Research Gone Awry
According to ScienceWatch, Cell was ranked first overall in the category of highest-impact journals (all fields) over 1995--2005 with an average of 161.2 citations per paper. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2011 impact factor of 32.403, ranking it 16th out of 8281 indexed journals
But when Eli Broad wants his guy to provide an illustration. . . .
There is currently a fight among people makeing comments at the Retractionwatch site over who's really to blame. Here is the comment that started it off: Here goes one more "postdoc" was solely responsible for all the data. Come on world, get real. Is it possible that one person is responsible for all the mess??? Come on Alice Ting, take some blame.
I started out posting the Retraction Notice below because I wanted to ask the question: Why don't we ever see retraction of education research papers? It just seems as though people are given free license to falsify and fabricate. The National Education Policy Center makes a solid, noble attempt to address falsification and fabrication, but I don't know that these attempts have ever led to a retraction--or even to notice in the press that there's disagreement. Or professional outrage (except from a few intrepid bloggers). Professional groups like NCTE would rather bury their executive heads in the sand, and the press would rather continue to call on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and Democrats for Education Reform for soundbites. See Who gets to speaks about what schools need? Race to the Top and the Bill Gates Connection Maybe this is because the stakes are so low in ed research, meaning there is so little money backing research. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants a few people $30,000 each to write book chapters on teacher evaluation, and General Electric and Gates give mega-millions to Student Achievement Partners, aka Achieve the Core for propaganda production. But that hardly qualifies as research.
Here is the initial MIT press release for the 2010 paper, which tells us funding for the work came from The National Institutes of Health, the McKnight Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and MIT.
Now the paper is disappeared from the MIT site. It never happened.
A note about Retraction Watch: Adam Marcus is the managing editor of Anesthesiology News, a monthly magazine for anesthesiologists. Ivan Oransky is the executive editor of Reuters Health and he teaches medical journalism at New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program.
I am in awe of what they manage to do. They don't even accept donations for fear of conflicts of interest. I wish the T-shirts for sale on their website weren't so ugly.
by Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch
MIT lab retracts Cell synapse tagging paper for falsification or fabrication
Alice Ting rising star at MIT has retracted a paper after an investigation found that her former postdoc had "falsified or fabricated figures."
Alice Ting, winner of an NIH Directors Pioneer Award and named one of Technology Review's Innovators Under 35, published the paper, "Imaging Activity-Dependent Regulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions Using trans-Synaptic Enzymatic Biotinylation," in Cell in 2010 along with Amar Thyagarajan.
The notice is refreshingly detailed given the circumstances:
The paper has been cited 17 times, according to Thomson Scientific's Web of Knowledge. When it was originally published, Autism Speaks, which funded Thyagarajan's postdoc, heralded it:
MIT called it a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells.
Thyagarajan is listed as a technology specialist at Clark + Elbing, a patent law firm in Boston. We've tried reaching him for comment, and will update with anything we learn.
Ivan Oransky, with Ohanian notes
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