Research Failure Example

Paper:https://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/05/definitely-embarrassing-nobel-laureate-retracts-non-reproducible-paper-nature-journal/
The main reason for the retraction was due to the research being unreproducible – The researchers had revisited their work after coming to the initial conclusion (that peptide was the reason RNA was able to copy itself without the presence of DNA. Later a member of the lab had tried reproducing the experiment, failed, and looked further into it to find that the peptide did not actually foster RNA as they had assumed in the initial experiment, and that the researches mistake was likely their belief in finding the answer without being thorough.
Yes, it could have been avoided – The mistake was largely due to excitement over the discovery and a lack of thorough investigation into the matter before publishing about it. The same lab found the mistake later on, and likely could have found it before releasing the paper if they had been more cautious about the discovery.
A retraction is when the paper id considered invalid as a source, often due to mistakes in the research (such as due to reproducibility of results), and generally withdrawn.
A correction is when mistakes have been made in the paper, but not ones which actually invalidate the research – mistakes which can be fixed without completely changing the results from the research.
I couldn’t find online sources which explained the definitions very clearly, so I’m not sure if they can overlap (eg, something was retracted when it could have been safely corrected), so I’m also not sure how accurate I’m being but it’s my guess based on the connotation of the words and the importance of research papers – They need to be accurate, so minor mistakes can be safely corrected to make the overall paper realistic, but if the mistakes are likely to change the conclusion or even demonstrate a flaw in the method, then it would have to be retracted as the entire research could be considered invalid. It doesn’t mean nothing in the paper was right, but it can mean a substantial flaw in the research ruined the integrity of the information enough to make it retractable instead of just correcting the mistake. An example of a correctable mistake would be something like misnaming, while retractable would be something like using a completely wrong compound or mistaking results (resulting in reproducibility).
https://retractionwatch.com/2018/03/16/caught-our-notice-voinnet-co-author-issues-another-correction/ this paper mentioned on the site had some corrections made in reference to images used on the paper which were duplicated/altered, for example.
https://retractionwatch.com/2015/04/01/you-cant-make-this-stuff-up-plagiarism-guideline-paper-retracted-for-plagiarism/ This paper by contast was retracted, due to the paper using plagerised work.

Research Failure

What is Research?
Systematic investigation of a certain topic which results in coming to a conclusion about the subject based on the information gathered. Includes any formal gathering of information or data, as long as it serves a purpose in the research required. What counts as research and what is done depends on the intent of the research, and ‘research’ includes everything from start to finish of the scientific method used to come to the end conclusions about the subject. It’s generally alright to have an idea of what you’re looking for in the research, as long as it doesn’t create a bias in the research and you still look for data which contradicts what you expect to find. (https://explorable.com/definition-of-research)

Research failure is a scenario where a certain aspect of research into a subject has been missed or improperly done – This can mean either making a mistake in an assumption for the research, or completely missing critical information about the subject. The reasons for this occurring can vary, but often it will come from the researcher(s) either going into the research with a specific outcome in mind (and failing to consider perspectives which don’t correlate to the desired outcome), or by having an assumption about the research subject which never gets fact-checked, and becomes a more glaring fault in their work later on.

A research failure is not the same as an endeavour to prove something as true or false failing and instead proving the opposite to be the case – A case of a research endeavour failing could be the Michelson-Morley experiment, which set out to prove that light would travel at different speeds depending on the ‘flow’ of the medium is was moving through, but instead found that the speed was actually constant regardless of the movement of the medium light was moving through. (https://ssec.si.edu/stemvisions-blog/most-famous-failed-experiment) This isn’t actually the same as a research failure however, as while it proved the original theory to be incorrect, it did come to a new understanding of the medium and otherwise can be considered a success as an actual research endeavour. Research failures aren’t related to the objective success or failure of the basis behind the research, only if there is a fundamental flaw of some kind which affects the reliability of the research.

For product research failures, this can simply be a case of assuming there’s a market for a specific product without actually putting in the research to see if that was actually the case, resulting in the overall product failing due to a lack of consumer interest (which was the case for products such as 3D TV, the Fuelband and the Amazon Fire Phone – 3D TV for lack of interest in the product, and the fire phone and FuelBand being too redundant to sell well).

One example of research failure in a scientific field could be the claims of a nuclear winter brought on by multiple nuclear explosions, made by Carl Sagan and additional co-authors in 1983. It was pointed out by atmospheric scientists that his conclusion didn’t actually account for all the factors which would affect the outcome of this, such as how high dust would have to reach to be unaffected by rainfall and thus reducing the cloud cover, and in turn the level of chilling caused. (Nuclear Winter of our Discontent http://discovermagazine.com/2000/oct/featblunders). Errors in the early research, such as a lacking understanding of the atmosphere and its factors, lead to an incorrect conclusion on the part of the researchers which needed to be pointed out by others.