On Thursday evening, we hosted the tenth instalment of the monthly Science Online NYC (SoNYC) discussion series. For this month’s event, the topic for debate was, “Setting the research record straight.”
The internet has enabled the faster and more thorough dissemination of published science, meaning that more eyes than ever are available to check the accuracy, veracity and integrity of the research record. With our enhanced ability to spot plagiarism and image manipulation electronically, it appears that the frequency with which we’ve flagged potentially fraudulent or plagiarized papers has gone up. This panel will look at the trends in retractions and how they relate to real or perceived increases in research misconduct. We hope to discuss what steps publications are taking to deal with the sloppy or fraudulent research practices that sometimes result in retractions, and also what research institutions are doing to investigate and deter such practices. Is the system broken, and what can researchers do to help fix it if it is?
Preparing for the event
In anticipation of the discussion, we ran a series of guest posts here on Of Schemes and Memes, discussing what steps publications are taking to deal with fraudulent research practices and what is being done to investigate and deter such practices. First we heard from Richard Van Noorden, Assistant News Editor at Nature. He gave us an overview of what retractions can tell us about setting the research record straight, highlighting some recent high profile cases of retraction, revealing why retraction rates appear to be increasing. We also compiled a Storify from a session at February’s AAAS meeting in Vancouver on Global Challenges to Peer Review which touched on some of the challenges faced by journal editors. Next we heard from Dorothy Clyde (Dot), Senior Editor at Nature Protocols, detailing the role an editor plays in avoiding plagiarism, giving advice to all parties. In our final post, SoNYC panel member Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, explained the concept behind the Retraction Watch blog.
This month’s panel:
- John Krueger of the Office of Research Integrity.
- Ivan Oransky, Executive Editor, Reuters Health and one of the people behind the Retraction Watch blog.
- Liz Williams, Executive Editor, The Journal of Cell Biology.
To read what people on Twitter were saying about the event, check out our Storify of tweets at the bottom of this post.
Blog posts about the 10th #sonyc
Do let us know if you blog about the event and we’ll include a round-up of links here.
- News Blog: The new gatekeepers: reducing research misconduct.
- Boston Blog: Boston researchers (with experience) of correcting the scientific record #sonyc
- NYC Blog: Science Online NYC (SoNYC) – Setting the Research Record Straight: Recap
- Dana Foundation Blog: Setting the Research Record Straight
Live-streaming and video archiving
We live-stream each SoNYC event to give as many people as possible the chance to take part in the debate. Check out this month’s livestream, or take a look at our archives where you can view the previous meetings.
Finding out more
If you have a suggestion for a future panel or would be interested in sponsoring one of the events, please get in touch.