Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Analysis casts doubt on bone researcher’s body of work

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19-coverA new analysis of more than 30 clinical trials co-authored by a bone researcher based in Japan is casting doubt on the legitimacy of the findings.

Yoshihiro Sato, based at Mitate Hospital, has already retracted 12 papers, for reasons ranging from data problems, to including co-authors without their consent, to self-plagiarism. Most of these retracted papers are included in the analysis in the journal Neurology, which concluded that Sato’s 33 randomized clinical trials exhibited patterns that suggest systematic problems with the results.

Other researchers have used similar approaches to analyze a researcher’s body of work — notably, when John Carlisle applied statistical tools to uncover problems in the research of notorious fraudster Yoshitaka Fujii, and Uri Simonsohn, who sniffed out problems with the work of social psychologist  Dirk Smeesters.

Author Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland told us he was surprised by his findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

November 9th, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Two more retractions bring bone researcher’s total to 12

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jbmrA bone researcher based in Japan with 10 retractions under his belt has retracted two more papers for similar reasons — problems with the underlying data, and including co-authors who didn’t participate in the project.

In both notices, Yoshihiro Sato is pegged as responsible for the content of the papers. The newly retracted research covers a long timespan — one paper was published in 2000, the other in 2013.

Here’s the first notice, issued by the Journal of Bone and Mineral ResearchRead the rest of this entry »

Bone researcher up to 10 retractions

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Neurology JournalA journal is retracting three papers and a letter from a bone researcher who admitted to scientific misconduct, noting that all co-authors were included only for honorary reasons.

We’ve previously reported on six retractions of papers co-authored by Yoshihiro Sato, who is based at Mitate Hospital in Japan, including one in JAMA. Retractions stemmed from the use of “honorary” co-authors, as well as concerns over the data. One paper seemed to be the victim of “extensive self-plagiarism.”

Sato, who is the first and corresponding author of all ten retractions (including the letter), accepted full responsibility of the newly retracted publications, noting that none of the co-authors took part in any misconduct.

Here’s the retraction notice — which is similar for all four new retractions — issued on July 12: Read the rest of this entry »

Sixth retraction appears for bone researcher due to “extensive self-plagiarism”

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cov150hA bone researcher in Japan has logged his sixth retraction, after acknowledging he duplicated substantial portions of a 2011 paper and added “honorary” co-authors.

The retraction, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, follows five others for Yoshihiro Sato, including one from JAMA, some of which were pulled over concerns regarding authorship and data integrity. The latest retraction duplicated text from another 2005 paper that was itself retracted last year, both for duplicating from this newly retracted paper and for “concerns about the underlying data.”

Sato — who is listed at Mitate Hospital on the paper — told the journal he takes full responsibility.

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

“All co-authors are honorary:” Team earns fifth retraction

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Movement DisordersA team of researchers from Japan has earned a fifth retraction, after co-authors told the journal that they did not participate in much of the paper.

Yoshihiro Sato, listed at Mitate Hospital, is the only author of the paper who was not “honorary,” the managing editor of the journal confirmed. He and the same co-authors recently lost three other papers about preventing hip fractures for “concerns regarding data integrity” and authorship issues — one of those papers, published in JAMA, specified that Sato was responsible for the data. All four authors were also included in a retraction last year of a paper with “concerns about the underlying data;” there, too, Sato said his co-authors were named “for honorary reasons.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “Alendronate and vitamin D2 for prevention of hip fracture in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled trial,” published in Movement Disorders:

Read the rest of this entry »

JAMA journals pull 3 papers by same authors for misconduct

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JAMAJAMA and another journal in its network have retracted three 2005 papers about preventing hip fractures, after an admission of scientific misconduct. 

All papers are being retracted over concerns about data integrity, and “inappropriate assignment of authorship.” Four of the authors — all based in Japan — have co-authored all of the three newly retracted papers, and also share authorship of a previous retraction from 2015

The JAMA paper was tagged with an Expression of Concern last year, regarding the “conduct, integrity, and scientific validity” of the paper. 

Here’s the retraction notice for the JAMA paper, “Effect of Folate and Mecobalamin on Hip Fractures in Patients With Stroke:” Read the rest of this entry »

Osteoporosis paper felled by concerns with “scientific integrity”

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A paper suggesting that exposure to sunlight might help prevent hip fractures in the elderly has been retracted, due to duplication and “concerns about the underlying data.”

An expression of concern that appeared last July flagged the 2005 paper as containing text that matched another paper with the same first author that was published in 2011. According to the publisher, that duplicated text sparked a closer look at the text, which raised concerns about the scientific integrity of the paper.

The retraction note, published by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, says that the first author was responsible for the content of the paper: Read the rest of this entry »