Wow. I didn’t really expect that people would actually click through to read my summary of the recent anonymous allegations of data fabrication at a Hopkins lab.
I guess I should use this space to clarify that these are anonymous allegations, not made by me, and also not confirmed by anyone, as far as I know. It’s obviously compelling, though.
Winston Hide, an associate editor at the academic journal Genomics, announced his resignation in an article at The Guardian yesterday. Hide’s concerns over the impact of restrictive journal article access on science in developing countries is a problem that I had not considered much at all before today. Sure, I support publishing in open access journals such as PLoS, but the arguments and opinions that formed my opinion were mostly framed around the cost to university libraries. What I had not considered is what happens when there is no library. Sending PDF email attachments of journal articles is prohibited by the copyright agreements of closed-access journals, and yet Hide mentions that that is sometimes the only way researchers can reasonably stay current in their field:
In reality, the modus operandi is “please can you send me a pdf”. Alternatively some researchers spend part of their research grant to buy a subscription to the journal they need.
At this point in my career, I could not reasonably choose to limit myself to submitting or reading papers from only open-access journals. It’s good to see that some of the established researchers who have attained success on the closed-access model rejecting it.
Source – The Guardian
Today I learned that there are allegations of data fabrications in a Cell paper. Normally, I would stop and consider this for a moment and then write this off as just more attrition in a broken peer-review system. This time, though, the allegations are close to home. The paper in question is authored by M Ali Bangash in Paul Worley‘s lab in the department of Neuroscience at Hopkins. Below is one out of eight figures in question.
When do we stop trusting Western blots?
Source - http://autismresearchers.wordpress.com/