SoNYC is the monthly discussion series that the nature.com Communities team organises in collaboration with Ars Technica and Rockefeller University. The event is also live-streamed and archived and we create a round-up post including a Storify storyboard of all the online conversations around the event. March 20th’s event is a re-scheduling of last October’s event on, Setting the research record straight and features Retraction Watch blogger, Ivan Oransky, John Krueger of the Office of Research Integrity and Liz Williams, Executive Editor of The Journal of Cell Biology:
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?
As we did for February’s event, we have been posting related content on Of Schemes and Memes and first up we heard from Richard Van Noorden, Assistant News Editor at Nature, giving us an overview of what retractions can tell us about setting the research record straight. In his post he highlights some recent high profile cases of retraction, explaining why retraction rates appear to be increasing:
For suddenly, in the last ten years, retractions have shot up, rising ten- fold while the scientific literature expanded only 44%. A blog, Retraction Watch, has monitored them over the past 18 months. Recent examples include prominent psychologist Diederik Stapel’s fraud (particularly shocking because Stapel had such a stellar reputation); the dispute over whether or not chronic fatigue syndrome is linked to a virus ; and the scandal in which cancer geneticist Anil Potti’s flawed research led to patients being enrolled in clinical trials based on faulty data. Those are the ones that made headlines – but as Retraction Watch and Neil Saunders’ live feed of retraction notices on PubMed show, rarely a day goes by where a paper is not being withdrawn. The new norm nowadays is to expect hundreds of retractions, and perhaps that number will continue to rise.
Do stay tuned for more posts and please get in touch if you’d like to contribute anything.
April sees the return of SciBarCamb – an unconference for scientists and technologists, taking place on the evening of Friday 20th April and all day on Saturday 21st. The earlybird tickets have now sold out, but there’s another chance to reserve your place from 10am on February 29th. If you’d like to find out more about the event, read what co-organiser, Eva Amsen has to say about it.
NPG to publish new open access journal CPT
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) are pleased to announce a new, open access journal. CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (CPT:PSP) will launch in fall 2012 and will be hosted here. The journal will be a companion title to Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (CPT) and will be accepting submissions in summer 2012:
CPT:PSP will be a cross-disciplinary journal devoted to publishing original research in advances in quantitative methods as applied in pharmacology, physiology and therapeutics in humans. The common focus will be on quantitative methods that improve an understanding of pharmacology and therapeutics in humans. The editorial team will be led by newly-appointed Editor-in-Chief Pieter H. van der Graaf, PhD, PharmD. The team aims to provide a unique international forum for scientists in the pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology space.
All content will be open access and will be freely available to researchers worldwide through the nature.com platform. You can find out more in the official press release found here.
Tweetups and Facebook
Science tweetups offer opportunities to mix and mingle in person with sciencey friends you may have met online and are also a chance to learn something new. For those interested the next #NYCscitweetup will be held on Thursday 29th March in the Peculier Pub. Join in from 6:30pm – all welcome! You can also find more NYC events in our NYC Science Communication events calendar that lists this event and others like it.
For those of you interested in science events across the world, you can find a list of our science events calendars here and a Facebook list of science events here. Feel free to let us know what is missing.
To make life easier, we have also created a list of NPG Facebook pages, so make sure you subscribe!
UK Conference of Science Journalists and Science communication events
The UK conference of science journalists will take place this year on June 25th. Their website is now live and earlybird registration is open until the end of March. The keynote will be by Jay Rosen and you can follow the online discussions on the #ukcsj hashtag.
Now onto another science communication focused event, “Scientists and journalists need different things from science. Discuss”. Held at the Royal Institution in London on Tuesday 13th March 7pm , the event will be guest curated by The Guardian’s Alok Jha, with Alice Bell, Chris Chambers and Nature’s Ananyo Bhattacharya as panel members. The session will look at the gulf between what journalists do and what scientists think they should do.
To warm up for Tuesday’s event, you can read Ananyo’s guest blog posts in The Guardian’s Notes and Theories blog: Science journalists should be asking questions and deflating exaggeration and Nine ways scientists demonstrate they don’t understand journalism. If you wish to attend you can find tickets here and do check out the official hash tag #Riscimedia for the online talk.