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Thread: The Mooney Affair: Shoadow versus substance

  1. #1
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    The Mooney Affair: Shoadow versus substance

    Here's my assessment of this episode... this is the best I can do at this remove. Nobody who wasn't there is going to do better. Is this what happened? All I can do is go with the written word.

    The data from the 2000 paper were double-published in their entirety with no change or additions in the 2003 paper. The 2003 paper is ambiguous in stating that some data were double published. There is a difference between saying it is the same patients and admitting you are double publishing the data! In one instance they seem to say it is the same 12 patients but they don't admit it is the same data! In all other references and word usages, the implication is these are 20 new patients. The most obvious of these is that these 12 patients from three years ago could not have done the changed protocol as presented in the 2003 paper. The data were NOT separated out as to who the 12 were who did the original work and who the 8 new ones were who did the new protocol. The best argument that the peer reviewers did not know that 60% of the data were double published is the fact that the 2003 was published as it was. This is not my field but I do not think I could publish a paper where 60% of all the data was entirely from another publication with nothing changed or re-interpreted to the results of that 60%. If that was allowed, people would add one new data point, publish another article, add another new data point to the already largey double published set and publish another article, etc. etc.

    The nail in the coffin of this being an undisclosed double publishing is Mooney's own statement in the 2007 paper clearly implying the 2000 and 2003 patient populations were different:

    "In our first study of 12 adolescent patients with scoliosis,[...]" "In our next study of 20 adolescent patients, the results were similar to those in our earlier study: [...]"

    LOL. Yeah the reason they were similar is because data for 12 of the 20 patients (60% of the total) WERE FOR THE SAME KIDS!

    This is what Dr. McIntire criticized as follows:

    "The 2007 Mooney paper is misleading in how they present their studies. I definitely have a problem with the way they did this. "In our first study we had 12 patients.... In our next study we had 20 patients..." As a scientist who worked very hard at recruitment and had many difficult meetings and realizations about our work and efforts regarding the TRS study; and as someone who continues to work very hard at rehabilitation research, getting railed in grant and manuscript reviews due to lack of numbers or data; and as someone who is passionate about condensing, explaining and bringing science to a 'non-science' audience, I have a real problem with this. With all due respect for Dr. Mooney and his contributions to scoliosis, he and the contributing authors should have known better than to write what they did."

    I agree with Dr. McIntire and let me tell you, I did NOT want to believe him. I was hoping he was mistaken. I had to get a pencil and paper and prove it was the exact sample data. Dr. McIntire was correct about this.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

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    "We are all African."

  2. #2
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    Did something happen with this?

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    I'm not sure what you are referring to. But the research section got a good cleaning. It needed it very badly.
    Be happy!
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  4. #4
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    We had a forum member deny there was any issue whatsoever with this affair. I started a new thread to demonstrate there was at least some smoke.
    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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    Oh... okay, I think I see what happened... sort of. I forgot they published a 2007 paper. Conference proceedings.

    I just rechecked the two original reports. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2003 article contains all of the patients from the 2000 article. I can post images of the two tables found in both articles if verification is needed. The age, hand dominance, curve type, pre and post curve size of the first 12 patients in the 2003 paper are identical to the 2000 paper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Mc View Post
    Oh... okay, I think I see what happened... sort of. I forgot they published a 2007 paper. Conference proceedings.

    I just rechecked the two original reports. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2003 article contains all of the patients from the 2000 article. I can post images of the two tables found in both articles if verification is needed. The age, hand dominance, curve type, pre and post curve size of the first 12 patients in the 2003 paper are identical to the 2000 paper.
    I can vouch that the original 12 data points are double-published in their entirety. Folks can find these articles online if they doubt it.

    Another poster accused me of wrongly claiming that Mooney tried to downplay the fact that he double-published the 2000 dataset. I think it is obvious he is trying to avoid admitting that.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 03-17-2014 at 06:08 PM.
    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."

  7. #7
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    ps. Dr. McIntire! I hope you have been well. :-)
    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."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    ps. Dr. McIntire! I hope you have been well. :-)
    Yep..I'm doing fine, thanks! We've relocated to NC last summer, and I'm on the job hunt. There's not a lot in the muscle physiology area, although there is some. The job search is very humbling. Just weeks and months with no responses or feedback. I've had head hunters and other industry types say I have a great CV/resume and experience, but I guess I haven't landed on the right hiring manager's desk. But I'm enjoying the time with my kids, so that's cool. :>

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    Have you thought about teaching? I'm going to make the assumption that the Ph.D.'s at most credible universities are allowed to conduct research on their "down" time. It's good for the reputation of the establishment and there are some inside grant $$. Or is that what you are looking for? In fact, at the university that I went to I think research was required of all the professors. I could be wrong, but all of them that I knew had projects going on.

    My ignorance in this matter is probably screaming loudly in this post, but just had to mention it.

