Ivan Oransky on Muck Rack

Ivan Oransky Verified

New York and Northampton, MA
Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today

VP, global editorial director, @medpagetoday; co-founder, @RetractionWatch; Distinguished Writer In Residence, @NYU_Journalism; columnist, @statnews; VP, @AHCJ

First CRISPR trial in humans is reported to start next month

statnews.com — Scientists in China plan to use the genome-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 in patients as early as next month, Nature reported on Thursday. If they go ahead, it would be the first time people would be injected with cells whose DNA has been altered by CRISPR.

Contaminated cell lines throw thousands of studies into question

statnews.com — If your house is infested with termites, passing it off as pest-free to buyers is a quick way to get hit with a lawsuit. But science journals face no such repercussions for marketing some decidedly rotten studies as 100 percent sound.

Doing the right thing: PNAS decides not to embargo on paper that had appeared as a preprint

embargowatch.wordpress.com — On July 8, following a bit of a clumsy episode involving the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), I urged journals not to embargo papers that had already appeared as preprints. A week later, this arrived in my inbox: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Due to prior news coverage, PNAS is publishing the following study...

With new owner, the hated 'impact factor' is overdue for change

statnews.com — The impact factor, a decades-old metric that purports to measure the quality of journals, is a bit like a corrupt bureaucrat: overly powerful, largely incompetent, and widely feared. But the bureau has a new boss: This week Thomson Reuters announced it would sell its intellectual property and science arm, including the impact factor formula, to a pair of international investment houses.

Journals: Don’t embargo papers that have already appeared as preprints. Here’s why.

embargowatch.wordpress.com — The ever-changing world of scientific publishing can be a messy and confusing place, full of unintended, if not unanticipated, consequences. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) learned that today, the hard way. Here's what happened: PNAS had a paper on human evolution embargoed for this coming Monday, at 3 p.m.

New preprint server could be a 'game-changer,' if scientists come

statnews.com — If you build a new publishing platform, will they come? That's the question that is on some minds after the Wellcome Trust, one of the world's largest funders of biomedical research, announced this week the launch of a new preprint platform.

Are research papers becoming too complex?

statnews.com — Science is hard. Anyone who disagrees should take themselves to a desert island and try to build a gene sequencer from scratch. But is there a difference between inherent difficulty and superfluous complexity? A new analysis in the journal PLOS ONE has found that research papers in the life sciences have become increasingly dense over the past quarter-century.

Do scientific fraudsters deserve a second chance?

statnews.com — Late last year a scientist at the University of Manchester received a grant from the venerable Cancer Research UK to study cancer immunology. Normally, that news would have raised cheers. Instead, it raised eyebrows: "Are donors/patients ok with that?" asked watchdog and physician Ben Goldacre on Twitter. The reason for Goldacre's skepticism?

Does a journal of homeopathy belong in science?

statnews.com — Consider it the publishing equivalent of catching notorious gangster and murderer Al Capone on the simple charge of tax evasion: A homeopathy journal has gotten itself booted from the list of respectable scientific titles thanks not to its questionable science but rather a smaller infraction: fishy citations.

Weekend reads: Idiotic reviews; wrong metrics in China; questions about preprints

retractionwatch.com — The week at Retraction Watch featured the corrections of papers claiming that conservative beliefs were linked to psychotic traits, and a new member of our leaderboard, from philosophy. Here's what was happening elsewhere: Here's how to handle an idiotic review, from Stephen Heard. "Fraud, bureaucracy and an obsession with quantity over quality still hold Chinese ...
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Jul 22, 2016

.@mlb 12-sec pitch interval rule "results in an early onset performance loss...and increases in muscle damage"  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27434082 

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