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Scientific fraud/misconduct

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Ollie123

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/s...nal-retractions-prompts-calls-for-reform.html


Don't know if anyone else's department has been buzzing with discussion of this, or has seen discussion on several listservs, but thought I'd get a discussion going here. Think I've posted related threads in the past, but we've had an influx of new members recently so thought I'd see what people had to say.

To me it is 1) Not surprising given current incentive structures and 2) Not anything I haven't been complaining about since my first year of grad school:)

That said, what we do about it? We're the next generation, how do we shift the system to prevent such injustices, and help stamp out the "business" mindset that seems to be poisoning the scientific method? Given how competitive it is to get grants, its easy to see how things like this happen...yet we clearly can't just fund everything. We can change how we evaluate things, and I've long argued that even a detailed methods section in most journals will provide you with nowhere NEAR enough information to replicate the study unless it was incredibly simplistic. My personal view is that even if you start with the same dataset, it would not be uncommon for different people to arrive at different answers.
 

zensouth

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I like when the economist referred to graduate school labs as pyramid schemes. Thought provoking for sure.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I like when the economist referred to graduate school labs as pyramid schemes. Thought provoking for sure.

There has been at least one Piled Higher & Deeper strip about this very topic.

Here....

phd030909s.gif
 

Sanman

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It is an interesting article and a point that I have been talking about for years. Since I got involved in research ( as an undergrad). I have watched my mentors and the struggles they face in career research positions. One of my first mentors is still stuck in a non-TT lecturer position years later. He is loved by students and has so many positions to pay the bills (lecturer and administrative) that the research just never seems to get published. I have also had successful mentors throughout my career that have bent the rules to keep the publishing mill going. As the article alludes, much more common than fraud is the publishing of 'optimistic results' using the least strict methodologies to get them and playing with data till you find your publishable result. Three types of lies and all that (lies, damn lies, and statistics).

I had no idea that that number of individuals with doctorates in Biology getting tenure-track within 6 years was a measly 15% in biology. Say what you will about clinical work, but the pay and jobs trounce those numbers. At the end of the day, when universities and institutions of learning turn science into a business, does one not expect a few scientists to bend the rules to get ahead? I see the same thing happening in clinical settings and quality of care is at odds with flat rate, procedure-based billing policies that make spending the least amount of time with a client the most lucrative thing to do at times.
 

Telemachus

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