Scientists Exposed as Sloppy Reporters

“They noticed in a citation database that misprints in references are fairly common, and that a lot of the mistakes are identical. This suggests that many scientists take short cuts, simply copying a reference from someone else’s paper rather than reading the original source.” —Scientists Exposed as Sloppy ReportersNew Scientist)

This one is going to be posted up in newsrooms for a while. I tell my students that peer-reviewed academic journals are less likely to publish mistakes than random websites, but it’s sobering to see that research professionals can be lazy, too. Most scientific articles are extremely short, and they all pretty much follow the same format, so checking the source would just be a matter of skimming the article looking for the “results” section.