When Bad Science Persists on the Internet (via The Scholarly Kitchen)

Persistence and accessibility of information via the internet has been one of its major assets. Unfortunately, that’s also its major flaw. When scientific work is modified, retracted, withdrawn, discredited, there is no real way in which the majority of us can be sure of avoiding the old or dated and finding the best and most creditable material.

This article makes the case, with examples, for enduring responsibility by publishers of whatever kind in the governance of the material they put out.

For me, there is also the matter of impact and what that means. Academics seek publication in ‘high impact’ journals but clearly, these are not the ones being read by the public. The ones most people track down are essentially ‘low impact’ but, ironically, probably have more actual effect than the rarefied publications to which we aspire. So what, exactly, is a ‘high impact’ journal? Well, let’s keep that for another time. For now, ensuring the eradication of discredited or just pre-modified material is a fine objective.

When Bad Science Persists on the Internet Search Google for the phrase "ileal-lymphoidnodular hyperplasia," and you are likely to find several free copies of a popular medical article hosted on public websites around the Internet. The problem is, this article was retracted in February 2010, the result of a investigation that ultimately found the paper fraudulent and stripped its author of the right to practice medicine. If the medical terminology of this paper is still confusing you, thi … Read More

via The Scholarly Kitchen

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