The Grain and The Chaff

The Grain

The Grain aims to tell the story behind research that’s made an immense impact on science. Inspired by the former series Citation Classics, The Grain features essays by authors with publications that have one thousand citations or more or a very high Altmetric score (the top 250). Read more

These essays should provide a brief background on the research itself and describe how it was conceived and undertaken. The Winnower wants authors to describe the story behind the research.


Science of a Local Cultural Phenomenon

  • Hiroshi Nittono

In this paper, I reported three experiments to demonstrate that people who viewed pictures of kittens and puppies, as compared to those who viewed pictures of adult animals, perform better ...

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The Peters & Ceci Study of Journal Publications

  • Stephen J. Ceci
  • Douglas P. Peters

How the project was initiated. In 1978, one of us (SJC) was a newly hired assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Dakota, and the other one us (DPP) was in his fourt...

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Research on Climate Consensus Provokes Strong Reactions

  • John Cook

In 2004, Naomi Oreskes published a paper in Science investigating the level of agreement in the peer-reviewed literature on climate change (Oreskes 2004). Among the 928 'global climate cha...

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The Chaff

The Chaff aims to tell the story behind research that was retracted. In essays published in The Chaff, authors explain what went wrong with the work. Read more

Was it an innocent mistake or did someone commit fraud? What ultimately lead to the retraction of the paper and how can we learn from these faults?

We want to explicitly state that this series is not a forum for the shaming of authors, or a "shame list." The Chaff provides an opportunity for authors of retracted papers to tell their side of the story and to elaborate on retraction notices that are, by and large, quite uninformative.