Recent results spotlight concerns with the communi- cation of evidence and its citation. Begley and Ellis re- cently found that only 11% of research findings they examined from the academic literature could be repro- duced in a biopharmaceutical laboratory [8]. Fang et al. reviewed all retractions indexed in PubMed, finding that over two thirds were due to misconduct [7]. Retractions themselves are an increasingly common event [6]. Greenberg conducted a citation network analysis of over 300 publications on a single neuromuscular disorder, and found extensive progressive distortion of citations, to the extent that reviews in reputable journals presented statements as “facts”, which were ultimately based on no evidence at all [3,4]. Simkin and Roychowdhury showed that, in the sample of publications they studied, a majority of scientific citations were merely copied from the reference lists in other publications [32,33]. The increasing interest in direct data citation of datasets, deposited in robust repositories, is another result of this growing concern with the evidence behind assertions in the literature [34].

« Faults in the communication of scientific evidence and citations »

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