Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by Samuel, Sep 19, 2020.
Citing the relevant editorial change:
Will this change really help mitigate scientific misconduct? I doubt these measures are strong enough.
1. For academic-commercial partnerships, the change doesn't explicitly require that the academic author who has access to, and verifies, the data, is free of a conflict of interest.
2. In any case (i.e. academic only or academic-commercial research), the responsibility of data verification still falls on the authors, not the peer reviewers who have no access to the raw data (https://www.thelancet.com/publishing-excellence#data):
Similarly, even though data sharing is now extended to all Lancet publications (i.e. not only clinical trials), it is still the authors who decide on their own how, when and to what extent it happens. And who knows if they will truly hold their commitment, instead of refusing requests on the basis that they are "inappropriate".
The only new constraint is about large datasets. But what does it specifically mean for one of the peer reviewers to be "knowledgeable about the details of the dataset" if they have no access to the raw data? How can an expert in data science thoroughly review the dataset if they don't have access to it?
The editorial board of the Lancet went for minimal and inconsequential changes. Authors still have no serious constraint on verifying and sharing data -- both with peer reviewers and publically --, and the peer review process remains closed to external scrutiny. So much for open science.
(Clearly this wouldn't prevent another PACE trial from happening.)
It definitely seems like whitewashing. This is not a serious response, especially given Horton himself loudly claiming about there being so much research misconduct, just not at his journal, even though he has a personal history of it. A repeat offender. Who somehow never faces accountability. Why? Does he have secret files on people or what? I don't understand how someone with such a history of poor judgment is still in his position.
Scientific publishing is in deep trouble. Peer review seems to be a mere formality now, it does little other than enforce the status quo. Sometimes it works as intended, but it working as intended is entirely optional and arbitrary. Requirements are optional. Rules are arbitrarily enforced. Egos and careers get more protection than millions of sick people subjected to harmful clinical advice based on research misconduct.
Over time I've seen a few of these type of critiques of what's wrong with science research. They very prettily go through a comprehensive list of things that really ought to be fixed . . . and inevitably all of them leave off their list the one big elephant in the room. Nobody seems to have any heart for tackling what to do about cleaning up psych research.
If there are no objective measures can there be any valid conclusions made?
If they just insisted that trials were run to the same standard as those done by school children it would be a big improvement.
Learning from a retraction
The Editors of the Lancet Group
Published:September 17, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31958-9
Mmm, could be very interesting seeing the consequences of this. It's bleeding awful really. Say that the drug had actually been saving people from death then was halted due to that study. The authors would have the blood of thousands, tens of thousands on their hands. Surely that's totally abhorrent. When will the lancet, bmj reform themselves once and for all. This has shown that the consequence of their behaviour has life ending possiblitities
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