AIMOS: Correcting the Record… Will Keep You Awake at Night!
“It will keep you awake at night!” said Fiona Fidler about the Correcting the Record session. I’d zoomed in to some of AIMOS 2022 (the Meta-science conference in Melbourne last week; my post is here) but had missed that session. The video (here) is now online. It’s very much worth watching. I don’t expect to sleep for days 🙁
Four alarming and impressive speakers are listed above and mentioned below. Or search the AIMOS program (here) for the speaker names for more.
Editor-in-Chief of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. Several submitted manuscripts every week show clear signs of fraud. Some are readily identified with a careful read. Plagiarism is rife and can be hard to detect. Chasing fraud now takes a large part of his time. His suggested tools:
“About 30% of the RCTs in Women’s Health are fabricated” (Weep!) Fabricating authors can be hard to hold to account, and they can attack back. We need better ways to identify and counter fraud. Are the data true? It can be hard or impossible to obtain original data.
Fraud is common, alas. Paper mills are companies that generate and sell fake manuscripts. Much but not all fraud is fairly easy to spot. She interviewed researchers to gather signs of fraud and is working towards a simple tool to help identify fraud. Others are using machine learning to develop such a tool.
Catching fraudulent and plagiarised images (Western blots, photos of tumors…) Exposing fraud can be a very long and frustrating process. Publishers can be obstructive, legalistic. Her suggested tools:
Yes, I was horrified at the extent of the problem–an enormous criminal enterprise polluting our research literature–often involving life-or-death issues. Is meta-science, and promotion of Open Science practices, the most urgent and consequential field for all of science at present? Maybe yes.
That video again. I hope you sleep well… eventually,