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Scientific Fraud, Retractions, and the Future of Scientific Publishing

Cornell Medicine Grand Rounds, May 2016

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Scientific Fraud, Retractions, and the Future of Scientific Publishing

  1. 1. Medicine Grand Rounds Weill Cornell Medical College New York May 25, 2016 Ivan Oransky, MD Co-Founder, Retraction Watch Vice President, Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today Distinguished Writer In Residence, NYU (Journalism) Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU @ivanoransky Scientific Fraud, Retractions, and the Future of Scientific Publishing
  2. 2. Conflict of Interest Disclosure • I'm an employee of MedPage Today, which provides health care news to health care professionals, and a shareholder in its parent company, Everyday Health, which does the same for consumers. • I've received grant funding for the work discussed here from the MacArthur Foundation, Arnold Foundation, and Helmsley Trust.
  3. 3. Is This Publishing Today?
  4. 4. Robots No Longer Considered Harmful I.P. Freely, Oliver Clothesoff, Jacques Strap, Hugh Jazz, Amanda Huginkiss Is This Publishing Today?
  5. 5. Publish Or Perish
  6. 6. Fake Peer Review Watch The number of papers retracted for rigged peer review since 2012 is: ?
  7. 7. Fake Peer Review Watch The number of papers retracted for rigged peer review since 2012 is: >300
  8. 8. Retractions on the Rise http://pmretract.heroku.com/byyear
  9. 9. Common Reasons for Retractions • Duplication (“self-plagiarism”) • Plagiarism • Image Manipulation • Faked Data • Fake Peer Reviews • Publisher Error • Authorship Issues • Legal Reasons • Not Reproducible
  10. 10. Most Retractions Due to Misconduct PNAS online October 1, 2012
  11. 11. Who Retracts?
  12. 12. Which Journals Retract? -Infection and Immunity 2011
  13. 13. What Happens to Retracted Papers’ Citations? -Assn of College & Research Libraries 2011
  14. 14. What Happens to Retracted Papers’ Citations? 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
  15. 15. The Most Highly Cited
  16. 16. Who’s Harmed?
  17. 17. Do Journals Get the Word Out?
  18. 18. Do Journals Get the Word Out? “Journals often fail to alert the naïve reader; 31.8% of retracted papers were not noted as retracted in any way.”
  19. 19. The Euphemisms an “approach”
  20. 20. The Euphemisms an “approach” “significant originality issue”
  21. 21. The Euphemisms an “approach” “significant originality issue” “inadvertently copied text”
  22. 22. The Euphemisms an “approach” “significant originality issue” “inadvertently copied text” “inadequate procedural or methodological practices of citation or quotation,” causing an “unacceptable level of text parallels”
  23. 23. The Euphemisms • an “approach” • “significant originality issue” • “inadvertently copied text” • “inadequate procedural or methodological practices of citation or quotation,” causing an “unacceptable level of text parallels” • “Some sentences…are directly taken from other papers, which could be viewed as a form of plagiarism”
  24. 24. Is This A Useful Retraction Notice? “At the request of the authors, the following manuscript has been retracted:” [citation] -Journal of Neuroscience
  25. 25. Why The Opacity?
  26. 26. Now This Is Good News The JBC’s practice of saying very little in retraction and withdrawal notices has been described by many in the community as opaque—and rightfully so. After reviewing the practices of other journals and consulting with our legal counsel and publications committee, we’ve reconsidered our approach. JBC retraction and withdrawal notices now will explain, with as much detail as possible, why papers have been withdrawn or retracted. -Journal of Biological Chemistry
  27. 27. What Should Retraction Notices Look Like? www.PublicationEthics.org
  28. 28. Post-Publication Peer Review On The Rise
  29. 29. http://nautil.us
  30. 30. http://blog.scienceexchange.com/
  31. 31. Keeping Journals – and Researchers -- Honest
  32. 32. PubPeer takes an altogether more sinister tone, however, in its self- proclaimed authority to represent the scientific community and give “referees and members of committees for recruitment, promotion or funding … [the community’s] opinions about the quality and reliability of applicants’ research.”2 Legitimate authority demands consensual recognition and identity, both currently lacking for PubPeer. As scientists, we recognize the authority that comes with knowledge and expertise. We expect the identities of those who wield authority to be in the public domain. Not Everyone Is Happy
  33. 33. Not Everyone Is Happy
  34. 34. Crime Doesn’t Pay Anymore
  35. 35. Doing The Right Thing Does
  36. 36. Don’t Do This
  37. 37. Contact Info/Acknowledgements oransiØ1@nyu.edu http://retractionwatch.com @retractionwatch Thanks: The MacArthur Foundation The Arnold Foundation The Helmsley Trust Nancy Lapid, Reuters Health

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