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A Rise In Retractions Reveals Holes In The Scientific System

Scientific retractions are on the rise in the United States, according to new data. Meanwhile, the scientific community is pushing for increased rigor and reproducibility of studies.

Scientific journals are periodically forced to issue retractions of scientific papers. It is a decision no scientist or publisher wants to make, but in some cases studies with major inaccuracies, or even fraud, manage to find their way into scientific publications. 

New data from Retraction Watch, a website which pioneered the collection of retractions, shows they are on the rise in the United States. WUNC data reporter Jason deBruyn talks about some major academic fraud cases that have played out in North Carolina in the past few years. He also discusses the implications of fraudulent or false scientific studies on the quality and legitimacy of medical treatment. 


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Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.