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Natalie Ridgeway's blog

Opinion / Scientific misconduct being taken more seriously globally?

Nature discussues how scientific misconduct is now starting to be taken much more seriously worldwide.  The article states how different countries are starting to strengthen their response to scientific misconduct and that research integrity is now very much in the world's spotlight.  The UK has a [voluntary] concordat for which universities have agreed to adopt, obliging them to investigate allegations of misconduct.  A study in the US, due in 2013, is likely to call for changes in how misconduct is defined and policed by US agencies.

Opinion / Retraction Watch looks into how institutions can prevent scientific misconduct

Retraction Watch reports on a study by Donald Kornfeld, published last month in Academic Medicine where Kornfeld reviewed 146 US Office of Research integrity (ORI) cases from 1992 to 2003.  He found that approximately "1/3 of the accused were support staff, 1/3 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and 1/3 faculty.  Accusations of fabrication represented 45% of the offenses, falsification 66%, and plagiarism 12%".  Read more here.

Opinion / Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Professor Mike Farthing, vice-chair of the UK Research Integrity Office, founding chair of COPE and vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, has written an article in the Times Higher Education on research misconduct in the UK.

Opinion / What constitutes 'self-plagiarism'?

Last month, Nature News blog reported on an emminent chemist who was investigated for 'self-plagiarism' or duplicate publication.  Apparently a number of paragraphs were almost identical in a number of papers he published.  The most recent paper, published in Journal of the American Chemical Association, has since been retracted with the statement: "This article was removed by the publisher due to possible copyright concerns.

Opinion / Nature discusses proposed libel reforms in the UK

An article in Nature discusses the proposed libel reform law that was included in last week's Queen's Speech.  This legislation directly addresses the concerns of researchers and scientific groups. You can read the full article here.

Opinion / New declaration on Publication Ethics in China

Recent articles in the Scientist and Nature discuss publication ethics in China and point to a recent declaration by editors of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) to follow guidelines issued by CAST in 2009. This declaration is one part of increasing awareness of the importance of publication ethics and the need for journals within China to address the issue.

Opinion / New York Times reports on the sharp rise in retractions

The NYT discusses how the sharp rise in retractions is prompting calls for reform.  Read the full article here.

Opinion / Anesthesia and Analgesia publish editorial re: Fujii Statement of Concern

Anesthesia & Analgesia have published an editorial which discusses the retraction of eight manuscripts by Dr. Yoshitaka Fujii published under the auspices of Toho University, as well as his dismissal from the university.  The editorial continues by discussing the journal's concern over papers published by Dr Fujii in Anesthesia & Analegesia - concerns which were fist highlighted to the Editors in a Letter to the Editor by Kranke, Apfel, and Roewer alleging research fraud by Dr. Fujii back in April 2000.

Opinion / New study published on retractions in biomedical papers

A new study on retractions shows that the system is effective for alerting the community to invalid work.  The Scholarly Kitchen discusses an article ("Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine“ pub in Research Policy, March 2012 by, J Furman, K Jensen, and F Murray) that reports on a study of 677 article retractions identified in MEDLINE between 1972 and 2006.

Opinion / COPE retraction study published

The results of a COPE research grant, awarded to Liz Wager and Peter Williams in December 2007 has now been published. 'Why and how do journal retract articles?  An analysis of Medline retractions 1988-2008' appears as an Online First in the Journal of Medical Ethics.