Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Osiris And Their Stem Cells | Main | Lead-Oriented Synthesis - What Might That Be? »

January 4, 2012

The Changing Literature

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

The folks behind Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky) have a piece in Nature on what it's been like since they started the blog.

They note a new trend - for new data to appear when a retraction is called for (or made), but without any clarity about whether these new corroborative results have been peer-reviewed themselves. And they're absolutely right that a retraction should state exactly why the paper is being retracted; those "This paper has been withdrawn by the authors" notices are less than useless.Their experiences have them calling for a different way of looking at scientific papers in general:

". . . It is important to point out that an increase in retractions isn't necessarily a bad thing, because they correct the scientific record. But the greater visibility of papers and retractions today adds to the evidence revealing why editors need to handle retractions more transparently. In turn, researchers need to stop emphasizing the paper so much.

What is needed, instead, is a system of publication that is more meritocratic in its evaluation of performance and productivity in the sciences. It should expand the record of a scientific study past an individual paper, including additional material such as worthy blog posts about the results, media coverage and the number of times that the paper has been downloaded."

It's true that more and more of this is being done out here on the internet, in public, and in real time. (I'm glad to say that some of it is done on this site). The new Crossmark system (now being tested) might be a way to keep up with all these extensions, and link them to the original paper. Such a system would have come in very handy indeed during the "arsenic bacteria" business, during which just finding all the useful comments was a real job in itself. There are authors who will not care for this sort of thing, but when you publish a paper, you're opening the door to public comment (and criticism). It's just that now we have the tools to do that more quickly and thoroughly.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature


COMMENTS

1. Pharmaheretic on January 4, 2012 1:12 PM writes...

But does it really matter- given that most published research in the biomedical and increasingly other areas is either outright fraud, cherry-picked or the same safe and mediocre BS rewritten in 5 different journals?

Permalink to Comment

2. Virgil on January 4, 2012 4:17 PM writes...

Adam and Marcus run a great site.

Another good one is http://abnormalscienceblog.wordpress.com/, which focuses on the pre-retration end of things - i.e. highlighting dodgy figures in papers.

It's true that biomed/life-sci. is sorely lacking for an equivalent of ArXiv. On the topic of open access, it is also troubling to learn how many of the big publishing houses are supporters of SOPA, the internet censorship bill. Maybe if everyone boycotts and doesn't publish in their journals (in the same way that GoDaddy was fored to U-turn after they lost thousands of customers for supporting SOPA), then it might drive the field in a more open access direction.

What's really needed, is more monetary support for NCBI, NLM, and other such organizations, who would presumably oversee a biomedical version of ArXiv.

Permalink to Comment

3. drug_hunter on January 4, 2012 10:39 PM writes...

Building on Virgil: My prediction: In 10 years 90% of scientific results will be published in open-access journals like PLOS. Any takers?

Permalink to Comment

4. Anonymous on January 4, 2012 11:16 PM writes...

Blog posts/media coverage/number of times a paper is downloaded will end up being as meaningless a metric as citation count. Much of it will be related to a nano-dick that was seen on TOCROFL.

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
One and Done
The Latest Protein-Protein Compounds
Professor Fukuyama's Solvent Peaks
Novartis Gets Out of RNAi
Total Synthesis in Flow
Sweet Reason Lands On Its Face
More on the Science Chemogenomic Signatures Paper
Biology Maybe Right, Chemistry Ridiculously Wrong