Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Obesity Surgery won’t retract papers by weight loss surgeon who published fake data elsewhere

with 12 comments

Earlier this week, we reported on the case of Edward Shang, a weight loss surgeon who was forced to retract a study after it became clear that he had enrolled only about a third as many patients as he claimed — if he enrolled any at all. In that post, the editor in chief of Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, who retracted the paper, told us he had flagged the issue for Obesity Surgery editors, who had also published Shang’s work.

Yesterday, we heard back from the editor of Obesity Surgery, Scott Shikora, who tells us that he’s reviewed Shang’s four publications in his journal:

He was only first author of one of them, however, on circular stapled gastro-jejunostomy. Even there, Shikora said:

We concluded that his role was minimal and there was no need to retract the paper.

Shikora wouldn’t say whether a strongly worded editorial he published last month was about Shang, but said we “can read between the lines.”

Please see an update on this post.

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 4th, 2012 at 11:00 am

  • Ed Goodwin May 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    THese people profess to accurately inform the public but now the readers have to
    “read between the lines”! I, for one, don’t appreciate having to be a detective
    when reading scientific reports.

  • LNV May 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    He was first author, but his role was minimal?? Am I the only one that is confused???

    • Ed Goodwin May 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      No, you are not confused, the editors and authors are. You see things as
      they should be,but how they really are is different.

    • chirality May 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Typically, the asterisk next to a person’s name indicates the author who contributed the least to the published research. Strange but true.

      • MT Orr May 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

        @chirality: obviously you have no clue what it takes to run a research program

      • Obese co-author May 7, 2012 at 1:42 am

        @ MT Orr: I have always wondered, if it takes that much to run A research program, how can those people publish 50 papers a year…

      • chirality May 7, 2012 at 2:47 am

        I am not talking about running a research program but about doing actual research. Two different things. The bigger the fish, the less it has to do with research and more with “running things”.

  • GM Diets (@GMDiets) May 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Always been very sceptical about surgery when it comes to weight loss.
    I much prefer working programs, like the one I’ve been using where you just keep track and are in control.

    • Neighbourhood Geek May 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Ahh spam comments. How much you add to the scientific discourse we’ll never know, because clicking your link sets off my internet malware alarms like magic.

  • Paulo S. May 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    As the last World Cup saw, Brazil is not the same. Check out the retraction notice below:

    I think this adds to RW records.

  • Ralf Neumann May 8, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Obviously, Shang’s first author paper “First Experiences with A Circular Stapled Gastro-Jejunostomy by a New Transorally Introducible Stapler System in Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass” in Obesity Surgery was already retracted a couple of days earlier:

    Is it possible that you misconceived Shikora?

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