Retraction Watch going extinct? It should.

We often hear that life is too short. I would add: Too short for what? Clearly, it all depends on what you choose to do. If you are trying to unravel the secrets of the universe, then life is surely too short. Ars lunga vita brevis, said the Romans. On the other hand, if you choose to report on science retractions using sock puppets and a mob of angry losers as your choir, then life may be too long, way too long.

But there is hope. Retraction Watch has apparently lost its writers, all of them. That is significant. Alison McCook, incorrectly listed by Retraction Watch as its senior editor, no longer contributes there or hasn’t done so in a long time. From what we learn from McCook’s own website, she  contributes extensively to lofty venues like Reuters, NatureDiscoverScientific AmericanPopular Science, The Scientist, and The Lancet. Obviously, Alison McCook is not including her Retraction Watch stint in her resume, a wise move for a person who has and wishes to keep a career. 

ali mccook
Alison McCook. Courtesy of The Scientist

Oddly, the three staff writers, Alison McCook, Alison Abritis and Victoria Stern, listed by Retraction Watch as still working there, have left or have not contributed in a very long time. Not surprisingly, careers of former staff writers at RW have been always very short, typically lasting a few months. Time to close down, Retraction Watch, no need to take up any more space in the web!


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