DAILY DOSE: The Ethics Problem in Science and Peer-Review Extortion

The Ethics Problem in Science: Commentary in the journal Nature makes the call for a U.S. advisory board for research integrity. According to the article, American research institutions lack the rigor and scientific integrity to ensure that research papers published in journals do not contain fraudulent data and analysis. They cite a lack of communication between parties involved in science as a start point to be addressed. They say that the system is “fractured, inefficient, and inconsistent.” They suggest that “To get the best returns on investment in science, we must extend the focus beyond compliance and individual conduct.” While an advisory board has been suggested numerous times in the past, implementation has never occurred. https://go.nature.com/2UU14WW

Peer-Review Extortion: In a related story, Retraction Watch reports on a recent case in which a peer-reviewer attempted to pressure the author of the study to cite his own research in the paper. According to an investigation conducted by the journal, Bioinformatics, “we found that in every review this reviewer requested an average an average of 35 citations be adored, approximately 90% of which were to their own papers and the remainder to papers that both cited them extensively and mentioned them by name in the title.” The reviewer made clear that including the citations would influence their recommendation of the paper to be published. http://bit.ly/2E6CcG0

Entrapment in Detroit: The Indian Government is protesting an immigration trap designed by the Department of Homeland Security. The agency created a fake university, the University of Farmington, in suburban Detroit in an effort to identify undocumented immigrants seeking to enroll in order to illegally extend their stay in the United States. The Indian Ministry of External affairs issued a statement that said, “We underlined that students, who may have been duped into enrolling in the ‘University’ should be treated differently from those recruiters who have duped them.” Homeland Security’s efforts intensified significantly after Donald Trump’s inauguration. http://bit.ly/2USTbBm

Indian Givers: As the scientific war over the effects of glyphosate continue, two more researchers came under fire after the American Association for the Advancement of Science cancelled an award it had intended to bestow on two Sri Lankan researchers who claimed to have discovered a link between the herbicide and kidney disease. After an uproar in the scientific community and pressure from various sources, the AAAS retracted the award. Scientists claimed that the research supporting the paper fell short of offering tangible proof linking glyphosate to kidney disease. http://bit.ly/2UU49X7

End of season Football Predictions: A website Football Web Pages has predicted which English Premier League teams will fall out of the top league at the end of the current season. Utilizing a so-called “supercomputer”, the analysts at FWP concluded that Cardiff City, Fulham, and Huddersfield Town would be relegated. Meanwhile, the simulation indicated that Liverpool would end the season in the top spot, winning their first league title in over 30 years. http://bit.ly/2UXYIql

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