Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Weekend reads: Novartis fires scientist for faking data; journal accepts F-bomb-laden spam paper

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch began with a case of a South Korean engineer who had to retract ten studies at once. Here’s what was happening elsewhere, along with an update on a story we covered a few days ago:

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Written by Ivan Oransky

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:48 am

Posted in weekend reads

‘‘I don’t take whores in taxis”: Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor’s note

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Author Stuart Pimm.

Author Stuart Pimm

The Elsevier journal Biological Conservation has put out an apology, but not a retraction, after outcry over a bizarre, misogynistic non sequitur in a book review by Duke conservation biologist Stuart Pimm.

Here’s the introduction to Pimm’s review of Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, which went online in October ahead of its December print publication: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 21st, 2014 at 11:40 am

Can you hear me now? Neuroscience paper sunk by audio stimulus error

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j neurophysHave you ever noticed that hearing something read aloud as you follow along helps you remember what you’re reading better?

Two bioengineers at Trinity College Dublin, Michael Crosse and Edmund Lalor, decided to investigate the underlying reason for the phenomenon. Unfortunately, after they published their findings in the Journal of Neurophysiology earlier this year, they tried to recreate the experiments and discovered that their equipment didn’t line up the audio and visual stimuli properly.

They did the right thing and contacted the journal for a retraction. Here’s the notice for “The cortical representation of the speech envelope is earlier for audiovisual speech than audio speech”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 21st, 2014 at 9:30 am

Updated: Former Vanderbilt scientist faked nearly 70 images, will retract 6 papers: ORI

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oriweb_logoA former Vanderbilt University biomedical engineer committed fraud on a massive scale, according to a new Office of Research Integrity (ORI) report.

Igor Dzhura is banned from receiving federal funding for three years, and is retracting six papers, which have been cited more than 500 times. Since leaving Vanderbilt, he has worked at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and now works at Novartis.

According to the ORI, Dzhura was a busy boy at Vanderbilt, faking images and drastically inflating the number of experiments he conducted by duplicating computer files and saving them in nested folders. The total body count from his work includes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 20th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Posted in ori investigations

Journal retracts paper when authors refuse to pay page charges

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gm cropsTaylor & Francis has withdrawn a paper published online after a disagreement with the authors about page charges.

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki, Jean Carlos Cardoso, and Songjun Zeng had submitted the manuscript, “Genetic transformation of Dendrobium,” to GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain earlier this year. It was accepted on July 29, and posted online on October 30.

Taylor and Francis — who recently took over the journal from Landes Biosciences — had requested $1,000 in page charges, and $340 in color charges. But Teixeira da Silva — who has been made persona non grata by an Elsevier journal following “personal attacks and threats,” and had a paper retracted by a Springer journal after he demanded the editors’ resignations — insisted in an email to the publisher that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 20th, 2014 at 11:35 am

Posted in taylor and francis

Tracking down lit crit plagiarism leads to “discourses of madness”

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Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 12.37.17 PMThis one brings together a bunch of our favorite topics, including plagiarism, poetry, and predatory publishers. Look, alliteration!

Richard Lawrence Etienne Barnett, who often publishes under the name R-L Etienne Barnett, has been accused of plagiarizing at least 18 articles by other scholars, mostly analyses of French poetry, as well as duplicating his own work at least eight times.

Most recently, French literary theorist Michel Charles published a dissection of Barnett’s history of plagiarism on lit crit site Fabula. Barnett had sent an article to Poétique, the poetry journal Charles edits. Charles quickly realized something was amiss (all quotes in this post were originally in French, and have been translated via Google): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 20th, 2014 at 9:30 am

“Conscious fabrication” leads to retraction of diabetes study

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diabetcoverDiabetologia has retracted a 2011 meeting abstract from a group in Sweden, indicating that the second author has been found guilty of research misconduct — a charge the scientist denies.

The abstract, “Reduced syntaxin-5 in skeletal muscle of patients with type 2 diabetes is linked to increased diacylglycerol, activation of PKCtheta and impaired insulin signalling,” was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes. The first author was Kurt Højlund, who now is at the University of Southern Denmark. The second author was Pontus Boström, of the Karolinska Institutet.

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

Second retraction appears for arcade game-like image manipulation

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In June, we reported on a retraction in Current Biology that came after a number of PubPeer commenters suggested that the authors had engaged in figure manipulation, memorably comparing watching the published videos to playing the old-school arcade game “Space Invaders.”

Now a second paper from the same team has been retracted from Biology Open after the authors “were unable to repeat the results.” The journal was unable to get in touch with first author Livana Soetedio, whom the University of Illinois at Chicago found had fabricated the data and images in both publications.

Here’s the notice for “Targeting of vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2, VPAC2, a secretin family G-protein coupled receptor, to primary cilia”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Physics paper sinks amid accusations of unacceptable “overlap”

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prl-bannerA paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.

The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am

PubPeer Selections: From “this comment is clearly unfounded” to “happy to elaborate,” a range of responses

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pubpeerLate last week, Nature reported some details of PubPeer’s fight against a subpoena from a researcher who claims to have lost a job because of comments on the site. (Background here.) Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 18th, 2014 at 11:37 am

Posted in pubpeer selections