Reproducing results is essential for science and making a great meal. If you’re a good cook then you can make Grandma’s apple pie just the way she did. If you’re practicing good science then anyone with sufficient skills should be able to reproduce your published, peer reviewed results.
Science isn’t what most people think it is. It’s messy. It’s flawed. Assuming they are honest , unbiased, not under pressure to publish and capable then publications are the best they can do for now. That’s a lot of assumptions. See Retraction Watch.
Do you know the difference between a group of researchers in the same field who cite each other’s related work, and a group of authors who purposefully cite each other in order to boost their own profiles? It’s not easy to do, say researchers in a new article about so-called “Citation cartels.” In Frontiers in Physics, Matjaz Percand two Iztok Fisters (Senior and Junior) from the University of Maribor in Slovenia present an algorithm to help identify groups of researchers citing each other for overly collegial reasons. (For more on the phenomenon, see a recent column in STAT by our co-founders.) We spoke with first author Iztok Fister Jr.
Retraction Watch: What exactly are “citation cartels”? How do they differ from groups of researchers in the same field who tend to cite each other because their research is related in some way, without any nefarious intent? Read the rest of this entry »