David Bradley has posted an article on stripy nanoparticles at Materials Today. The end of the piece highlights an interstingissue. To quote “If only there were some centralised system for pulling all the arguments together and perhaps tying them to the original papers from Stellacci and from Lévy. Perhaps we will one day see such a development in web 3.0. Meanwhile, we still don’t know for sure whether those gold nanoparticles are stripy or not!”
I would argue that the real problem is that few are willing to put their heads above the parapet and this is in part due to fear for their careers. One will gain few outputs that are judged positively by being critical in science. There is also an awareness that such critiques may destroy one’s career. It isn’t just fellow scientists who may sit on grant panels or review one’s papers, but also, I would suggest journals. I also find it interesting that commentators such as Paul Jump at THE and David Bradley at Materials Today have not taken on board the question of data duplication, even though this is clearly plagiarism, both in rules for our students (be it Liverpool or MIT) and, for example in the editorial guidelines for publishing at COPE. So rather than trying to invent a further system, I would argue that we should first get the rules of the present one adhered to.
What about the editorial responses to the concerns raised regarding data re-use? I have an interesting collection of responses and, depending, on what happens in the coming week, I may put something up here sooner rather than later.