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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

A retraction involving Sarah Palin

with 6 comments

prqFormer U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin is no stranger to retractions, or perhaps “walk backs,” as politicians usually call them. There was her apology for comments about Pope Francis, a clarification about comments thought to be directed at Rush Limbaugh, and a walk back on her behalf from her running mate, Sen. John McCain.

Now, a paper in the academic literature that refers to her has been retracted. Here’s the notice from Political Research Quarterly:

Knuckey, Jonathan. 2013. “Comments on ‘‘Reconsidering the ‘Palin Effect.’’’ Political Research Quarterly. 66(4): 959-962. Original DOI: 10.1177/1065912913508342.

The above article has been retracted due to containing unattributed overlap with unpublished materials.

Here’s the abstract of the article by Knuckey, a professor at the University of Central Florida,

In this note some brief comments are provided on Burmilla and Ryan’s “Reconsidering ‘The Palin Effect’ in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.” Specifically, Burmilla and Ryan’s conceptualization of the “Palin Effect” and their revised model specification are critiqued. Their findings that Palin exerted an effect on vote choice that was typical for any vice-presidential nominee also stands in contrast to several studies that conclude that Palin’s effect on vote choice in 2008 was far from typical.

Since the retraction notice was a bit vague, we asked Knuckey and the journal’s editors for more details. Co-editor Cornell Clayton, of Washington State University, told us:

Sorry, it is our policy not to comment beyond the printed retraction.

Isn’t “no comment” what we’d expect from…a politician?

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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Written by Ivan Oransky

May 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Not sure about overlaps with something yet unpublished…well, it has been published now ;)

    Or perhaps they mean plagiarism, with the authors copying somebody else’s (unpublished) work without saying so.


    May 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    • If it were plagiarism, it would presume that the plagiarizer had access to the material before the author had published it. This could have happened if the author presented his information at a conference – or if the plagiarizer is capable of telepathy. Perhaps we need a new term for plagiarism “in advance”.

      Rolf Degen

      May 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      • There are lots of possibilities, including but not limited to, a student/colleague having drafted part of the manuscript and it haven’t been taken and used OR an editor/reviewer stealing part of a manuscript. Could have been a student’s essay from a class.


        May 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      • “Time-reversed plagiarism”.


        May 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm

  2. I look forward to your future coverage of retractions related to President Obama and Vice President Biden.


    May 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

  3. Maybe they wrote she was smart and nobody could reproduce the experiment.

    Mihai Martoiu Ticu

    May 18, 2014 at 12:26 pm

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