Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Climate science critic Wegman reprimanded by one university committee while another finds no misconduct

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The author of a controversial and now-retracted paper questioning the science of climate change has been reprimanded by his university for plagiarism. According to USA Today’s Dan Vergano, who broke the news:

[Edward] Wegman was the senior author of a 2006 report to Congress that criticized climate scientists as excessively collaborative, and found fault with a statistical technique used in two climate studies. Portions of the report analysis were published in the journal, Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, in a 2008 study.

University of Massachusetts professor Raymond Bradley filed a complaint against Wegman in 2010, noting that portions of the report and the CSDA study appeared lifted from one of his textbooks and from other sources, including Wikipedia. CSDA later retracted the study, noting the plagiarism, last year.

Here’s the explicit retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 24th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Weekend reads, part 2: Oldest-ever PhD; most embarrassing citation ever; blame the antibodies?

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booksAs we noted Saturday, there was so much happening around the web last week that it made sense to break up Weekend Reads, especially since this is a holiday weekend in the U.S. and elsewhere. Here’s part 2: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 25th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

Nature, facing “considerable rise” in retractions, blames lawyers for opaque and delayed notices

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nature oct coverNature, as we and others have noticed, has had what Paul Knoepfler referred to as a “torrent” of retractions in the past two years. That torrent — 13 research papers — has prompted a welcome and soul-searching editorial, as it did in 2010 when the journal had what it called an “unusually large number” of 4.

As the editors write this week in “Retraction challenges:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:37 am

Posted in nature retractions

Near “word-to-word” similarities topple microflora paper

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matfetneonatThe Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine has retracted a 2012 paper by a group of pediatric gut researchers in Naples, Italy, who seemed to have had a visceral reaction to using their own words.

The paper, “Composition and roles of intestinal microbiota in children,” sought to

provide an update of the advantages of new-generation molecular diagnostics to study the diversity of intestinal microflora and to evaluate its alteration in human diseases.

The paper has been cited five times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Heart pulls sodium meta-analysis over duplicated, and now missing, data

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heart cover may13The journal Heart has retracted a 2012 meta-analysis after learning that two of the six studies included in the review contained duplicated data.  Those studies, it so happens, were conducted by one of the co-authors.

The article, “Low sodium versus normal sodium diets in systolic heart failure: systematic review and meta-analysis,” came from an eclectic group of authors from the United States, Canada and Italy (the first author is listed as being at a Wegmans pharmacy in Ithaca, N.Y.). The paper, published online in August 2012, purported to find that: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper claiming hottest 60-year-span in 1,000 years put on hold after being published online

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The authors of a study of Australasian temperatures over the past millennium have put the print publication of an online-first study on hold after errors were identified in the records they used.

Here’s how summarized the findings of the original paper, which was published in mid-May:

The conclusion reached is that summer temperatures in the post-1950 period were warmer than anything else in the last 1000 years at high confidence, and in the last ~400 years at very high confidence.

The page at the American Metereological Society site where the paper used to be now reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 11th, 2012 at 9:53 am

Controversial paper critiquing climate change science set to be retracted because of plagiarism

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A controversial study of how relationships between climate change scientists may affect the field, and that has been dogged by charges of plagiarism, will be retracted, USA Today reports.

The abstract of the 2008 paper in Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, by Edward Wegman and colleagues, concluded:

We conjecture that certain styles of co-authorship lead to the possibility of group-think, reduced creativity, and the possibility of less rigorous reviewing processes.

According to USA Today: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 17th, 2011 at 9:30 am