On zombies, struldbrugs, and other horrors of the scientific literature

Read the full story from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When I signed on as Editor-in-Chief of PNAS, I had no idea that killing zombies would be part of the job. These zombies aren’t the spirits of Haitian mythology doomed to roam the earth in thrall to sorcerers and shamans or the brain-eating undead of contemporary movie and television fame. Rather, in scientific publishing, the phrase “zombie literature” refers to papers, deemed invalid for any number of scientific reasons, that are retracted by the journals that published them yet continue to be cited without any apparent acknowledgment of their lack of validity

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