fake data

5 posts
Scientists with bad data

Tim Harford warns against bad data in science: Some frauds seem comical. In the 1970s, a researcher named William Summerlin claimed to have found a way to prevent skin grafts from being rejected by the recipient. He demonstrated his results by showing a white mouse with a dark patch of fur, apparently a graft from a black mouse. It transpired that the dark patch had been coloured with a felt-tip...

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How fake data goes viral

BuzzFeed describes how an article on Daily Mail — that falsely reported claims and data about climate change — went viral. Seven months since publishing, the British site finally admitted they were wrong, long after they got all their clickbait traffic I am sure. This doesn’t surprise me, as I had poor experiences with Daily Mail, but it does surprise me that such a large site is allowed to keep...

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Statistics to weed out fraud

As the Michael LaCour brouhaha settles into the archives of the Internet and figures itself out in the real world, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky for the Verge take a brief look at how statistics plays a role in finding scientific fraud. Fake résumé scandals will still cripple lots of careers — and rest assured we'll cover those stories. But relatively simple data analysis is a much more robust solution...

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Science formally retracts LaCour paper

Last week, graduate student Michael J. LaCour was in the news for allegedly making up data. The results were published in Science. LaCour's co-author Donald Green requested a retraction, but the paper stayed while the request was considered. Today, Science formally fulfilled the request. The reasons for retracting the paper are as follows: (i) Survey incentives were misrepresented. To encourage participation in the survey, respondents were claimed to have been...

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Graduate student makes up data for fake findings

Last month, This American Life ran a story about research that asked if you could change people's mind about issues like same-sex marriage and abortion — with just a 22-minute conversation. The research was published in Science, but Donald Green asked the publication to retract the paper recently. It seems his co-author and UCLA graduate student, Michael LaCour, made up a lot of data. Green today told me if there...

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