This 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:
- The New Republic’s Naomi Shavin told the story of how we broke the story, and how the study fell apart.
- Jesse Singal of New York Magazine interviewed Donald Green, the co-author who asked for the retraction.
- Ivan spoke to NPR’s On The Media about the study, and what the story says about peer review.
- “”The incentives to publish today are corrupting the scientific literature and the media that covers it.” We wrote a New York Times op-ed for today’s paper, “What’s Behind Big Science Frauds?“
But there was plenty more happening this week: Read the rest of this entry »
“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.
“The first author assumes all responsibility:” Malaria vaccine article retracted for image manipulation
Authors 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.
Have you seen our “unhelpful retraction notices” category, a motley collection of vague, misleading, and even information-free entries? We’d like to make it obsolete, and we need our readers’ help.
Here’s what we mean: Next month, Ivan will be traveling to Rio to take part in the World Conference on Research Integrity. One of his presentations is a set of proposed guidelines for retraction notices and their dissemination that we hope will inform publishing practices and severely limit the number of entries in our “unhelpful retraction notices” category. In September, for example, we announced that our guidelines would be linked from PRE-val, which “verifies for the end user that content has gone through the peer review process and provides information that is vital to assessing the quality of that process.”
Here’s a draft of our proposed guidelines, which include many of the items recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Read the rest of this entry »
In this Japanese population with a high baseline fracture risk, combined treatment with folate and vitamin B12 is safe and effective in reducing the risk of a hip fracture in elderly patients following stroke.
The “worst moment of my scientific career:” Two bird migration articles brought down by analytical error
Evolutionary and conservation biologists in Spain are retracting two articles – one from the Journal of Avian Biology and the other from Ardeola – because they discovered a fatal flaw in their analysis.
The Journal of Avian Biology article, “Are European birds leaving traditional wintering grounds in the Mediterranean?” aimed to determine whether the abundance of passerines had decreased in recent decades, but failed to control for birds that may have gotten killed by hunters. Although it was published in January, we can only find an abstract from its acceptance by the journal in November 2014.
In what can only be described as a remarkable and swift series of events, one of the authors of a much-ballyhooed Science paper claiming that short conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage is retracting it following revelations that the data were faked by his co-author.
Donald Green, of Columbia, and Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA, published the paper, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality,” in December 2014. The study received widespread media attention, including from This American Life, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Science Friday, Vox, and HuffingtonPost, as LaCour’s site notes.
David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, graduate students at University of California, Berkeley, were two of the people impressed with the work, so they planned an extension of it, as they explain in a timeline posted online yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »
Paolo Macchiarini, the celebrated surgeon whose work has come under scrutiny in Italy and at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, committed misconduct in six papers, according to an external reviewer.
Macchiarini is best known for creating tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. The findings of the external review, first reported yesterday by SvD Nyheter, were made public last week. They are only available in Swedish thus far, and we have requested a copy from the Karolinska.
A highly cited study examining the risks of heart disease in post-menopausal women with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been retracted by its authors because they could not replicate the results.
There’s been a 10th retraction from two former postdocs at a UT-Southwestern cancer research center who were sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) last September, in part due to observations and comments from Retraction Watch readers.
It’s a 2008 Cancer Letters paper, “Methylation of apoptosis related genes in the pathogenesis and prognosis of prostate cancer,” retracted at the request of Makoto Suzuki, the first author who has claimed responsibility for falsifying data in this and five other papers. Read the rest of this entry »