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CCP4BB  April 2012

CCP4BB April 2012

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Subject:

Re: very informative - Trends in Data Fabrication

From:

Tom Peat <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 1 Apr 2012 09:56:42 +1000

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Bernard went to a lot of work to verify that this structure was wrong, so we should also thank him for his efforts.
It is good to see someone who has a hunch follow that up and let the rest of us know about it.
Thanks Bernard!


Tom Peat
Biophysics Group
CSIRO, CMSE
343 Royal Parade
Parkville, VIC, 3052
+613 9662 7304
+614 57 539 419
[log in to unmask]
________________________________________
From: CCP4 bulletin board [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Anastassis Perrakis [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 7:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ccp4bb] very informative - Trends in Data Fabrication

Reading the paper from Dr. Hofkristallrat a.D. and the editorial in ActaF, I must say that besides the rather reasonable demand for journals to include crystallography experts as referees, "Table 1" would have fooled me as referee. A validation report of the VTF style might not had helped either in refereeing - in this case. Alarm bells could had rung possibly if the PDB was re-refining all submitted structures and look for 'too good to be true' improvements (sorry Robbie ... we are not there yet to improve things SO much!). Saving the images in a repository would had been equally unlikely to have helped (they would had submitted some data ... unless these were systematically validated and cross-matched to the CRYST data cards no alarm bells either - even if running PDB_REDO in all submissions appears a tad unrealistic, re-processing all images and matching them to CRYST records seems more troublesome at the present moment).

A thing that could had helped, would had been if our biology colleagues who want a structure for their story would had valued more the structural contribution by scrutinising the data (a corresponding author must scrutinise all data before accepting responsibility - and not when questioned throw the hands up waving 'it was not me ...'). Maybe ourselves as a community could also help by making our colleagues aware that crystallographic work is a tad more than 'and the author in the middle of the paper just contributed a structure' and explain them that if they want to be using structures for their publications they should be always prepared to engage in close and real collaborations where both sides accept responsibility for the data of each other, as it happens in many fruitful collaborations between biologists and "crystallographers" (such as these I had the privilege to engage with collaborators that criticised my data, as I did theirs ...).

regards to all -

Tassos

(and please, no 1st April joke with fraud cases ....!)

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