Category Archives: science journals behaving badly

Another ripoff journal and science publisher

So I need this article for my upcoming lectures on Antarctic biology. Sadly, the journal (Current Protein and Peptide Science) isn’t in our university’s e-library, so I have to either buy it (see below) or request it via Interlibrary loan. I will of course do the latter, so readers needn’t send it to me, and […]

Dong-ta-ra-con-ching! An insane paper, accepted by a Springer-Verlag journal, is now retracted

Reader Jonathan called my attention to post on the website Symptoms of the Universe by a physicist named Philip Moriarty. It points out what may be the craziest paper ever accepted by a decent mainstream science journal—at least in the last few decades. (I’m assuming that the journal Parasitology Research is reputable, though I may […]

Study published in Science isn’t replicated; journal refuses to publish the failure to replicate

Posting will probably be lighter than usual (even during my travels) over the next ten days, as I’m weary of arising at 4:30 to write posts, and, more important, I’m off to the Big Island soon for traveling and snorkeling. I’ll try to keep the Hili dialogues going, although it’s tough without Grania, but bear […]

Railing about rails again: No, Science, it’s NOT THE SAME SPECIES!

UPDATE: Science has now corrected its post by issuing the addendum below.  As you’ll see in the comments below, author Alex Fox credits this post for the correction, which is gentlemanly of him. Thanks to reader Barry for the spot. *************** It is a truth universally acknowledged that the two most prestigious science journals in […]

The publisher Springer tries to stiff me

There’s not much news today except for what you already know: Trump is imposing ridiculous tariffs on China, which will, contrary to his stupid claim, cost U.S. citizens more. Tariffs are never a good idea. And Doris Day died.  The big news from Chicago is that all ten of my ducklings are still alive and […]

Railing about rails: new paper on flightless birds is grossly misreported and distorted by the popular media

Note: If you can’t access the paper, judicious inquiry might yield you a copy. __________ Many readers called my attention to new paper in the Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society (click on the title screenshot below, and see the pdf here), reporting on a case of convergent evolution— two independent cases of evolution producing […]

The Great Science Publishing Scandal

by Matthew Cobb Earlier this week, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme I made, along with producer Deborah Cohen, about how scientific publishing works, the problems associated with it, and why everyone should be concerned about it. Click on this picture and you will be able to listen to the programme from anywhere in the […]

New Twitter account flags article on research conducted in mice but implied to be in humans

We all know how bad popular science reporting has become, and here’s yet more evidence. This new Twitter account, justsaysinmice, is useful as it indicts not scientific studies but journalists who report scientific studies in mice as if their results were in humans. It’s not just that they say “this could apply to humans”, but […]

The BBC unwisely jumps on the epigenetics bandwagon

About two weeks ago,  the BBC’s “Future” website published a long science article touting the importance of epigenetic effects in humans: the idea that various behaviors, traumas, and psychological propensities produced by the environment on parents can be transmitted to their offspring. This is supposed to act in a “Lamarckian” way: the environment modifies the […]

Retraction Watch highlights the paper I got retracted

Yesterday we were headliners at the watchdog site Retraction Watch (RW). This time it was about the creationist paper by Sarah Umer that was published in The International Journal of Ethnology and Anthropology, a Springer journal.  I complained bitterly about it on a post on this site, and then kvetched to the journal itself. They […]