April 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 8)
Strong Points: Covers many fields, many entries
Weak Points: Navigation menu poorly designed
As scientists we are taught to critically evaluate the literature: what were the caveats of the experiments? Were the authors’ conclusions actually supported by the data? However, sometimes the flaws of published scientific studies are so great—whether by intentional deceit or accidental oversight—that the studies are no longer deemed valid by the powers that be and are formally retracted by the publisher. This actually happens more often than one might imagine, as evidenced by the many entries on retractionwatch.com, a website devoted to reporting the latest retractions. It really is quite interesting to read about the diversity of circumstances (and the often-ensuing controversy) under which papers are retracted, both in the biological sciences and across different fields. Posts are organized chronologically, with the most recent entries at the top of the page. Users can choose to browse posts by author, journal, country, type, and subject; however, the drop-down menu that allows one to do so is cumbersome to navigate.