Ethics body questions Cell

A UK ethics organization that focuses on fairness and honesty in scientific publication has lent some support to researchers who complained that a 2008 __Cell__ linkurl:paper;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)00680-6 failed to adequately recognize their work and includes substandard experimentation. But the gesture seems unlikely to result in any concrete action regarding the researchers' complaints. The London-based Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has weighed in on the row invo

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Feb 22, 2009
A UK ethics organization that focuses on fairness and honesty in scientific publication has lent some support to researchers who complained that a 2008 __Cell__ linkurl:paper;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)00680-6 failed to adequately recognize their work and includes substandard experimentation. But the gesture seems unlikely to result in any concrete action regarding the researchers' complaints. The London-based Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has weighed in on the row involving University of Cambridge biologist linkurl:Peter Lawrence;http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/PAL/ and several colleagues, editors at __Cell__, and Stanford University developmental biologist linkurl:Jeffrey Axelrod;http://www.stanford.edu/group/axelrodlab/index.shtml after another journal involved in the fracas sought the body's advice. Lawrence and his colleagues claim that Axelrod's __Cell__ paper, which dealt with the genetic and cellular machinery underlying planar cell polarity (PCP), did not properly cite a 2004 __Development__ paper coauthored by Lawrence. They wrote letters to __Cell__ detailing their problems with the Axelrod paper and requesting the journal to publish the letters or a...

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