Here’s a CLUE … Journals have a responsibility not to mislead their readers. That seems pretty straightforward and uncontroversial, but achieving this lofty aim can be tricky. In order to do that, journals need to know if a research report is trustworthy. Peer review is the first step but we know it’s not perfect and, […]
Category: Liz Wager
Liz Wager: How much of a conflict of interest is too much for a peer reviewer?
One of the conundrums of peer review is that reviewers need to be knowledgeable about the research being reported but shouldn’t have conflicts of interest. The trouble is that the best-qualified people are often too closely connected to either the research or the authors. This problem is amplified in small research fields and for journals […]
Liz Wager: Research integrity—how can institutions balance discipline and support?
The suicide of Yoshiki Sasai is both tragic and shocking. Sasai was deputy director of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, and a co-author of reports in Nature on the phenomenon of “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” (or STAP), which were retracted. Although Sasai was not accused of misconduct himself, he was criticised in an institutional […]
Liz Wager: The wrong sort of equality
A few years ago, I mused on Frank Wells’ observation that he’d never come across a female research fraudster. But now the RIKEN Institute in Japan has found Haruko Obokata guilty of misconduct for manipulating stem cell images, and this isn’t an isolated case. A quick look at the US Office of Research Integrity’s (ORI) […]
Liz Wager: Why aren’t researchers told about reporting guidelines?
I recently gave a talk about guidelines to a group of postgraduate students at a well known, well resourced, and ancient university. The purpose of my talk was to explain the guidelines governing professional medical writers, as this was a careers day for biomedical researchers, who were considering a move into the world of medical […]
Liz Wager: Show us the data (part 2)
My last blog started with the observation that it’s impossible to investigate research fraud unless you have the raw data. While that may seem obvious, it leads logically onto another, subtly different, point which often seems to be missed: that it’s impossible to spot many types of research fraud unless you have seen the raw […]
Liz Wager: Show us the data
It’s almost impossible to investigate suspected fraud unless you have access to the raw data. That may seem pretty obvious, but it raises the more interesting question of who should be responsible for looking after these data and making sure they are available, if needed. Cases that frustrated journal editors brought to COPE (the Committee […]
Liz Wager: Trouble with retractions
Retracting unreliable publications can cause headaches for journal editors and a recent case illustrates why they can be so tricky. According to reports in the BMJ and Nature, the drug company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has requested the retraction of an article published in Nature Medicine in 2010 describing cell biology experiments funded by the company and […]
Liz Wager: What is the UK’s framework for research integrity?
An item in The Lancet last week (Godecharle et al. Lancet 2013;381:10097-8) bemoans the lack of a regulatory framework for research integrity in Europe. The confusion is neatly illustrated by a map categorising countries by how they handle misconduct. The UK falls into the second best category, along with Germany and Sweden, of countries that […]
Liz Wager: Follow the rules—as soon as we’ve written them
One of my most vivid schoolday memories is of being told off for doing something I didn’t know was forbidden. My crime was “running in the school corridors” which seemed perfectly reasonable behaviour to me (as I was late for a lesson), but which apparently was against the school rules. I can still remember my […]