Rampant speculation is the outcome of institutional silence around retractions and firings

I noticed that after two marketing researchers (Nicole Coleman and Ping Dong) lost their jobs and got a series of retractions, there has been a wave of speculation. Not gossip about the two researchers as I would expect, but distrust of institutions; feelings of "who is the next junior researcher to be thrown under the bus?" The retraction statements are vague. The only thing that they have made clear is that the more senior co-authors are not at fault. The universities to my knowledge have not released any information at all. Here are a few examples of the kind of talk I am referring to: 

From the Ping Dong retraction [link]:


From the Nicole Coleman retraction [link]:



Another reaction to Nicole Coleman incident:

Also, I recently noticed someone post a similar sentiment on Twitter. What is going on with our journals and universities that there is so much distrust? And why is there generally so much distrust of the senior coauthors? 




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