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Board of interesting facts, news and fun stories

Retraction notice:

‘…There was no response from the authors despite our attempts to reach them and request to clarify these discrepancies. More importantly, the authors of this paper are non-existent and were never employed by the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. (PubMed ID 25010391)

The Economist reported (link) that the biggest foundation in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have a new policy requiring that all research funded by them has to be made available to everybody for free. This is really interesting since it will not allow the researchers receiving funding from this foundation will be able to publish their work in several high impact journals. It will be interesting how many other institutions will follow, especially since we also reported already, that the Wellcome Trust (2nd biggest foundation) supports researchers to publish their work in freely available data repositories. 

As the influential twentieth-century statistician Ronald Fisher
said: “To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what the experiment died of.” 

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl was talking in a podcast on Forschergeist about "Vertrauen und Kontrolle in der Wissenschaft." (link)

08.09.2011: NPG’S POLICY ON AUTHORSHIP - Important change to submission criteria

“To the dismay of many (yet to the delight of a few), Nature Publishing Group announced that its flagship journal, Nature, will no longer accept submissions from humans (Homo sapiens). The new policy, which has been under editorial consideration for many years, was sparked by a growing sentiment in the scientific community that the heuristics and biases inherent in human decision-making preclude them from conducting reliable science.” [...]