News 8/19-20/14

There were 2 retractions yesterday and 2 more today on Retraction Watch.

The big news of the day today (8/20) was the notice on The Scientist Daily post that PubPeer is in danger of being sued.  For those of you who don’t know, PubPeer is a website on which are available (as far as I can tell) all the articles that are and have been listed on PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s posting of scientific articles from almost all the world’s scientific journals since the beginning of time.  Anyone can call up any PubMed article on PubPeer and comment on it — essentially post-publication review.  This is really a great opportunity.  However, it has also turned in to a site where people can note any discrepancies in the data in the various articles — in other words, a way of finding and noting data manipulation — dare I say fraud.  And the great thing about it is that the commenter can be anonymous, known only to the PubPeer management.  Those who post comments are cautioned to be discreet and to choose their words carefully.  To my mind, PubPeer is a great service and will go a long way to reducing scientific fraud.  So we had better pray that all of this will come to naught.

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