Readers respond

Let scientific debate take its course; French scientists respond to age limit for entry-level government jobs

Karen Shashok( kshashok@auna.com )
Oct 4, 2005

Alison McCook, in Scientists protest Cell retraction, is right to point out that Cell's decision to retract a peer-reviewed and published article without telling the authors why it needed to be retracted or who had raised questions about the results is disturbing. According to the publisher's current Article Removal Policy, editors of Elsevier journals may retract "under the advice of members of the scholarly community" if they determine that there have been "infringements of professional or ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like." The reasons the journal has given for retraction ("there are concerns with the integration of the site sequence analyses") suggest that the problem with the article was purely scientific, and unrelated to violations of professional ethics. Why didn't Cell publish the critics' comments and invite rebuttal from Nitz and colleagues? Dialogue between experts,...

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