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12/12/2010

Are you watching "Retraction Watch"...?

I get mesmerized reading the online scientific journal watcher called "Retraction Watch." 

So many research articles get retracted that "Retraction Watch" has enough material to metaphorically fill cyberspace.

One of the latest focuses of the site is upon plagiarized material published as if it's the work of journal authors. I'm fascinated by a survey of 192 people (so far) — an obviously unscientific poll — in which only 29 percent of respondents say that "any and all" plagiarism should be grounds for sanctions. I note that the survey does not give the option of "no sanctions." 

But it seems some people, at least those who read Retraction Watch, believe just a little bit of plagiarism is OK. 

Theoretically, journal authors should cite references they use and the report they present should be original work. But Retraction Watch suggests that's not always the case, more often than  one might expect

"We confess that we’re puzzled by the attitude that a little plagiarism is no big deal," Retraction Watch writes.

Pulse on Health
By Jeff Hansel, member Association of Health Care Journalists
Health Reporter for the Post-Bulletin newspaper, 18 1st Ave. S.E. in Rochester, Minnesota 55904 
Twitter Hansel's Pulse: @Jeff Hansel

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