Les nouveaux charlatans : où comment des études remettent en cause... des études.
The scale of "fake research" in the UK appears to have been underestimated, a BBC investigation suggests.
Official data points to about 30 allegations of research misconduct between 2012 and 2015. However, figures obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information rules identified hundreds of allegations over a similar time period at 23 universities alone. There are growing concerns around the world over research integrity.
Hundreds of allegations of “fake research” conducted at some of the UK’s top universities were reported between 2011 and 2016, figures show.
According to figures released by 23 of Britain’s 24 Russell Group universities following Freedom of Information (FoI) requests submitted by the BBC, the scale of fraudulent research is much higher than official Research Councils UK (RCUK) statistics suggest. The figures reveal at least 300 allegations including plagiarism and fabrication.
Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests.
Britain's academy of science is to set up an inquiry into how scientific research is made public.
It follows rows about the reliability of some studies which, although they were published in journals, were later found to have been based on false or poorly interpreted results. There is also concern about organisations which make scientific claims in press releases and at media conferences but then present no evidence to support their announcements.
To thrive in the cut-throat world of academia, scientists are incentivised to publish surprising findings frequently, the study suggests – despite the risk that such findings are “most likely to be wrong”.
The paper comes as psychologists and biomedical scientists are grappling with an apparent replication crisis, in which many high profile results have been shown to be unreliable.
Sociology, economics, climate science and ecology are other areas likely to be vulnerable to the propagation of bad practice, according to Smaldino.
“My impression is that, to some extent, the combination of studying very complex systems with a dearth of formal mathematical theory creates good conditions for low reproducibility,” he said. “This doesn’t require anyone to actively game the system or violate any ethical standards. Competition for limited resources – in this case jobs and funding – will do all the work.
Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results
Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test.
“In God we trust; all others must bring data.”
That famous line from statistician William Edwards Deming has become a mantra for data-driven companies, because it points to the promise of finding objective answers. But in practice, as every analyst knows, interpreting data is a messy, subjective business. Ask two data scientists to look into the same question, and you’re liable to get two completely different answers, even if they’re both working with the same dataset.