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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

“Authors, please call us. Pretty please? OK, we’re going to retract your paper!”

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dovelogoThe title of this post isn’t exactly how the one-sided conversation between the editors of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment and a group of researchers went. But it seems likely it was pretty close.

Here’s an expression of concern for “A cross-sectional study on perception of stigma by Chinese schizophrenia patients:” Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Ivan Oransky

July 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Who moved my ants? Species confusion sinks paper on invasive species

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Image via Wikimedia

“How many and which ant species are being accidentally moved around the world?,” published in 2013, has been retracted because the authors “used a wrong list of species and omitted to include a reference.”

The authors claim that this affected the magnitude of the issue, but not the overall conclusion.

The paper was written up by the press several times, including by the BBC, though according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, it hasn’t been cited.

Here is the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

“Positivity ratio” research now subject to an expression of concern

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An expression of concern has been issued for the second of three papers on the idea that, if you have three positive emotions for every negative one, you will be more successful in life.

Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has spent the last decade building a brand around this ratio, initially described by a mathematical equation based on fluid dynamics by mathematician Marcial Losada. You can read our coverage of the debunking of that equation, presented in a 1999 paper that has been cited nearly 1,700 times, here.

Nick Brown, co-author with Alan Sokal on the paper that discredited the Losada equation, has written a blog post on the current state of affairs. He also got in touch with us regarding the expression of concern for a 2004 article in American Behavioral Scientist that he had also questioned, “The Role of Positivity and Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams: A Nonlinear Dynamic Model”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 29, 2014 at 8:30 am

ORI sanctions collaborator of Nobel winner Buck for data fabrication

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ori logoThe Office of Research Integrity has sanctioned a former researcher in the lab of Linda Buck, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for falsifying data in two papers written with the support of grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The researcher, Zou Zhihua, worked with Buck as a post-doc at Harvard and then at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Buck’s current home. After leaving there in 2005, he spent three years at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and now appears to be a faculty member at Jilin University in China.

According to the report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Diabetes researcher Cory Toth up to seven retractions

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tothA University of Calgary diabetes researcher, Cory Toth, who told us earlier this year that he would cease publishing in the scientific literature, has two more retractions, making seven.

Both appear in Neurobiology of Disease. Here’s the notice for “Differential impact of diabetes and hypertension in the brain: Adverse effects in white matter:”
Read the rest of this entry »

Law review paper yanked for lack of attribution despite offer of co-authorship

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Sometimes, retractions seem to have a juicy back story, but the explanation proves tantalizingly out of reach.

Such is the case for a law review retraction on a paper about reparations for human rights violations. After someone complained that author Gentian Zyberi “had not done sufficient justice to the substantial contribution” they made, the complainant refused both a co-author credit and a rewrite of the passages in question, insisting instead on a full retraction.

Here’s the notice for “The International Court of Justice and applied forms of reparation for international human rights and humanitarian law violations”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: Science News cites The Onion, bitterness over lack of credit in sixth grader’s project

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booksAnother busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 26, 2014 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

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