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The Academic Rat Race

Similar to a recent discussion, a paper in PLoS One has been called out by a commenter at the journal's blog who has started a heated discussion about a supposed intentionally missed citation of prior work:  in other words, the authors stole the idea from the commenter. Lead author Andrew Clark makes a point of letting readers know that his group presented work well before. DrugMonkey says that this kind of thing happens all the time in science. "Scooping, unethical reviewing and under crediting the efforts of those who came in second are detrimental to individuals, which is bad. But the race to be first can encourage cheating and faking and blocking of grants in a way that is corrosive to the entire enterprise," he writes.

Indeed, competition in the halls of academia can be fierce. Jane at See Jane Compute compares two friends in opposite tenure situations, one where there is transparency and one where it's a guessing game. To her, it seems unfair and unduly stressful that a university would hide its tenure requirements (publication numbers, meeting attendance) from it applicants. What do you think?


The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.