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Most chemistry papers retracted for serious, not trivial problems

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From the Trust Science! Files: While most of the papers were retracted for plagiarism and data manipulation, according to a recent study,

Dr. Coudert learned that 229 of the 331 papers (69%) were retracted for plagiarism and “data manipulation,” which, more often than not, is a nice way of saying “fraud.” (See chart.) Only 54 of the papers (16%) were retracted due to “honest errors.”Alex Berezow, “Chemistry Papers Are Retracted Mostly Due To Plagiarism, Data Manipulation” at American Council on Science and Health


… that’s not the whole story. Plagiarism is now easy to catch (which is why we hear about it so much). Treating data as the basis for stunning fiction can often be detected too, Berezow says. But honest error? That’s surprisingly hard to catch, for reasons he sets out.

Paper. (open access)

Trust science? No. Rather, trust but verify.

See also: Another Snippet From “Why People Don’t Trust Science Any More”

At Forbes: Four Reasons People “Fear Science”

Educating Oneself Away From Science Denial: Two True Stories

and

A study of the causes of science skepticism sails right by the most obvious cause of skepticism: Repeated untrustworthiness

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5 Replies to “Most chemistry papers retracted for serious, not trivial problems

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Are you saying that data manipulation and plagiarism is a serious problem? I don’t know what you’re talking about

  2. 2
    Brother Brian says:

    Although plagiarism or fraudulent data is always a concern, the fact that this occurs at a rate of roughly 0.02% indicates that it is far from being a serious issue. And, it should be noted, that most of these are identified by the scientists using the tools in place to identify and correct for this problem.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    I don’t know that seems like a very optimistic rates and I’m not being sarcastic here I’m actually questioning it given recent findings and polygenic scores being largely inaccurate and the whole debacle involving psychology and evolutionary psychology papers being retracted and that was actually a pretty big number is about 64% of the papers needed to be retracted. Now that obviously doesn’t speak for all the other signs papers that are released I’m sure there’s thousands many of which are very boring.

    And if it’s in defense of science don’t worry I think the bigger issue is is that we have people making mistakes or effectively cheating on the data, they need to either a. be more careful or b. be more honest

    Regardless many people look to These professionals for guidance and answers and it is incredibly important that they are accurate honest and leave their biased at the side

    So if it’s two in every one hundred papers, Will those papers be politically based and immediately shuffled off into the media where everybody reads them and then immediately starts believing that they are fact when in reality they were incorrect.

    Point in case medical express came out with a study showing that the large majority Of papers involving free will have methodical errors and conflicting evidence. All the papers they reviewed were papers that explicitly claimed we had no free will

    That’s a huge problem that’s a tremendously huge problem

  4. 4
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978

    …and the whole debacle involving psychology and evolutionary psychology papers being retracted and that was actually a pretty big number is about 64% of the papers needed to be retracted.

    I would like to see where the 64% retraction rate came from. Regardless, I don’t put much stock in psychology research. I suspect that may be an unfair characterization but when I was in university, the science students took psychology as one of their electives because it was considered a “bird” course.

    But, just to be clear, the 0.02% retraction rate due to fraudulent data cited in this OP were restricted to the chemical sciences. Obviously, the numbers are probably higher than this because it is unlikely that all fraudulent papers are identified, but I still don’t see this as being as serious an issue as some see it. What is more important is the impact of the individual papers. For example, a paper about some obscure chemical reactions taking place under extreme conditions that used fudged data is not going to have much impact. However, papers published on pharmaceutical drug trials that use fudged data could have significant impact on human health.

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    http://retractionwatch.com/the.....aderboard/

    I apologize for the miss quote It was 60% with social sciences The other thing was 1/3 of psychological and Evo psychological experiments cannot be replicated which is a different topic altogether anyways I do apologize for my miss quote that was bad on my part

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/what-massive-database-retracted-papers-reveals-about-science-publishing-s-death-penalty

    I was looking through retraction watch and there were a lot of retractions a lot more than I was comfortable with it’s actually a pretty good website to check out

    Also so you know I’ll leave the link to the free will
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21507740.2018.1425756?journalCode=uabn20

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312115359.htm

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