For those of you keeping up with Dr. K’s paper and hoping for its publication any day now, I found this little tidbit of information in Nature today that may answer why the process is taking so long.
Considerable hard data have emerged on the scale of misconduct. A metastudy (D. Fanelli PLoS ONE 4, e5738; 2009) and a detailed screening of all images in papers accepted by The Journal of Cell Biology (M. Rossner The Scientist 20 (3), 24; 2006) each suggest that roughly 1% of published papers are fraudulent. That would be about 20,000 papers worldwide each year.
Considering the subject of Dr. K’s paper, I imagine unprecedented caution is being taken, especially given the fact that 20,000 papers on so-called mainstream topics are “fraudulent.” It’s bad enough to be fooled on a “legitimate” topic. It would be journalistic suicide to be fooled on a “fringe” topic. I’m not saying Dr. K would commit fraud. I’m just saying the journal that’s publishing her paper is making damn sure everything’s in order before they proceed with publication.
You can read the entire Nature article here – The time is right to confront misconduct: After a generation of denial, research leaders are finally treating scientific fraud with the seriousness it deserves, says Colin Macilwain.