Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Former accounting prof adds 4 more retractions, bringing total to 37

with 4 comments

James Hunton, via Bentley University

James Hunton, via Bentley University

We’ve found four more retractions for an erstwhile accounting professor, bringing his total to 37.

The latest retractions follow a 2014 investigation into the work of James E. Hunton by his former employer, Bentley University in Massachusetts, which found him guilty of misconduct, resulting in more than two dozen retractions. Here’s the list of retractions released by the American Accounting Association

Here is the retraction notice, which is similar for all the newly retracted papers:

The Publisher has decided to retract this article, and the Editor-in-Chief supports the decision of the Publisher.

The “Report of Judith A. Malone, Bentley University Ethics Officer, Concerning Dr. James E. Hunton” indicated that “the whole body of Dr. Hunton’s extensive research while a faculty member at Bentley University must now be considered suspect” ( Based upon the information provided by the co-author, Dr. Hunton collected the data for this article. There was never the opportunity for the co-author to collect the data or interact with the study participants. Given the inability to provide an independent evidence of the validity of the primary data, the Publisher considers that the scientific integrity of the article cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, the Publisher decided to retract the article, and the Editor-in-Chief supports this decision. There is no evidence that the co-author was aware of or complicit in Dr. Hunton’s actions.

Hunton resigned from his teaching position at Bentley University in December 2012, one month after his first retraction, citing family and health concerns.

Let’s take a look at Hunton’s newly pulled papers, which are all from Elsevier journals.

First, a 2007 paper published in Accounting, Organizations and Society, “Can directors’ self-interests influence accounting choices?,” which has been cited 15 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Next, a paper published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, “Will corporate directors engage in bias arbitrage to curry favor with shareholders?,” which has so far been cited twice since being published in 2012. Here’s the retraction notice.

We recently discovered the next two retractions by the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, issued in November 2015. An Elsevier spokesperson confirmed that both retraction notices were later fixed with “small corrections” and typos — the first one on November 24, and the second on January 19.

One is the 2010 paper, “Continuous monitoring and the status quo effect,” which has not yet been indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

And finally, “Enterprise resource planning systems and non-financial performance incentives: The joint impact on corporate performance,” a 2007 paper, which is also yet to be indexed.

Hunton’s newest retractions bring him up to #8 on our leaderboard.

Previously, we misattributed a partial retraction to Hunton, which was not authored by him, but is — as the American Accounting Association puts it — “related” to him. According to the notice, Hunton was listed in the acknowledgments for providing data to a section of the paper, which the journal has since retracted. Since Hunton is not officially an author on that paper, we have excluded this partial retraction from Hunton’s total count.

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  • Jose May 13, 2016 at 5:13 am

    How many retractions before it makes sense to tag *all* of an author’s papers with a ‘note of concern?’

  • Chauncey M. DePree, Jr., DBA May 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Is Mr. Hinton’s greed his downfall: too much data creation, too much manipulation? How many others are less greedy, less apt to be detected?

  • Anonymous November 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Is it James H. Hunton or James E. Hunton?

    • Alison McCook November 4, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Fixed, thanks!

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