Have you ever heard the phrase "don't believe everything you read"? It turns out this expression is more true than ever and it certainly applies to science papers!
An investigation now reveals that as many as 20,000 published scientific papers each year are fraudulent.
Scientists falsify their work more often than you thought! Embarrassing is the word!
Writing in Nature, science journalist Colin Macilwain, discusses the shocking fact of how scientific misconduct has become a depressing reality.
"Considerable hard data have emerged on the scale of misconduct. A metastudy (D. Fanelli PLoS ONE 4, e5738; 2009) and a detailed screening of all images in papers accepted by The Journal of Cell Biology (M. Rossner The Scientist 20 (3), 24; 2006) each suggest that roughly 1% of published papers are fraudulent. That would be about 20,000 papers worldwide each year," Macilwain writes.
However, in some countries like Germany for example, is still difficult for institutions to sanction proven fraudsters.
Macilwain points out that "current scientific leaders have the opportunity to take the initiative and stamp down hard on fraud."
Scientists are loosing credibility, but have now a good opportunity to deal with what is, perhaps, the single most potent threat to science's prestige.