The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider a $174,981 grant for reducing the spread of retracted research. When retracted papers are cited both before and after retraction, the scientific publication network inadvertently propagates potentially faked data, fundamental errors, and unreproducible results. According to Schneider, a retracted source paper concerning a fraudulent trial of blood pressure medication is still in the top 1% of most cited articles, with 930 citations in the abstract and citation database Scopus.
"Collaboration across diverse stakeholders in the academic publishing ecosystem is needed to reduce the inadvertent spread of retracted science," she said.
Schneider's project, "Reducing the Inadvertent Spread of Retracted Science: Shaping a Research and Implementation Agenda," will bring together a variety of stakeholders, including funders, editors, peer reviewers, authors, and publishers for interviews and a workshop. In addition to investigating the harm associated with retracted research, Schneider's research group will look at intervention points for stopping the spread of retraction, discuss which classes of retracted papers can be considered citable, and examine the impediments to open access dissemination of retraction statuses and notices.
"This is a crucial moment for stakeholder dialogue, because the data needed to identify retracted research has become available," Schneider said. "In October 2018, Retraction Watch released a comprehensive database of all known retractions. Currently, the database has limited availability on the web, with bulk use arranged for private research use or by commercial licensing. A sustainability model for continuing to update and steward retraction data is critically needed."
Schneider studies the science of science through the lens of arguments, evidence, and persuasion. She is developing linked data (ontologies, metadata, and Semantic Web) approaches to manage scientific evidence. She holds a PhD in informatics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining the iSchool in 2016, Schneider served as a postdoctoral scholar at the National Library of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, and INRIA, the national French Computer Science Research Institute.