Posts Tagged ‘peer review’

Do Retractions Shake the Cult of Vitamin D?

March 9, 2021 — We are learning in so many ways that it’s hard to shake a cult. It might be a cult of personality or a cult around a theory. Right now, one that seems unshakable is the cult of vitamin D. With a frequency that seems daily, we see new studies proclaiming that vitamin D levels predict […]

Sorting Out “What the Science Says” Is Not So Easy

February 21, 2021 — There’s a new mantra making the rounds, but it’s really not so new. Let’s follow what the science says. That’s well and good, except that the science is seldom as definitive as we would like. In fact, when you dig into the details of any given study, you may find surprises – or more questions […]

Vitamin D and COVID: Looking for Magic, Finding Issues

October 30, 2020 — One of the biggest surprises in this COVID-19 pandemic has been intense interest in vitamin D. Earlier this month, readers swarmed around an item we wrote about it. Now, a month later, the interest persists. Some people seem to be looking for magic for COVID from vitamin D. Others are finding issues. We advise sensible […]

Noteworthy Research: Does Twitter Make It So?

September 28, 2020 — Preliminary results from a fascinating study has us wondering. How often is it that Twitter makes research noteworthy? Ricardo Ladeiras-Lopes and colleagues randomized 534 research papers in journals of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to receive promotion on Twitter or not. In this analysis, Twitter produced a 43 percent bump in citations for articles […]

The Obligation to Retract an Unethical Paper

August 21, 2020 — Trust is fragile. But the fragile currency of trust is the foundation for advancing science in peer-reviewed publications. Ethical journals work hard with authors and reviewers to ensure that their publications are trustworthy. Journals also have a process for correcting errors that slip into publications. Retraction is an option that’s necessary when errors invalidate a […]

Is Reviewer 2 the Source of All Our Woes?

July 7, 2020 — Welcome to the world of peer review. This is the vital tool for bringing you science that you can trust. Legions of earnest experts look over research papers for strengths and weaknesses and overall merit before they appears in press. But urban legend holds that there’s a villain lurking in the process – Reviewer 2. […]

Is This Study Legit? Five Questions to Ask

October 15, 2019 — Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading about new research findings to help us make sense of […]

Registering a Grievance About Grievance Studies

October 5, 2018 — Who are they to judge? Overcoming anthropometry through fat bodybuilding. The journal Fat Studies published and has now retracted that hoax study. But this was not a one-off hoax. It was part of a series, concocted to make a point. Academic grievance studies are corrupting scholarship, say Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay, and Peter Boghossian. Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk […]

Are All Peer Reviewed Studies Equally Trustworthy?

July 31, 2018 — The words “published in a peer reviewed journal” are sometimes considered as the gold standard in science. But any professional scientist will tell you that the fact an article has undergone peer review is a long way from an ironclad guarantee of quality. To know what science you should really trust, you need to weigh […]

Serious about Scientific Integrity?

May 15, 2016 — Scientific integrity results from a process of critical thinking and peer review. And every day we see that process unfold, often in ways that inspire confidence. Sometimes events leave us scratching our heads. Such is the case of an analysis published in the Journal of Hypertension more than two years ago. Based upon a meta-analysis, Cesare Cuspidi and […]