The Next Web: How to read a scientific research paper. “One of the most important skills any discerning media consumer can have is the ability to comprehend a scientific research paper. Reading a paper won’t imbue you with the ability to understand all the science behind it, but it could help you debunk BS when you see it on the news or social media.” Good for the basics, not a deep dive.
Science: How to shine in Indonesian science? Game the system. “Last July, when Indonesia’s Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEK) here honored eight researchers, along with institutions and journals, for their exceptional contributions to science, observers noticed something odd. Many of the laureates were relatively unknown academics from second-tier universities; underdogs had apparently become leaders. It didn’t take curious scientists long to figure out why.”
Science Magazine: What a massive database of retracted papers reveals about science publishing’s ‘death penalty’. “Nearly a decade ago, headlines highlighted a disturbing trend in science: The number of articles retracted by journals had increased 10-fold during the previous 10 years. Fraud accounted for some 60% of those retractions; one offender, anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt, had racked up almost 90 retractions after investigators concluded he had fabricated data and committed other ethical violations. Boldt may have even harmed patients by encouraging the adoption of an unproven surgical treatment. Science, it seemed, faced a mushrooming crisis. The alarming news came with some caveats. “
Engadget: Stephen Hawking’s last paper on black holes is now online. “Stephen Hawking never stopped trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding black holes — in fact, he was still working to solve one of them shortly before his death. Now, his last research paper on the subject is finally available online through pre-publication website ArXiV, thanks to his co-authors from Cambridge and Harvard. It’s entitled Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair, and it tackles the black hole paradox. According to Hawking’s co-author Malcolm Perry, the paradox “is perhaps the most puzzling problem in fundamental theoretical physics today” and was the center of the late physicist’s life for decades.”
ACS Axial: Congratulations to 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith, and Sir Gregory P. Winter. “Professor Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She is a 32-year member of the American Chemical Society and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of ACS Central Science. In 2005, ACS honored her with the Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists. She has published more than 40 articles and book chapters in ACS Publications, as well as on ChemRxiv. Please enjoy the following papers that relate to her prize-winning discoveries. The papers are free to read for 30 days in honor of her achievement.”
Syracuse University: ORI Grant Funds Automated Tool to Detect Potential Fraud in Scientific Papers. “The Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded funding to a School of Information Studies (iSchool) professor to further automate the detection of fraudulent material in scientific papers. A grant of $149,310 has been awarded to Daniel Acuna, assistant professor. His project aims to advance the detection process by developing tools and systems, including scalable software and infrastructure and statistical feedback, to be used by integrity investigators. The award was presented for his project, “Methods and Tools for Scalable Figure Reuse Detection with Statistical Certainty Reporting.” Acuna plans to develop a data-searching tool that will boost the scale at which articles are automatically searched to detect figure reuse, thus finding cases of potential inauthenticity and inappropriate reuses much more quickly and across broader repositories of information. “
Nature: Dutch publishing giant cuts off researchers in Germany and Sweden. “Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement. The move comes just two weeks after researchers in Sweden lost access to the most recent Elsevier research papers, when negotiations on its contract broke down over the same issue.”