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Posts tagged with "The Scientific Literature"

  • Inorganic Chemistry

    A Room Temperature Superconductor? Well. . .

    Superconductivity is one of those places where chemistry and physics cross paths. That’s especially true as people search for higher-temperature materials, because that seems to involve more and more complex synthesis and characterization of the results. Very tiny changes in conditions or starting materials can make for huge differences in th… Read More
  • In Silico

    Machine Learning’s Awkward Era

    The whole machine learning field has a huge amount to offer chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and biomedical science in general. I don’t think that anyone seriously disputes that part – the arguing starts when you ask when this promise might be realized. In the abstract, the idea of tireless, relentless analysis of the huge piles of… Read More
  • Natural Products

    A Slow, Slow Retraction

    Some readers may recall this post from 2015, which details problems with a natural product isolation paper in PLOS ONE. The compound, named Xinghaiamine A by the authors, was. . .well, let’s say extremely unlikely, and I think anyone who looks at the structure in that earlier post will agree. And that spans several levels… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    How Many Doctored Papers Are Out There?

    Just how much crap is out there in the scientific literature? “Quite a bit” comes the answer from anyone with real experience of it, but that’s not too quantitative. Here, though is an analysis of one (perfectly respectable) journal of its own output, and the results are. . .well, they range from “pretty bad” to… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Science Reform in China

    There have been all sorts of scientific scandals involving faked journal articles, faked peer reviews, duplicated papers and figures, etc. over the last few years. It’s been a running battle: our current technologies allow for these things to be done more easily, but caught more easily as well. And a pretty significant share of these… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Predation

    “Beall’s List”, as a way to keep track of predatory publishers, has been officially offline for some time now. Jeffrey Beall himself has said that it was taken down under “intense pressure” from his employer (the University of Colorado at Denver), although his employer says no, not at all, this was his personal decisio… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Which Will Sprout and Which Will Bear Fruit?

    Back in 2013, I mentioned the “JACS Challenge”, an interesting attempt to see if papers that eventually got cited a lot were obvious prima facie. Given a selection of older papers from the journal that readers were unfamiliar with, could they pick out the ones that ended up getting cited more? Now this work, revised… Read More
  • Press Coverage

    Gotta Be a Conclusion In Here Somewhere

    A couple of years ago, I wrote about how far too much of human nutrition research was unfit to draw conclusions from. This new story does nothing to make a person more confident in the field: it’s a detailed look at the lab of Brian Wansink at Cornell, where he hold an endowed chair. He’s… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Down the Rabbit Hole With Alireza Heidari

    Thanks to a comment on yesterday’s blog post, I was able to read this extraordinary tale, which comes to us courtesy of Prof. William Grover at UC Riverside’s Bioengineering department. Go check it out – you’ll learn of one Alireza Heidari, who is apparently quite the polymath. He is the author of 115 papers, which… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Not So Many Uncited Papers, Actually

    How many scientific papers drop into the void, never to be cited by anyone, ever again? There are all sorts of estimates floating around, many of them rather worryingly high, but this look at the situation by Nature suggests that things aren’t so bad. The idea that the literature is awash with uncited research goes… Read More
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