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This scientific study accidentally included a reference to someone else's "crappy paper"

It all began with this tweet:

Oh my. Not only is that embarrassing to the authors and to Gabor, but it's embarrassing to the tune of thousands of retweets.

Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus's Retraction Watch blog looked into it. The main author told them that the phrase was introduced after peer review, while they were revising the paper. And no, it was not intended to make it into print. And Caitlin Gabor herself says that she would like an apology. And adding insult to injury, she even knows some of the authors.

The journal has since fixed the error.

But it's still fairly concerning that no one caught this before publication. What was going on with proofreading, both by the journal and by the authors?

Will Oremus over at Slate also has a great discussion of the debacle and includes the intriguing thought that maybe this is actually a good sign. After all, it was caught. And it's now being corrected. Some publications have been exploring reviewing papers after they're public, and maybe this is sort of an example of that.

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