Science and Moral Life   /   Spring 2013   /    Short Takes

Scientific Misconduct

Alot has been written lately about student cheating. But students are not the only ones breaking the rules. Over the past decade, the number of published articles withdrawn from biomedical and life-science journals has risen ten-fold. This startling development was first reported in 2011, but its significance was unclear, since retraction notices are often opaque, offering no clear reason for the retraction. Studies based on such notices have identified error as the most common cause. That conclusion, it seems, was itself in error.

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