18 October 2006
REMOVED: A case for fraud?
David Kane's most recent guest post about the Lancet study has been removed. Since this is not a normal practice for us, explanations for why (and why we posted it in the first place) are below the fold.
Why remove it? The tone is unacceptable, the facts are shoddy, and the ideas are not endorsed by myself, the other authors on the sidebar, or the Harvard IQSS.
Why post it in the first place, given this? Here I admit to an error in judgment on my part. I see my job as head of the Author's Committee as doing the somewhat mundane and boring tasks of coordinating and inspiring our posters, not exercising editorial control. I was uncomfortable with the post even before putting it up, but I also hate censorship, and -- since I don't know this field or this study very well -- I couldn't say with complete confidence that my discomfort was totally justified. I decided to err on the side of expressing something I was uncomfortable with, rather than stifling it. Again, that was probably an error with regards to this post, and I apologize. It was not up to the standards we aspire to here, and does not reflect our views.
Posted by Amy Perfors at October 18, 2006 03:45 PM
I think that there were comments to this post (before it was, in turn, removed) but don't know if they are preserved anywhere. Note that my original title included a question mark. I do not know whether the Lancet results are correct, but if there is fraud, it is most likely to be found in the (lack of) quality of the raw data, not in any arcana of cluster calculations. The statistics here are fine.