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A paper on cats and female students uses up one of its nine lives – Retraction Watch

A paper on cats and female students uses up one of its nine lives – Retraction Watch

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Facing a social media storm, a biology journal has briefly eliminated a paper arguing that the proliferation of feral cats round college campuses in China is instantly associated to the proportion of female students — who evidently are extra welcoming than males of the wild felines.

Facing a social media storm, a biology journal has briefly eliminated a paper arguing that the proliferation of feral cats round college campuses in China is instantly associated to the proportion of female students — who evidently are extra welcoming than males of the wild felines.  

The article, “Where there are girls, there are cats,” appeared in Biological Conservation, launching a withering Tweet storm with, finally rely, greater than 275 replies. The feedback ranged from incredulous to outraged, with at the least one person noting that the paper was submitted, revised and accepted inside a interval of about 10 days.

The paper has been changed with the next discover, dated February 10:

The writer regrets that this text has been briefly eliminated. A alternative will seem as quickly as attainable through which the rationale for the elimination of the article might be specified, or the article might be reinstated.

We have some, um, opinions about Elsevier’s method to “momentary removals.”

Author speaks out on PubPeer

Despite its inane title, the article does deal with an vital concern in conservation. As its summary notes, outside cats are a scourge of birds and threaten biodiversity. Whether free-range cats and female school students have a mutual affinity is one other matter. 

We emailed the editor-in-chief of the journal, Vincent Devictor, for remark, however haven’t heard again. We additionally emailed Zhongqiu Li, of the School of Life Sciences at Nanjing University and the corresponding writer of the paper for remark however haven’t acquired a reply. 

However, Li posted on PubPeer in regards to the article and the controversy it raised: 

, we didn’t notice the subject is so delicate, though at first we even have tried our greatest to wirte the phrases… I firstly need to declare that I’ve not any sexism and even any thought of it, most likely it’s an English expression and tradition distinction that deceptive readers since we’re not native English speaker. For the title, could also be catchier in our present model, it’s wish to say ‘more girls, more cats?’, simply to catch readers that perhaps cat density is expounded to intercourse ratio? In Chinese, it is rather simple to grasp and settle for. I actually don’t perceive why human intercourse can’t be mentioned in a paper, as we focus on extra in animals analysis, or it’s a tradition distinction…Not certain… three, Actually on this paper, we simply need to present a phenomenon, a degree, a attainable correlation, that cat density could also be associated to human social construction particularly the intercourse ratio. I do know correlation typically isn’t causation, however typically it’s. Someone mentioned feeding station is one other extra influencing issue, however who made these feeding stations? AT least from our commentary, most are females in each universities and communities. Tell them extra the truth that free ranging cat is invasive and impacts biodiversity considerably and don’t feed them is essential. We haven’t any ideas or concepts to manage human intercourse, if I didn’t misunderstand some readers’ ideas. Our suggestion is simply to inform them the attainable impression of feeding habits to free ranging cats

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