Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Does this picture look weird?


Does this picture look weird? It's from the SI (page 3) of a Nano Letters ASAP. Chemistry Blog has the details.

25 comments:

  1. It looks like some copy/pasted rods inside a grainy oval. Could be anything. Looks like an elementary school art project or some desperate attempts of an anguished soul to publish some nanocrap at all cost.

    Probably should read the chem blog on it, but... after football.

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  2. Good catch!! Unbelievable isn't it? And these people published in one of the hottest journals in science.

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  3. wow, worst cut and paste job ever! If only the reviewers would have just looked at the figures in the SI. No additional reading required!

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  4. That is the single worst cut-and-paste work I've ever seen short of, well, me.

    If you're going to commit fraud, work a little harder on it.

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  5. I can tell by the pixels....

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    1. ...and from having seen a number of shops in my day


      i guess these really are nano chopsticks

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  6. Is there a rash of falsification recently, or is this just one of those things where it's always been going on, but only recently we've focused on it?

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    1. I think they've found the number of overall retractions have gone up in the overall scientific literature over the past twenty-thirty years. (They being Ivan Oransky and friends from Retraction Watch.)

      I think that's much more to do w/the explosion of academic research and also what is required in terms of publishing rates, etc.

      If by "recently" you mean in the last 3 months or something, no, I just think it's just a random spike.

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  7. The main figures in the paper also have this same issue if you zoom in, and a lot of the rods seem to be the exact same just pasted.

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  8. The two rods on the left appear to be the same - the smudge at the edge of the boxes containing them is there in both.

    I could see Professor Pease's threats having merit if he could explain how (other than by manipulating images) his group managed to get such sharp-edged boxes with uniform margins and containing at least two different materials. Those would seem to be worthy of at least a Nano Letters if they were real.

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  9. Also, Professor Pease's request that the story be withheld until Utah finishes their investigation would hold water if Sames/Sezen hadn't happened. If Paul had waited for Columbia to report on Sames/Sezen, he'd still be waiting to write a post (since Columbia hasn't said anything, and went so far as to change their rules to avoid having to say anything).

    Perhaps the "I'll sue you for libel" threat should be named "The Pujols-Pease Gambit". Unfortunately for Pease, Pujols didn't publish pictures of himself being juiced up in The Economist, and so the PPG is likely to work out not as well for him as for Pujols.

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    Replies
    1. I enjoyed this comment. It's very Chemjobberesque in its naming and phase-mixing of topics.

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    2. Well, Pease is not the corresponding, or the first author on this one. Smart move on his part... I'll try to keep that in mind. If I haven't done enough important work on the paper, don't be in an important authorship position.

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    3. +1. I had the exact same thought (and wrote about it) before I read this comment thread. We must never allow people to get away with the idea of "oh, don't worry---we'll handle this ourselves". Ridiculous.

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  10. I spend more time photoshoping happy hr posters.

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  11. Not a good summer for "the U".

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56676417-78/lab-kaplan-papers-research.html.csp

    Maybe Utah can take another stab at cold fusion ;)

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  12. Those pictures are so, so, so, so bad that I can't stop looking at them.

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  13. This is from Raj's Linkedin page:
    "I am currently a reviewer for ACS Nano and Langmuir journals."

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    Oh well. I guess I might as well fire up Photoshop and finish my nano-unicorns manuscript.

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  14. Maybe I'm biased by just reading this, but even the photos in the manuscript (not even zoomed) one can see the edges of the "clipped" out rods that were purposefully manipulated.

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  15. A bad example of "Cottingley Fairies" science, although these two girls did a much better job faking photographs of the fairies when Photoshop didn't even exist. Apparently, it took over 60 years to admit that they were faked:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies

    Perhaps, the authors should also state that they "...somehow managed to photograph their thoughts..."

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  16. Having worked with TEM, I can confidently say that this is NOT how real images look. The photos are also included in Figure 4 of the main manuscript, and are certainly fishy.

    The chemistry blog is down at the moment. A casualty of legal threats?

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  17. Sokal and Bricmont's "intellectual imposture" comes home to roost in the hard sciences

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