Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Macchiarini co-author objects to investigation’s misconduct verdict

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

One of Paolo Macchiarini’s co-authors on a 2011 Lancet paper describing an allegedly groundbreaking procedure to transplant an artificial trachea seeded with stem cells is objecting to a recent investigation that concluded Macchiarini had committed misconduct.

Ola Hermanson, who studies neural stem cells at Karolinska Institutet, argued in a report dated June 29 that the investigation contained “serious flaws and formal errors.”

Hermanson’s lengthy response (uploaded here except for supporting emails) is to the findings of an external review of allegations about Macchiarini’s work, conducted by Bengt Gerdin, of Uppsala University. In regards to the 2011 Lancet paper, Gerdin’s investigation found:

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Written by Alison McCook

July 1st, 2015 at 8:30 am

“Values were outside expected ranges”: Toxicology paper spiked after audit

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Toxicological PathologyResearchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have retracted a 2014 article after a review unearthed unresolved problems with the study’s control material.

The retracted paper, “Effect of Temperature and Storage Time on Sorbitol Dehydrogenase Activity in Sprague-Dawley Rat Serum and Plasma,” looked to test the durability and stability of sorbitol dehydrogenase, an enzyme used to detect cancerous liver damage in rats.

Here’s the complete retraction notice from Toxicologic Pathology :

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Written by Ross Keith

June 30th, 2015 at 11:30 am

JBC cancer paper felled by duplication is one author’s second retraction this month

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25.coverA 2002 paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on how lung cancer cells resist death has been retracted for duplicating figures from a 2001 paper.

The retracted paper, “Fibroblast growth factor-2 induces translational regulation of Bcl-XL and Bcl-2 via a MEK-dependent pathway: correlation with resistance to etoposide-induced apoptosis,” shares the first and last authors with the 2001 paper, in Oncogene, as well as two other co-authors.

Here’s JBC’s entire retraction note, a sub-genre with which we’ve become intimately familiar by now:

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Accounting professor notches 30 (!) retractions after misconduct finding

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James Hunton, via Bentley University

James Hunton, via Bentley University

It began with a retraction due to a “misstatement” in November 2012, which led to an investigation that found the first author, James E. Hunton, guilty of misconduct.  Now, the floodgates have opened, and Hunton has 31 retractions under his belt, making him the newest addition to the Retraction Watch leaderboard.

A month after the first retraction in 2012, Hunton resigned from his accounting professorship at Bentley University, citing family and health concerns.

Then, in 2014, a university investigation concluded that Hunton fabricated data in two papers and may have destroyed evidence. The first paper was the one retracted from Accounting Review for a misstatement; the second was retracted from Contemporary Accounting Research in December 2014. Even though the investigation centered around two publications, the university suggested more may be affected:

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Two more retractions make four for bone researcher

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JAnatBone anatomists have retracted two papers on primate jawbone structure from the Journal of Anatomy due to “errors in the validation protocol and data,” marking the fourth retraction for one of the authors.

Olga Panagiotopoulou retracted two other papers over the past year, all of which were due to a common methodological problem. As Panagiotopoulou — who completed the work in the UK, before joining the University of Queensland in Australia in 2013 —  explained to us in April,

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Written by Alla Katsnelson

June 29th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: LaCour loses job offer; new Science data guidelines; Macchiarini grant funding frozen

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booksThis week at Retraction Watch saw us report on thousands of retractions from IEEE, which will have a serious effect on retraction record-keeping, a bizarre case of author impersonation, and a look at dentistry in outer space. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 27th, 2015 at 9:58 am

A tale of two journals: Elsevier retracts paper after publishing it in the wrong journal

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EMIf you happen to pick up this month’s issue of Economic Modelling, there’s a little surprise on page 307—blank pages. Publisher Elsevier has retracted a paper from that space because it “inadvertently published” the paper in the journal. In fact, Elsevier meant to include the paper in the pages of its other journal, Energy Economics.

The paper, “An Approach to Computing Marginal Land-Use Change Carbon Intensities for Bioenergy in Policy Applications,” is most assuredly not about economic modeling. Rather, it describes an approach for assessing carbon emissions from the production of bioenergy crops.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

PubPeer Selections: correction for Cell paper on stem cells; why omit controls; peer review report surfaces

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pubpeerHere’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 26th, 2015 at 9:30 am

One publisher appears to have retracted thousands of meeting abstracts. Yes, thousands.

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ieeeHere at Retraction Watch, we’ve covered somewhere shy of 2,000 retractions in our nearly five years of existence. With this post, we may be more than doubling that total count.

That’s because it looks like IEEE may have retracted thousands of meeting abstracts. Yes, thousands.

We don’t know the exact number, but a search for “retraction” in the abstracts of the 2011 International Conference on E-Business and E-Government (ICEE), held May 6-8 2011, brings up 1,281 results.

The same search on the site of the 5th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE), May 10-12, 2011, brings up 1,085 results.

We only opened the first few retraction notices, but they seem to all be the same. Headed “Notice of Retraction,” they read: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

June 25th, 2015 at 3:30 pm

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Lost your data? Blame an earthquake

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coverJNC

A natural disaster is to blame for a retraction about lethal brain tumors. At least, that’s where the authors say the problem started: with a 2010 earthquake that caused a loss of “substantial data.”

The paper, “Superoxide-dependent uptake of vitamin C in human glioma cells,” looks at how the cells of lethal brain tumors interact with the vitamin commonly used to reduce side effects of therapies.

Post earthquake, someone digitally filled in a western blot analysis of proteins from a cell line and rat brains, as a “temporary solution.” And then the temporary solution made its way into the Journal of Neurochemistry.

Here’s the retraction note from the journal, including an image of the sneaky western blot:

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Written by Shannon Palus

June 25th, 2015 at 12:00 pm