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Company Offers to Pay Scientists Who Cite their Products in Research Papers.

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
A transgenic mouse company is paying researchers who mention its animal models in scientific papers. They get paid more depending on the impact factor of the journal. This article was written last August but I can't find any updates if the company is still doing this.
Companies of all stripes frequently flood customer inboxes with special email offers. But a deal offered by Cyagen Biosciences, which provides transgenic mice among other products and services to life-science researchers, has raised hackles across the Internet. The California-based company sent out an email offer that encouraged researchers to mention Cyagen in the methods sections of published papers, promising store credit to willing scientists; authors could get $100 × the journal’s impact factor (IF) for citing the company in their papers

At least the scientific community is outraged. Well, all except a few but how do you know which ones get paid?:mad:

It turns out that the authors don't actually receive money but discounts for the companie's products (mice for laboratory experiments). Well that certainly changes things! Not!

http://mobile.the-scientist.com/article/43763/citation-payola

ETA It took me a bit to realize the article was talking about transgenic mice and not transgender mice. Brain fart moment.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
@Denise

That is so ridiculous. Shameful.

I've read that authors do put some brand names in the methods section but I don't know why unless it has to do with replication when it comes to experimental animals. When I have time, I want to know why this is done. Poor mice.

Thanks for finding this.
 

SilverbladeTE

Senior Member
Messages
3,043
Location
Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
I hope now more people can see that allowing Big Business to prostitute science is dangerous?
Profit MUST be removed from research, or greed ensures lies and dangerous products reaching the outside world and there cause harm.

GM crops *are* a good example of this problem, and the hubris of some who put Science on a pedestal instead of under a microscope.
 

joshualevy

Senior Member
Messages
156
I had the exact opposite reaction to Denise and barbc56, and SilverbladeTE. I think if you use special mice (of any kind) in your research, you should be forced to list exactly what kind they are and where you got them. It's part of describing the experimental procedure. I don't care if the company pays for it or not: the editors should require it. If researchers said "we treated CFS patients ..." everyone would want to know exactly what kind of CFS patients they were (CCC, Fukuda, Oxford, ...) It's the same issue.

My problem would be with researchers who did not publish this information, not with companies that pay so it will be reported. My only unhappiness is that editors don't require this (and then companies would not need to pay for it).
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
I understand the need for being as clear as possible when writing a study and that maybe that would include the company that sold these poor mice in the methods section of a study. My problem is the advertisement for the discount.

Several questions come to mind. Are there significant differences in the quality of lab animals used in experiments? If scientists are already mentioning this in the methods section,, how often does it occur? If it's across the board then why is a discount even needed?

I have a hard time believing the company is doing this out of the kindness of their heart.

I'm trying to keep an open mind and would like to hear others views. After all, I didn't realize brand names are even included in the methods section of a study so I may have missed something.

.
 

alex3619

Senior Member
Messages
13,810
Location
Logan, Queensland, Australia
I think if you use special mice (of any kind) in your research, you should be forced to list exactly what kind they are and where you got them.
Agreed. However the issue is that they are trying to induce scientists into using their product in future, with the promise of discounts. This is normal business practice, generally, but the debate is about is this good for science?