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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The retraction war

By Jill Neimark
Aeon Magazine
Originally published December 23, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Retraction was meant to be a corrective for any mistakes or occasional misconduct in science but it has, at times,  taken on a superhero persona instead. Like Superman, retraction can be too powerful, wiping out whole careers with a single blow. Yet it is also like Clark Kent, so mild it can be ignored while fraudsters continue publishing and receiving grants. The process is so wrought that just 5 per cent of scientific misconduct ever results in retraction, leaving an abundance of error in play to obfuscate the facts.

Scientists are increasingly aware of the amount of bad science out there – the word ‘reproducibility’ has become a kind of rallying cry for those who would reform science today. How can we ensure that studies are sound and can be reproduced by other scientists in separate labs?

The entire article is here.