research. Conclusions: If the goal is to minimize risk to patients, the appropriate focus is on clinical trials. Clinical trials form the foundation of evidence-based medicine; hence, the integrity of clinical trials must be protected.”Steen G. J Med Ethics. 2011 Dec 21
  22. 22. WHAT’S A JOURNAL TO DO? 22
  23. 23. 100% Manuscript Screening 23
  24. 24. Detection Software 24
  25. 25. This is Transparency? 25
  26. 26. The Way Forward• Use systems to detect image manipulation and plagiarism• Require authors to disclose prior retractions and investigations• Trust anonymous whistleblowers more• Demand more of institutions• Move more quickly to correct and retract• Make retraction notices clearer - and - 26
  27. 27. The Way Forward• Make them freely available 27