PubMed shuts down its comments feature, PubMed Commons

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is closing PubMed Commons, the feature that enabled readers to post comments on abstracts indexed in PubMed. NIH announced it will be discontinuing the service — which allowed only signed comments from authors with papers indexed in PubMed, among other restrictions — after more than four years, due to […]

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Macchiarini, 3 co-authors found guilty of misconduct in 2015 paper

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has declared that once-lauded surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and three co-authors committed misconduct in a 2015 paper. The decision by KI’s vice chancellor will be followed by a request to retract the paper, published by the journal Respiration. In the paper, the researchers described the case of a man with an […]

Who reports more misconduct: Scientists in industry or academia?

Who will admit to keeping poor records, gifting authorship, or even more obvious forms of misconduct such as plagiarism? Simon Godecharle at University of Leuven and his colleagues asked 2000 scientists from academia and industry in Belgium, and reported their findings in a recent paper for Science and Engineering Ethics. We spoke to Godecharle about […]

Questions swirl around CNRS director’s decision to step down early

Today, a French council was set to confirm the new head of a prominent research institute, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). But the appointee took the job a few days early, after the interim director stepped down last week — and the speculation about why she left hasn’t stopped ever since. An official […]

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Author under fire on PubPeer issues puzzling correction to chem paper

A researcher whose work has been heavily questioned on PubPeer has corrected a figure on a 2015 paper in Talanta — but the text of the correction doesn’t match the actual changes. Recently, Rashmi Madhuri at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) in Dhanbad corrected a 2015 paper about a diagnostic sensor that uses […]

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Indexing company praises cancer journal, then kicks it out

A company that indexes journals — which, in turn, designates their impact factors — has delisted Oncotarget, a cancer journal that was recently removed from MEDLINE. Just three months ago, on October 18, the indexing company Clarivate Analytics (formerly part of Thomson Reuters) named Oncotarget a “rising star” in the field of molecular biology and genetics. […]

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Is our database missing a retraction? Tell us!

As many readers know, we’ve been hard at work curating a comprehensive database of retractions, and are now up to more than 16,000 entries. Despite that large number — as much as triple what you’ll find in commonly used databases — we know there are notices we’re missing. We’re doing our best to fill in […]

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Meet the scientist whose ideas were stolen at least three times

Jeff Offutt, a professor of software engineering at George Mason University, has some stories to tell. He says that when one of his students wrote his first paper, the student reused four paragraphs from another source, not knowing he couldn’t do that. And then he tells of attending a PhD thesis defense where the student […]

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Ever been asked to remove a reference for libel concerns? These authors have

Last month, Nature Ecology & Evolution published a series of responses to a previous article recommending essential reading for all ecologists. In one response, the authors argue that the list is highly biased in favor of white male authors, and raises the problem of bullying and harassment in academia. But the letter is missing one […]

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Swedish gov’t rescinds grant for fish-plastics researcher

The Swedish government has terminated a four-year grant to a researcher at Uppsala University recently found guilty of misconduct — and, in a first, has also banned him from applying for grants for another two years. A representative of the Swedish Research Council told us that it is “very rare” for the body to rescind […]

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