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800 Russian journal papers retracted: The most interesting question is undiscussed


This “bombshell” is probably only the tip of the iceberg:

Academic journals in Russia are retracting more than 800 papers following a probe into unethical publication practices by a commission appointed by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The moves come in the wake of several other queries suggesting the vast Russian scientific literature is riddled with plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and so-called gift authorship, in which academics become a co-author without having contributed any work…

Last summer, the commission asked 541 journals to retract a total of 2528 papers. In its interim report, the commission writes that 390 journals have so far responded to the inquiry, 263 of which have agreed to retract all suspicious papers; others agreed to retract some of the highlighted papers but not others, or gave legitimate reasons why the papers shouldn’t be pulled.

Dalmeet Singh Chawla, “Russian journals retract more than 800 papers after ‘bombshell’ investigation” at Science

Read the whole thing, however depressing.

A question arises: To the extent that science is global, tolerated fraud in one milieu taints an entire discipline. Recall the smug people who think that science is an infinitely superior way of knowing, Won’t that be an increasingly harder sell as more people become aware of these tip-of-the-iceberg “bombshell” revelations?

See also: Is “social justice” destroying objectivity in science? Social justice activism in science presents a similar problem to the one posed by journals that are soft on fraud. If, irrespective of merit, the true answer to the question of why a given paper was published is that the authors belong to a persecuted minority, there is no reason to consider the contents of the paper any further. Just publishing the paper meets all the important goals. Serious students must vet what’s hot and what’s not for themselves. But again, the authority of science is the big loser here.

@Seversky "I wonder what would happen to many religious or political texts if they were held to the same standard," Science is anything that can be measured. Spirit is anything that can not be measured. Science is powered by observation and logic. Spirit is powered by wisdom and believing. No connection. Religion and politics are made up by men telling each other what to do. They may or may not involve science or spirit. BOTTOM LINE: One standard is never enough. SmartAZ
So science is not the 'god' atheists say it is? Is it fallible and unreliable? After all, 'science' is another product of stupid 'monkey minds' cobbled together via a 'purposeless process-blind watchmaker '(sic). Oh my dawkins. Truthfreedom
seversky @2 "Retracting unreproducible findings is a feature of science not a bug" blah blah blah.... you heard of peer-review process ? So what it is good for if you can publish an 'unreproducible findings" ? To publish just-so-stories ? in NATURE magazine ???? Seversky, check this out: "Most scientists 'can't replicate studies by their peers'" "Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests. " more than 2/3 !!!!! https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39054778 martin_r
The fact that these pubs are retracted indicates strong ethics, not weak ethics. Frankly, "self-plagiarism" is not an ethical problem. It's a crucially necessary part of all productive and creative work. polistra
Retracting unreproducible findings is a feature of science not a bug. I wonder what would happen to many religious or political texts if they were held to the same standard, Seversky
you heard of Nobel price laureate Jack Szostak ? Szostak is famous for his Origin-of-Life research. so, for those of you who have not noticed, check this out: from RetractionWatch.com "”Definitely embarrassing:” Nobel Laureate retracts non-reproducible paper in Nature journal" "A Nobel Laureate has retracted a 2016 paper in Nature Chemistry that explored the origins of life on earth, after discovering the main conclusions were not correct. " https://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/05/definitely-embarrassing-nobel-laureate-retracts-non-reproducible-paper-nature-journal/ martin_r

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