Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Four papers by former Wayne State researcher retracted after ORI report

without comments

Teresita L. Briones

Teresita L. Briones

Retractions have been published for four papers authored by former Wayne State University professor, Teresita L. Briones, after an April ORI report found evidence of misconduct in the articles.

Investigators found that Briones had “intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data.” They flagged five papers and three grant applications that contained false data.

As a result of their findings, four out of the five papers have been retracted, and the editors of the remaining journal say they are looking into the last paper.

Read the rest of this entry »

Canadian researchers in legal battle over investigation object to third retraction

without comments

The Journal of Clinical InvestigationA third retraction — and a notice of concern — have emerged from the investigation into a husband and wife research team at the University of Toronto that found evidence of faked images and duplicated data.

The problem, according to the latest retraction note for Sylvia Asa and Shereen Ezzat, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation: Portions of the RT-PCR gels “are duplicated in this publication and in a subsequent publication.” That subsequent publication is a 2003 paper that has received a Notice of Concern from the American Journal of Pathology.

According to the retraction note, co-author Gillian E. Wu of York University signed off on the journal’s decision, but Asa, Ezzat and second author Lei Zheng dissented to the retraction. Third author Xian-Feng Zhu couldn’t be reached. Although corresponding author Asa noted that “the initial screen of these samples support the conclusions made in the paper,” the JCI made its position perfectly clear in the note:

Read the rest of this entry »

At least one-third of top science journals lack a retraction policy — a big improvement

with one comment

jmlaMore than one third — 35% — of the world’s top-ranked science journals that responded to a survey don’t have a retraction policy, according to a new study. And that’s a dramatic improvement over findings of a similar study a little more than a decade ago.

For the new paper, “Retraction policies of top scientific journals ranked by impact factor,” David Resnik, Grace Kissling, and Elizabeth Wager (a member of the board of directors of The Center For Scientific Integrity, our parent non-profit organization) surveyed 200 science journals with the highest impact factors about their retraction policies. About three-quarters provided the information:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 3rd, 2015 at 2:30 pm

“Unethical behavior” breaks crystallography paper

with one comment

Molecules and Cells

A 2011 paper about the crystal structure of a transcription regulator has been pulled by Molecules and Cells for “unethical behavior by the authors.”

Unfortunately, we can’t say much more than that, because the notice doesn’t, either: Read the rest of this entry »

New $300,000 grant marks the fifth anniversary of Retraction Watch

with 12 comments

logoFive years ago today, we wrote our first post, “Why write a blog about retractions?” And although every year since has been terrific, this year we have the most to celebrate so far. Here are some highlights:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 3rd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in RW announcements

Weekend reads: What really happened in that lab?; best excuses for falsifying data and rejecting grants

with 3 comments

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured the correction of a widely covered study claiming to find evidence of the plague and anthrax on New York City subways, and rulings against scientists suing Harvard, a journal, and the CBC. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 1st, 2015 at 10:41 am

Posted in weekend reads

Plague or anthrax on the subway? Think again, says now-corrected study

without comments

Cell SystemsAuthors of a widely covered study that documented traces of plague and anthrax on surfaces across New York City have revised the paper after public health officials challenged their interpretations of the data.

It’s hard to overestimate the attention these findings received when first published.

Bubonic plague found in NYC subway,” wrote The Daily Beast.

Your subway seat mate: Bubonic plague, anthrax, & mysterious DNA,” said Yahoo!

NY subway has bubonic plague,” declared Newser.

Not so fast. In an erratum published July 29, the authors write: Read the rest of this entry »

Nutrition researcher Chandra loses libel case against CBC

with one comment

CBCThe self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” Ranjit Kumar Chandra, has lost a libel lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

The suit was in response to a 2006 three-part documentary from the CBC, which examined allegations of fraud against the former Memorial University researcher.

After the 58-day trial, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice “ruled in favour of CBC, on the grounds that the words in the broadcast were true,” according to CBC producer Lynn Burgess: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 31st, 2015 at 10:21 am

Inquiry into duplications reveals “multiple” image problems in tumor study

without comments

STEM_17_1.c1.inddA paper on how abnormal stem cells can cause benign bone tumors has been retracted by Cell Stem Cell after an inquiry into image duplications also uncovered “multiple instances of inappropriate western blot image adjustment.”

The first two authors “declined” to sign the retraction, according to the notice.

Besides confirming initial suspicions that images had been duplicated, the editors also found “multiple instances of inappropriate western blot image adjustment, such as uneven compression of images and removal of background elements:”

Read the rest of this entry »

Golden rice paper pulled after judge rules for journal

with 3 comments

home_coverThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is retracting a paper that showed genetically engineered rice serves as an effective vitamin A supplement after a Massachusetts judge denied the first author’s motion for an injunction against the publisher.

The journal announced plans to retract the paper last year following allegations that the paper contained ethical mis-steps, such as not getting informed consent from the parents of children eating the rice, and faking ethics approval documents.

Last July, first author Guangwen Tang at Tufts University filed a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction against the journal’s publisher, the American Society for Nutrition, to stop the retraction.

According to the ASN, on July 17, a Massachusetts Superior Court “cleared the way” for the publisher to retract the paper. So they have, as of July 29. Here’s more from the retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »