Intelligent Design Peer review

Data detective identifies hundreds of correction- or retraction-worthy papers

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In the midst of all the sham, scam, and flimflam in journals today, here’s a story of a real-life data detective who makes a difference:

By day, [John] Carlisle is an anaesthetist working for England’s National Health Service in the seaside town of Torquay. But in his spare time, he roots around the scientific record for suspect data in clinical research. Over the past decade, his sleuthing has included trials used to investigate a wide range of health issues, from the benefits of specific diets to guidelines for hospital treatment. It has led to hundreds of papers being retracted and corrected, because of both misconduct and mistakes. And it has helped to end the careers of some large-scale fakers: of the six scientists worldwide with the most retractions, three were brought down using variants of Carlisle’s data analyses.

David Adam, “How a data detective exposed suspicious medical trials” at Nature

He focuses on medicine because bad data can put lives at risk.

See also: Retraction Watch wonders: How did THIS nonsense end up in a peer-reviewed journal?

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5 Replies to “Data detective identifies hundreds of correction- or retraction-worthy papers

  1. 1
    Brother Brian says:

    As I inferred in the other thread, this is the way to tackle shoddy research. Front and centre. Question the data and/or the methodology used. Submitting a hoax paper for publication is not the way.

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    This guy had better get a body guard and a food taster quick!

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    As I inferred in the other thread, this is the way to tackle shoddy research.

    No, you didn’t say anything of the kind. However, I did say that is the way to tackle shoddy research.

    Question the data and/or the methodology used.

    That is the peer-reviewers job- as I said.

    Submitting a hoax paper for publication is not the way.

    LoL! Submitting a hoax paper exposes the process as a sham (if it gets accepted). Submitting a hoax paper was never meant to be a way to uncover nonsensical work.

  4. 4
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA

    This guy had better get a body guard and a food taster quick!

    I assume you are joking. But why would anyone who identifies fraudulent data used in publication have to fear? Admittedly, there could be pressure from drug companies, but that is separate from academia and peer review.

  5. 5
    EDTA says:

    I was joking. He might only need the bodyguard. When you start ruining people’s careers, you are edging up to ruining their lives, since they may have no other way to make a comparable living. If he ruins dozens of careers, he should not be surprised if he gets death threats next.

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