Saturday, March 5, 2016

Science & Conscience

It has been said ‘Science for precision and Conscience for Decision’. When we see the science and scientists today, definitely a minority are seeking recognitions through unethical short cuts. Research and publications are academic attitudes that have deep down desire for awards, recognitions, promotions, monetary incentives and so on. In one way they are means to satisfy the ego of the worker. There is a well known scientific adage that says’ Publish or Perish’. This sounds as life threatening for some who enjoy doing work irrespective of its publicity (Publication). The core objective of happiness in research is definitely eluding today’s scientists.

For the sake of creating sensations, some scientists have used all sorts of unacceptable possibly criminal acts such as painting the animals, falsifying the experiments, faking the results on. There were incidents of severe punishments to scientists who indulged in such acts. But some scientist’s mind like any greedy human mind, continues to involve in clandestine activities, condemnable activities. A new dimension to scientific corruption erupted recently.

‘In August 2015, the publisher Springer retrac
ted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals “after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports,” according to a statement on their website. The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason.“This is officially becoming a trend,” Alison McCook wrote on the blog Retraction Watch, referring to the increasing number of retractions due to fabricated peer reviews. Since it was first reported 3 years ago, when South Korean researcher Hyung-in Moon admitted to having invented e-mail addresses so that he could provide “peer reviews” of his own manuscripts, more than 250 articles have been retracted because of fake reviews - about 15% of the total number of retractions’.

‘As long as authors are (mostly) rewarded for publishing many articles and editors are (mostly) rewarded for publishing them rapidly, new ways of gaming the traditional publication models will be invented more quickly than new control measures can be put in place.’ It is difficult to put an end to this unless Values are imbibed as Bible.

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