Rise in scientific misconduct

The Times attributes the sharp rise in journal-paper retractions to a hyper-competitive environment:

Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it.

Dr. Casadevall, now editor in chief of the journal mBio, said he feared that science had turned into a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct.

1 Comment

  1. This new article highlights the danger of “questionable research practices” which pervade academia and science in general: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/5/524
    Accepting studies with null results into prestigious and eventually all journals is one way to encourage less academic dishonesty.

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