Wednesday, December 23, 2015

10 Top Retractions of 2015, from Retraction Watch

Peer-review and fine editorial process do not guarantee scientific integrity and valid research results, sadly enough.  As reported in The Scientist, Retraction Watch has published its Top 10 Retractions of 2015 and the list includes published articles from such high profile titles as Science, Cell, Cancer Research, and Genes and Development.  Errors in judgment, neglecting essential statistical tests, falsifying data, plagiarism, and faulty study design were all reported.   Critical evaluation by all reviewers, editors and readers is still needed, even for high profile researchers with distinguished careers and piles of papers to their credit.  Fraudulent research can lead to legal action, a prison sentence and a judicial decision that grant funding must be repaid. Oh my.

Adam Marcus, Alison McCook, and Ivan Oransky contributed reporting on The Scientist story.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dan Stinebring publishes in Astrophysical Journal with the NANOGrav Collaboration

Dan Stinebring, Physics and Astronomy, is one of 44 researchers from 12 different states plus Canada, China, England and Germany who co-authored this paper, just indexed in Web of Science:

The NANOGrav nine-year data set: observations, arrival time measurements, and analysis of 37 millisecond pulsars.
Astrophysical Journal 813 (1): :10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/65 NOV 1 2015.  Article no. 65.

Arzoumanian, Z; Brazier, A; Burke-Spolaor, S; Chamberlin, S; Chatterjee,
S; Christy, B; Cordes, JM; Cornish, N; Crowter, K; Demorest, PB; Dolch,
T; Ellis, JA; Ferdman, RD; Fonseca, E; Garver-Daniels, N; Gonzalez, ME;
Jenet, FA; Jones, G; Jones, ML; Kaspi, VM; Koop, M; Lam, MT; Lazio, TJW;
Levin, L; Lommen, AN; Lorimer, DR; Luo, J; Lynch, RS; Madison, D;
McLaughlin, MA; McWilliams, ST; Nice, DJ; Palliyagurui, N; Pennucce, TT;
Ransom, SM; Siemens, X; Stairs, IH; Stinebring, DR; Stovall, K; Swiggum,
JK; Vallisneri, M; van Haasteren, R; Wang, Y; Zhu, WW.

Partial Abstract:
"We present high-precision timing observations spanning up to nine years for 37 millisecond pulsars monitored with the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We describe the observational and instrumental setups used to collect the data, and methodology applied for calculating pulse times of arrival; these include novel methods for measuring instrumental offsets and characterizing low signal-to-noise ratio timing results."

Access the pre-publication manuscript at ArXiv

More about NANOGrav.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Distractions on the last day of classes

Looking out and looking in ...
Looking north from the science library: jackets not needed this mild December afternoon.

Standing in the corridor: Multiple reflections give the new books a new light.