“Get the data, get the data, get the data.”

Science interviews Paul Brookes, the anonymous blogger at science-fraud.com who was forced to shut down after he got outed by an anonymous email to his employer, the University of Rochester.

The kerfuffle didn’t seem to damage his career, but the university came down hard:

“They were not pleased. It was made clear that my actions were outside of my role as a university faculty member. Nothing I did was protected by any legal protections from the university, so when I began to receive legal threats, I had to hire an attorney, paid from my own pocket. This is one of the downsides to this kind of activity: It requires you to draw a line between your job—your academic career—and this kind of activity, which you are doing as a private citizen.

If you take an extreme view, you could say that if you are an academic then policing and highlighting problems in the literature and discussing the data of other scientists is part of the job. Where is the line between discussing other people’s work and blogging about other people’s work?”

HT Retraction Watch.

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