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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

University of Queensland investigation leads to third retraction

with 7 comments

isjplA duo of former University of Queensland researchers have had a third article retracted following an investigation into 92 papers.

In September, Bruce Murdoch and Caroline Barwood had a paper in the European Journal of Neurology retracted. Earlier this month, the same happened to a paper in Aphasiology.

The retraction announced by the university today is for a 2013 paper in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Here’s the notice, which is brief and behind a paywall:

Due to an issue regarding authorship and intellectual property, the publisher and authors agree to retract this paper.

UQ said a reader alert would also appear:

Murdoch, B. E., & Barwood, C. H. S. (2013). Non-invasive brain stimulation: A new frontier in the treatment of neurogenic speech-language disorders. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(3), 234-244. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2012.745605 http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2012.745605

The following article cited within Murdoch and Barwood (2013) has been retracted.

Murdoch, B. E., Ng, M. L., & Barwood,  C. H. S. (2012). Treatment of articulatory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. European Journal of Neurology, 19, 340–347.

Murdoch and Barwood (2012) was retracted by agreement between the University of Queensland, the journal Editor in Chief, Professor Anthony Schapira, and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The retraction was the outcome of a formal investigation by the University of Queensland, which established that: no primary data can be located; and no evidence has been found that the study described in the article was conducted. The University of Queensland requested that the paper be retracted.

The paper has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

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7 Responses

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  1. Interesting. The previous two retractions for this group both concerned ‘missing data’ (i.e. no data, or not enough data, could be found corresponding to the published results.)

    This one however concerns “authorship and intellectual property” which is on the face of it, an entirely different issue…

    • Perhaps the data exists, but belongs to someone else.

      Then again, “repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation” sounds like an old B-movie clip, with a mad scientist wearing a colander on his head surmounted by spark-gap electromagnets. “Fools!” He shouts, “I’ll show them all!”

      Toby White

      April 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    • Yes, Neuroskeptic, authorship and intellectual property is a different issue, but still a very worrying issue.


      April 29, 2014 at 2:33 am

  2. It will be interesting to see the universities report. You have the senior author, approximately 200 papers over nearly 30 years suddenly produces 3 retracted publications all with the same junior researcher. Presumably he had no reason to expand his publication list, so is his error that he didn’t realise what was happening, but should have?


    April 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    • From UQ spokesperson:
      “The retracted article had previously been unsuccessfully submitted for publication in a different journal by Dr Murdoch and two other authors.
      “The article published in IJSLP by Murdoch did not include or acknowledge the two original authors or seek their permission for publication.
      “ As a consequence Dr Murdoch did not adhere to the authorship criteria of The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and UQ policy.
      “The CMC is continuing its investigations into suspected research misconduct.”


      April 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      • Thanks. That seems bizarre, you just wouldn’t expect to get away with it. It raises another question of why the journal didn’t do a correction to add the other authors. At least hopefully it used real data.


        April 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      • To Curios:
        It is interesting to see the background to some of this. Curious indeed. Wonder if there is more yet to come from this pair.


        April 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm

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