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Actions on Retractions

An interview with Jodi Schneider

Retracted research — published work that is withdrawn, removed, or otherwise invalidated from the scientific and scholarly record —is relatively rare. However, when it is inadvertently propagated within the digital scholarly record through citations, its impact can be significant, and not in a good way. Look no further than Andrew Wakefield’s notorious 1998 article, which falsely claimed that there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Although subsequently retracted, it continues to be extensively cited and quoted. A number of organizations, including Retraction Watch, have worked to highlight and address this problem, and they’ve recently been joined by the Reducing the Inadvertent Spread of Retracted Science (RISRS) project, led by Jodi Schneider, Assistant Professor of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In this interview, she tells us more about this work and how she hopes it will help. (Full disclosure, I participated in the RISRS project, including being interviewed and attending the workshops.)

Please can you tell us a bit about yourself — what is your current role and how did you get there?

I’m a faculty member, teaching future librarians and future data scientists. It’s been a winding path: before getting into this field I worked in insurance math, as a bookstore gift buyer, a science library staffer, a web librarian, and as a community manager for a wiki. Eventually I found my way into informatics, which led me to my current role.

What prompted your interest in retractions?

I have a long-standing interest in scholarly communication, especially how people make valid scientific arguments. I got interested in retractions as a way to think about what happens when we CAN’T rely on the results of a research paper. In particular, how does that impact later work that builds on retracted science?

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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