Retractions are increasing, but not enough

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Retractions are increasing, but not enough

Ivan Oransky


Quote:On its face, the increase in retractions is good: a sign that science is becoming more scrutinized and rigorous, and that scientific publishing is doing its job. But it’s not that simple: journals publish more papers than they did in 1756, or even 2016. A higher proportion is now being retracted, but we estimate — on the basis of evidence from surveys, studies and reports from sleuths — that one in 50 papers would meet at least one of the criteria for retraction from the Committee on Publication Ethics, a non-profit collective in Eastleigh, UK. These include “clear evidence that the findings are unreliable”, whether because of falsified data, plagiarism, faked peer review or just ‘major error’, which might involve contaminated cell lines or another non-fraudulent problem. Yet the rate of retraction is still under 0.1%.

Quote:Often, corrections to the literature don’t take place because of lawyers, who are not afraid to threaten litigation when their clients are accused of error or wrongdoing. Such actions rarely succeed, but they strike fear into publishers and slow down efforts to correct the record.

Quote:Retractions must be supported as an essential part of healthy science. Sleuths should be compensated and given access to tools to improve the hunt for errors and fraud — not face ridicule, harassment and legal action. Publishers could create a cash pool to pay them, similar to the ‘bug bounties’ that reward hackers who detect flaws in computer security systems. At the same time, institutions should appropriately assess researchers who honestly aim to correct the record. Retractions should not be career killers — those correcting honest errors should be celebrated.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


[-] The following 1 user Likes Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • Ninshub
This is the core of many problems - science is no-longer to be trusted. It is interesting that they published that in Nature!
(This post was last modified: 2022-08-10, 09:29 AM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)

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