An individual (“unregistered”) is engaging a good old Gish Gallop, having a hard squint in the dark and seeing patterns. It happens.
I have suggested that “unregistered” should turn their efforts to something more mundane, which is to explain the re-use of data across a number of paper from the Stellacci group.
To recap, in the papers from the Stellacci lab, there were a worrying number of instances of re-use of data, something Raphael and myself posted about in the past, e.g., here
These instances included re-using a figure in a subsequent paper to describe a completely different experiment. It is well worth noting that two of these instances of data re-use resulted in corrections, albeit after a degree of pressure was placed on editors (see here and here)
The timeframe for the implementation of the corrections was rapid, since it occurred between the acknowledgement of a problem by the editors and the publication of the correction. Yet the timeframe for accessing even a modicum of original data was slow and only occurred when Philip Moriarty contacted the Ombudsman at EPFL; moreover, access to these data, as people have noted on PubPeer and on Raphaël’s blog, is no longer possible.
It is over a year since the data re-use problem was brought to the attention of all the editors concerned. In two instances (re-use of a figure between main paper and SI of a JACS article and re-use from JACS and J Phys Chem in JSPM article) there has been no acknowledgement in these papers that the data are not original. This correlates perfectly with editors failing to engage when they were first contacted. It also suggests that the authors will not correct the record unless pushed to do so by editors. A conclusion would be that the authors are not too fussed about correcting their record, unless pressured to do so.
If one takes a look at the wider literature, it would seem that there are three outcomes possible for the same issue of data re-use:
So my post on the inconsistencies of journal reactions to data re-use, Correct Corrections, is still valid and certainly highlights the major inconsistencies that exist, not just in stripy nanoparticles, but across the entire science publishing edifice.
A year down the line and I still await an explanation as to why data re-use occurred in these papers on stripy nanoparticles and why only some instances have been corrected. It would also be useful if journals more logical in science publication and settled for one or two of the three options above when faced by data re-use.