ISCB Writes Nature Communications Urging the Correction/Retraction of Recent Article on Mentoring
The Executive Committee and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) recently sent a letter to the Editor in Chief of Nature Communications regarding a recently published article in that journal and urging the publisher to (i) retract the paper or (ii) make authors mend all methodological flaws, cite and contextualize their work with respect to pertinent literature, and consider and discuss possible explanations for their observed findings.
The article, “The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance," by Alshebi et al, studies mentorship in scientific collaboration. After scientific review of the article and the related supporting material, the ISCB Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee found the outcomes of the article to be discriminatory with untenable recommendations that could have far-reaching consequences. The letter sent by ISCB to the publisher furthers details that the data the authors analyze do not to support their claims, findings and recommendations.
ISCB acknowledges, respects, and promotes the value of a diverse community as core to our international organization and culture. As an organization, we cannot stand by and allow such information to be published that could hurt our science. We stand for an inclusive spirit of our community that we regard as one of the foundations of successful science in a globalized world.
Nature Communications's investigation into the paper, “The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance," by Alshebi et al, has concluded. The authors have retracted this paper. You can find more information in our editorial (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20618-x) and in the retraction note (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20617-y).