A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.
Watching the retractions
The Retraction Watch blog is run by Ivan Oransky, the Executive Editor at Reuters Health, and Adam Marcus, the Managing Editor of Anesthesiology News. Working in the field of medical reporting, they began to realize cases of erroneous or falsified research were often pulled from the scientific record with little notice, leaving the research community with little idea what, if any, aspects of the original report could be relied on. So, they started to track the retraction of scientific papers on a blog they set up.
Their timing was impressive. Various studies indicated that research fraud was increasing dramatically, and the site helped chronicle some prominent cases of fraud, including the career collapse of the current record holder for making up data.