News of the WeekAstronomy

Critics of 'Halo Matter' Outrace the Presses

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Science  27 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5517, pp. 618-619
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5517.618b

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A behind-the-scenes battle is being waged to verify the discovery of an important source of galactic dark matter, the mysterious substance that provides 90% of the gravitational force that binds the Milky Way together. In the month between online publication of the paper (at on 23 March) and its appearance in print (on p. 698 of this issue), its authors have weathered criticism that typographical errors and misinterpreted data inflated their estimate of the dark matter density. The critics are also taking some heat for posting their papers online before their peers had an opportunity to review them.