Retraction Watch and HealthNewsReview.org Get Large Grants to Expand

Rob Wipond
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Early in December, HealthNewsReview.org announced receipt of a $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to re-start and significantly expand its operations. And in late December Retraction Watch announced that it had received $400,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. Both websites specialize in monitoring and reporting on poor practices in science, medicine and psychiatry.

HealthNewsReview.org states that it plans to use the money to do systematic reviews of health care news releases, expand their team of reviewers, and offer training to journalists.

“Now, thanks to a two-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation, Retraction Watch is going to expand from a scrappy watchdog to a full-fledged monitoring program that will catalog nearly all retractions issued by major journals in a database, and do deeper analysis of the root causes,” wrote Tate Williams on Inside Philanthropy. “(T)he duo will hire additional staff and create a nearly comprehensive database of retractions issued by the big publishers. There is no such database in existence now, and while there seems to be a hunger for more dialogue and analysis of scientific misconduct, it’s still lacking.”

At last: new life, new funding, new initiatives, new people for HealthNewsReview.org (HealthNewsReview.org, December 8, 2014)

Retraction Watch: A year in review, an accounting, and thanks (Retraction Watch, December 31, 2014)

Why MacArthur is Backing a Popular Blog About Flawed and Fraudulent Science (Inside Philanthropy, December 23, 2014)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a Victoria, British Columbia-based freelance journalist who has been writing on mental health issues for fifteen years. His research has particularly focused on the interfaces between psychiatry, the justice system, and civil rights. His articles have been nominated for three Canadian National Magazine Awards, six Western Magazine Awards, and four Jack Webster Awards for journalism. He can be contacted through his website.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news. I frequent Retraction Watch in particular and feel like its efforts bring valuable accountability to scientific researchers and publishers alike. I’m glad to see they’ll be able to make the site more comprehensive.

    PubPeer is another research accountability effort worth being aware of. I don’t think I’ve seen much activity there with respect to psychology/psychiatry, though.