    I know that where I attended, the application process in the Biology department is brutal. Maybe you don't have time for it?
    Last edited by rohrer01; 03-19-2014 at 04:02 AM.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Have you thought about teaching? I'm going to make the assumption that the Ph.D.'s at most credible universities are allowed to conduct research on their "down" time. It's good for the reputation of the establishment and there are some inside grant $$. Or is that what you are looking for? In fact, at the university that I went to I think research was required of all the professors. I could be wrong, but all of them that I knew had projects going on.

    My ignorance in this matter is probably screaming loudly in this post, but just had to mention it.

    I know that where I attended, the application process in the Biology department is brutal. Maybe you don't have time for it?
    Oh for sure. Teaching on the college level was the reason I wanted to go into grad school. I then fell in love with research as well. So a tenure track position was the way I wanted to go. Academia has changed a bit in that time. The tenure system is in bad shape as well as funding is very difficult to get. It is extremely difficult to have a good work life balance. And that is non-negotiable for me. To get a job at a more teaching focused school, I just don't have the experience they will expect, from a teaching point of view. I was very research focused. Other programs will be more teaching focused. I applied for a few faculty positions and one responded saying there were >150 applicants. I could probably find something if I were willing to live anywhere, but we aren't. We're in the house we will stay in for the next 20 years (at least). Something will turn up and I look forward to whatever that is. In the mean time, I'll enjoy being a stay-at-home Dad! :>

  11. #11
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    I'm glad to hear that family comes first! I know you love research, but you may be able to teach at a community college level just to gain the "teaching" experience part of the equation. Don't give up. Something will show up. Hey, you're a Ph.D. now. You can do stand alone stuff if you can get the funding! YOU are "supposedly" the top dog in your corner of the vast pool of knowledge out there!
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  12. #12
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    Well Cary is pretty central to the Triangle area. If there is nothing right now at the universities then maybe an NGO in RTP (M-O-U-S-E) :-) might be interested in your skill set. I know two people who work for RTI, both with degrees and research experience in an allied medical field who work there. One is my cousin's daughter who has a PhD and the other is a friend from the barn who has a Masters. The latter coordinates clinical trials. I could ask her if someone with your background might fit in there. It is research.

    This area is such a great place to live. The schools and medical facilities are just top shelf. The Triangle area has the largest concentration of PhDs in the country as far as I know. It's like a nirvana in that respect. You are one of our denizens now. We are lucky to have you. Welcome. :-)
    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."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Well Cary is pretty central to the Triangle area. If there is nothing right now at the universities then maybe an NGO in RTP (M-O-U-S-E) :-) might be interested in your skill set. I know two people who work for RTI, both with degrees and research experience in an allied medical field who work there. One is my cousin's daughter who has a PhD and the other is a friend from the barn who has a Masters. The latter coordinates clinical trials. I could ask her if someone with your background might fit in there. It is research.

    This area is such a great place to live. The schools and medical facilities are just top shelf. The Triangle area has the largest concentration of PhDs in the country as far as I know. It's like a nirvana in that respect. You are one of our denizens now. We are lucky to have you. Welcome. :-)
    Yep... All of what you mention is one main reason we chose to move here (the other reasons being grandparents in GSO and ATL). My wife is a scientist as well and has a sales position here. She's helping me network a bit as well as keep a finger on the pulse of what's happening throughout the area. I know I have a good and marketable skill set. As I said, I just have to get my CV in front of the right person/people. It's all good! :>

  14. #14
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    I went to Chapel Hill, NC for surgery 11 years ago. I'd never been to the state before that, or any "East Coast" state for that matter. I'm a "West Coast" gal. I found it to be breathtakingly beautiful (so is the west coast but in a different way). However, when we were there, the most violent storm whipped up. From our hotel balcony we were watching transformers across the way blowing up and lights were flickering. The next day was just as if nothing had happened and was just as sunny and beautiful as the rest of the time we were there. I told my hubby that we should move to NC!! But, the weather there scares me a bit. It's like you guys are in hurricane alley, not as bad as Florida or the other gulf states, of course. That makes me leery about those east coast states. Does that concern either one of you? I suppose I could google Cary, NC to see how inland it is. But Chapel Hill is pretty inland and that storm was fierce. People there acted as if nothing happened.

    We get the occasional tornado where I live, but not the F3-F5's that they see in Ok, Ks, and Mo. I guess there's no perfect place to live. But I found a definite attraction to NC. I don't know if SC is as pretty. I know everything seems to be really cheap (real estate) in SC, so I'm guessing the economy is pretty bad there. That doesn't really matter, though, if you're retired. ;-)

    Welcome back, Kevin!

    This is so off topic it will probably be deleted. LOL

    By the way, Sharon, your inbox is full.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  15. #15
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    Cary is near Chapel Hill. It is 2.5 hours from the coast, 4 hours from the mountains, and of course south of the Mason-Dixon. :-)

    NC is a very nice place and though I grew up in NYC, I like Wisconsin where I have friends and in-laws.

    I emptied my inbox.
    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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