News & Opinion
The Scientist carries an interview with 3 scientists who were found guilty of misconduct by the US ORI (Office of Research Integrity). The thrust of the article is the long-lasting effect of such a ruling even after the official time has expired.
The link is http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/07/1/28/1/
A new paper published in Trials (currently available as a provisional PDF) asks the question, how many randomised trials published in Chinese journals are actually randomised?
A doctor is being sued for libel because of comments he wrote in a newspaper about the British Chiropractic Association (in particular their alleged promotion of the use of chiropractic for asthma). Since the case may have far-reaching consequences for journals and publishers, you might like to look at the campaign website which calls for a reform to the British libel laws to ensure they are not used to suppress scientific debate.
An editorial on June 8 in the Archives of Internal Medicine discusses the problem of publication bias - that is "negative" papers, especially trials, being less likely to make it into the published record. There are a number of reasons for this, from authors not submitting such papers to journals being less likely to publish them. Everyone now agrees that the consequences for the validity of the scientific record are substantial, though the solution is not simple.
A story in the New York Times (free, registration required) discusses the retraction of a paper published in 2008 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume (Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for grade III open segmental tibial fractures from combat injuries in Iraq. J Bone Joint Surg Br.
There have been plenty of surveys on this, and now a systematic review and meta-analysis has pulled the best ones together (Fanelli D. How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE 4(5): e5738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005738 Published: May 29, 2009).
The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) has made a call for comments on its “Code of Practice for Research: Promoting good practice and prevent misconduct”. UKRIO) is an independent body which offers advice and guidance to universities and other research organisations, and also to individual researchers, about the conduct of research.