Retraction Watch

Retraction Watch is a great new blog that describes all the papers that have been retracted from major publications. I had no idea so many prominent papers get retracted until I saw them all in one place. Marcus and Oransky, who run the blog, do a little investigative reporting to try and tell a more complete story instead of just the journal's uninformative "This paper has retracted by the authors" statement. Its fascinating to see how the errors come to light, how different authors respond, and what mistakes led to the need for retraction. It really sheds a light on the process of science - how ambition and pressure and reputation influence scientific publications as much as empirical data, how Principal Investigators don't usually do any of the actual benchwork, how the peer review process often fails and in these cases triumphs... Anyone looking for examples of ethics cases in science couldn't ask for a better resource than this.

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