Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Misconduct found in 7 papers by Macchiarini, says English write-up of investigation

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Paolo Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has released an English translation of an external review that found Paolo Macchiarini, a celebrated surgeon who is credited with creating tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells, committed misconduct in a series of papers describing the work.

You can read the entire report, news of which was first reported by Sciencehere. The investigator, Bengt Gerdin, of Uppsala University, considered a series of allegations about Macchiarini’s papers, and found a number of them lived up to the verdict of misconduct. There were seven affected papers, not six, as was reported last week based on the initial findings (reported in Swedish).

For instance, in a 2014 Nature Communications paper describing the procedure in rats, Gerdin found that the scientists erred when none of the listed authors could assume responsibility for a CT image showing rats with “a smooth and patent oesophagus” (the researcher who took it asked to be left off the author list when he disagreed with how it was being interpreted), among other issues: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 28th, 2015 at 8:30 am

Scientists “wish to resign as co-authors:” Quantum dot paper retracted

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chemcommChemical Communications has retracted a 2015 article by a group of researchers in China over concerns about fabricated data and an incredible shrinking list of authors.

The paper, “N, S co-doped graphene quantum dots from a single source precursor used for photodynamic cancer therapy under two-photon excitation,” was ostensibly written by nine researchers at the Collaborative Innovation Center for Marine Biomass Fiber, Materials and Textiles of Shandong Province, the Shandong Sino-Japanese Center for Collaborative Research of Carbon Nanomaterials, Laboratory of Fiber Materials and Modern Textiles, the Growing Base for State Key Laboratory at the  College of Chemical Science and Engineering at Qingdao University, and Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Geology dust-up: Second sand paper swept away for duplication

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GeomorphologyCiting an “abuse of the scientific publishing system,” the editors of Geomorphology have retracted a paper from a quartet of geologists in China for containing “significant similarity” to four other papers.

It is the second recent retraction for the group: In a loop of self-plagiarism, the Geomorphology paper was cited as a source of copied material in a retraction last month from Sedimentary Geology.

This most recent retraction is of a January 2014 paper, “The influence of sand bed temperature on lift-off and falling parameters in windblown sand flux,” analyzing the rise and fall of windblown sand based on the temperature of the sand bed.

Here is the full text of the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

May 27th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Fluid mechanics article retracted with no explanation

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JHeatTransf_ak7An article published earlier this year has been retracted from the  Journal of Heat Transfer. But the retraction notice gives no information about what was amiss.

The article is entitled “Neural Network Methodology for Modeling Heat Transfer in Wake Flow,” and the retraction notice, in full, reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Bully for you! Duplication earns demerit for school cruelty paper

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Trauma-kashan3Archives of Trauma Research has retracted a 2014 paper on bullying by a group in Iran who appear to have been double-fisted in their approach to publishing.

The article, “Epidemiological Pattern of Bullying Among School Children in Mazandaran Province, Iran,” was written by researchers from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, in Tehran. Its conclusions:

Different forms of bullying have a distinct nature and the epidemiological pattern indicates that bullying exists in the Iranian schools. Thus, the effective bullying prevention and appropriate intervention programs are recommended.

Here’s the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Heart repair study retraction marks second for Mercer University researcher

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BasicResCardio_ak12Authors of a study on cardiac repair after heart attack are retracting it from Basic Research in Cardiology because they used “the same samples… to represent two distinct groups on two occasions.”

We find the language of the retraction somewhat confusing, but to the best of our understanding it means that they compared apples to the exact same apples.

The study, published online in 2012, examined the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of a procedure called postconditioning in treating heart attacks. Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend reads, part 2: Oldest-ever PhD; most embarrassing citation ever; blame the antibodies?

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booksAs we noted Saturday, there was so much happening around the web last week that it made sense to break up Weekend Reads, especially since this is a holiday weekend in the U.S. and elsewhere. Here’s part 2: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 25th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

Weekend reads: Gay canvassing study redux; editors fired; how the world’s biggest faker was caught

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booksThis week at Retraction Watch was dominated by the Science same-sex marriage study, after we broke the news Wednesday morning that one of its authors had requested its retraction. (And crashed our servers in the process.) So the first section of this Weekend Reads will focus on pieces following up on that story:

But there was plenty more happening this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 23rd, 2015 at 9:48 am

Posted in weekend reads

Chip slip: Irreproducibility erases computer memory paper

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nanoscaleResearchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have retracted a paper in Nanoscale about an experimental computer chip after they were unable to recreate their published results.

“We retract this article to avoid misleading readers and intend to undertake further tests to confirm our previous results,” they write in the notice.

The scientists are working on developing a chip that uses resistive random-access memory, which allows a huge amount of information to be stored in a tiny package and accessed quickly while using very little power. A number of companies are working on the technology, but none have successfully commercialized it.

Here’s the notice for “High uniformity and improved nonlinearity by embedding nanocrystals in selector-less resistive random access memory” (free, but requires login): Read the rest of this entry »

“The first author assumes all responsibility:” Malaria vaccine article retracted for image manipulation

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InfectAndImmunAuthors of a 2012 article in Infection and Immunity investigating a malaria vaccine strategy are retracting it because it “contains several images that do not accurately reflect the experimental data.”

The paper, “Fine Specificity of Plasmodium vivax Duffy Binding Protein Binding Engagement of the Duffy Antigen on Human Erythrocytes,” has been cited 9 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The retraction notice places the blame for the image shenanigans squarely on the first author, Asim Siddiqui, who is currently listed on LinkedIn as a faculty member at the College of Applied Medicine at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.

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