Retracted Publications and Failed Peer-Review: An Insight Into Scientific Fraud

Stand for Ethics

By: Rohak Jain

While we often view science as an objective hub of fascinating inquiry and discovery, kept separate from the emotional spheres of public opinion and outside noise, you would be surprised at the gruesome truth that lies behind this mask of neutrality. The world of research is no stranger to fraud, lies, and deception.

One fateful evening in January 2014, Stanford microbiologist Elisabeth Bik sat down at her study and began to sift through research papers; however, not a moment had passed before Bik noticed a disturbing pattern. Across three entirely separate experiments conducted by a group of authors, a biological sample appeared to be duplicated, with its orientation being slightly modified and cropped depending on the context in play. Appalled by the seemingly deliberate nature of these manipulations, Bik went on to investigate over 20,000 papers in the coming years, documenting her results…

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