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PLoS journal retracts phylogenetics paper

Computational Biology journal pulls paper about estimating the accuracy of phylogenetic trees, in what colleagues deem an exemplary process

Graciela Flores
PLoS Computational Biology is retracting a paper published in March that claimed that metrics used to measure the accuracy of phylogenetic trees don't work. Senior author Barry Hall from the Bellingham Research Institute in Bellingham, Washington requested the retraction after a colleague noticed a discrepancy, the fault of a software bug that upended the paper's conclusion. "We are retracting the paper because the conclusion that we came to was completely wrong," Hall told The Scientist. "We found no correlation between clade confidence and phylogenetic tree accuracy, but in fact there is a correlation," Hall said.Once Hall spotted the error, he sent an email to an evolutionary biology mailing list, alerting the community to the error, and saving them from trying to build on his faulty conclusion. "This is the way science should always work," wrote Mike Dunford in a blog entry posted on The Questionable Authority.Currently, scientists looking...

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