As regular Retraction Watch readers may have noticed, a number of sites have sprung up recently to examine — quite critically — papers that other scientists say are dodgy. There’s Abnormal Science, for example, which has not been updated since last February, and a Japanese whistleblower took to YouTube to demonstrate what was wrong with two dozen studies.
The people running these sites have provided a useful service, in that they often nudge journals along and lead to corrections and retractions. When they’ve pointed out issues with papers, we always try to link back to them for details.
But these sites can also have sharp elbows, particularly those that are anonymous, and one site launched last summer, Science Fraud, has drawn unwanted legal attention from scientists whose work has been questioned. Last month, the site earned its first cease-and-desist letter. Today, the site has suspended posts, and deactivated…
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