Formal request to PLOS One to issue an Expression of Concern for PACE cost-effectiveness study


klaasKudos to Dutch research biologist Klaas van Dijk. for his letter to PLOS One:

Dear Editors of PLOS One,

Attached is a formal letter from King’s College in London (UK) in which it is stated that King’s College in London is unwilling to release to Professor James Coyne (in cc) the primary research data of

Such a refusal to give other researchers access to the raw research data of a published paper is a clear violation of your own rules in regard to free access to all primary research data of papers published in PLOS ONE for other researchers (so including Professor Coyne of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands [RUG]).

I therefore suggest you immediately issue an Expression of Concern attached to the paper in which it is clearly articulated why you have concerns about this paper. I also suggest the paper be retracted if Professor Coyne has not received full access to all raw research data of within one month.

See also

See for the consequences in the Netherlands when researchers at RUG are unwilling to share raw research data, published in a PhD thesis, to others.

Thanks in advance for a response in which you indicate how you have decided to respond.

Best wishes,

common eidier

Common Eider

Klaas van Dijk / Groningen / The Netherlands /

7 thoughts on “Formal request to PLOS One to issue an Expression of Concern for PACE cost-effectiveness study

  1. Many thanks for this. It’s great to see other scientists supporting you in your attempts to help patients protect themselves from bad science. I hope other scientists will add their voices.

    Science needs to get its house in order. It would be great if PLOS One was the first scientific institution to uphold principles of good science in relation to PACE. The Lancet, Psychological Medicine, Lancet Psychiatry, the MRC, Queen Mary University of London and Kings College London have all let themselves down badly.

    The PACE authors are dragging the reputation of this £5 million, taxpayer-funded trial through the dirt and it’s time they were stopped.

    Step up, PLOS One! Protect science and patients!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks KvD for supporting Prof Coyne on this matter. I have noted today many other academics supporting Prof Coyne in surprise and outrage at King’s College blatant disregard for PLOS rules, and more broadly scientific process. I would encourage other scientists to come forward on the matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read their rejection of the request… and the basic argument is simple: releasing the data may lead to a harm in reputation to the authors of this study!

    However this is surely too broad! In science any release of any data has the potential to lead to reputational harm- if only because we are all human and all make mistakes. However there are certainly more “nefarious” reasons why it could lead to harm as well…

    If the principle of avoiding harm to researcher’s reputations was taken seriously as an argument and widely adopted it would halt ALL revaluation of all studies and all data. Put in other words the argument to protect researcher’s reputations from harm as a way of withholding data is totally contrary to Science’s built in method of self-correction. This method of self-correction would be entirely crippled if this argument were taken seriously by any number of people.

    This is especially worrisome when the editor of the Lancet says “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue” and there is a growing concern about incestuous peer review. It is clear that preventing reevaluation of studies and the preventing publication of data used to construct them is contrary to science and helps only the reputations of those who happen to be well-published, and academically elite, at that given point in time when such prevention is applied.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I note also the ad hominem attacks in their response. Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan who also doesn’t back away from an argument, said he was always glad when he got the ad hominem attacks: it was clear his adversaries had run out of logical argument.


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