A plethora of PLoS ONE papers have been discussed in the media and in the blogosphere this week. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights here in our weekly digest.
In his article published in PLoS ONE last Friday, Daniele Fanelli of the University of Edinburgh reports a meta-analysis of surveys, which provides some answers to a much-asked question: just how common is scientific misconduct? Unfortunately, the research suggests that it is all too common. Across the surveys analysed, Fanelli found that around 2% of scientists admitted they had “fabricated,” “falsified” or “altered” data “to improve the outcome” at least once and up to 34% admitted to other questionable research practices, such as, “failing to present data that contradict one’s own previous research.” There has been widespread coverage of the study including: the Times, the Telegraph, the Canada Free Press, the Human Condition blog (from Newsweek), Slashdot, Phased and the Physics World blog.
Writing in PLoS ONE this week, Larisa DeSantis and colleagues report the finding that ancient mammals modified their diet in response to climate change—this is the latest article to enter the PLoS ONE Paleontology Collection. The study was covered by ScienceNOW and the Open Source Paleontologist.
Researchers at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina, led by Ivan Perez, recently published a study, which may help to resolve a current anthropological debate over whether early Americans originated from a single population. Although the fact that skull shapes of South American people living 14,000 years ago differed from those who lived 8,000 years ago had suggested that there may have been at least two migrations to South America, in the PLoS ONE article, Perez and colleagues report that evidence from mitochondrial DNA suggests that there was just a single migration to South America. Some detailed discussions of the paper have been posted at Wired Science, Anthropology.net and Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog.
Several of the articles we highlighted in last week’s media round-up have continued to generate coverage online this week. A study by Finnish scientists, which found that two variants of the gene AVPR1A are strongly associated with musical ability, has been picked up by New Scientist; Einar Arnason’s study on the plight of Icelandic cod has been covered by ScienceNOW and the 80beats blog; and the article, Larger than Life: Humans’ Nonverbal Status Cues Alter Perceived Size, which led to the Observations of a Nerd post recently selected as Bora’s pick for blog post of the month, has now also been blogged by Scicurious at Neurotopia
Bloggers have written eagerly about many other PLoS ONE articles this week; here are some of the highlights:
- Byte Size Biology on Latherin: A Surfactant Protein of Horse Sweat and Saliva (we particularly liked the quotation from Dennis the Menace!)
- Neurotypical? on Evolution of Thermal Response Properties in a Cold-Activated TRP Channel
- Ecographica on Nutrient Enrichment Increases Mortality of Mangroves
- Denim and Tweed on Rapid Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems
Other PLoS and Open Access Stories in the News
This week, PLoS and Open Access have been very prominent in the blogosphere. Here are some of our selections:
- Read an interview with our very own Online Discussion Expert, Bora Zivkovic, by Caryn Schechtman on Nature Network’s New York blog
- PLoS launches new campaign on Article Level Metrics (ALMS) – PLoS ONE Academic Editor, Erik Svensson
- Librarian vs. Stereotype – A Blog Around the Clock
- Global Open Access: The Price of Knowledge – Publish Open Access
- Choosing a journal for the neck-posture paper: why open access is important – Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week