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Thread: Scientific retractions increasing exponentially

  1. #1
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    Scientific retractions increasing exponentially

    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    I'm not sure what, or if they cite, reasons for this. But I'd imagine that funding getting tighter as well as tenure pressures are fueling this in a big way. Publish or perish. That's been a mantra for a long time, but funding wasn't like it is now. It was probably too loose for a time and now it's too tight. Hopefully in the next few years, assuming we survive, they find a mix that's just right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Mc View Post
    I'm not sure what, or if they cite, reasons for this. But I'd imagine that funding getting tighter as well as tenure pressures are fueling this in a big way. Publish or perish. That's been a mantra for a long time, but funding wasn't like it is now. It was probably too loose for a time and now it's too tight. Hopefully in the next few years, assuming we survive, they find a mix that's just right.

    Yep.. Just read part of it. Grants and pubs.

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    http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/201...me.2010.040923

    However, research bias is rarely cited as a reason for retraction.
    This might be the most widespread problem when medical folks own vast stock holding or interests in marketable products. There is probably conscious and unconscious bias associated with that.

    But there are other impetuses for bias. There are many instances where reasonable people can disagree and more than one conclusion is supported (or not unsupported). But if it becomes a pattern, it begins to look like advocacy which is something new researchers have to learn not to do. In those cases, they are mistakenly trying to support a previously held conclusion, perhaps by their adviser. Maybe they think they have to do that to make the research worthwhile. This is how the great run of lay people "do" research... start with a conclusion and cherry-pick papers that support it and ignore papers that don't. It's very easy to fool yourself that way. As Feynman said, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." It takes training to guard against this.

    But by the time a person gets a few years out, it should be clear that the only tenable position is to have an open mind. It is not enough to understand one's own hypothesis but it is necessary to constantly evaluate it against competing hypotheses. That is to focus on papers that disagree, exactly the opposite of how lay folks sometimes approach it.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #5
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    Apparent retraction record holder - anaesthesia research

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...m-boldt-at-89/

    Also, we have an editor who when asked why another paper in thoracic surgery was retracted answered, "Itís none of your damn business." LOL

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...damn-business/

    These medical journals have an uphill battle.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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