Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Journal cleans the house by retracting 6 cancer papers for plagiarism

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Following an investigation, a genetics journal has pulled six cancer papers published this year for plagiarizing from other sources.

According to an excerpt from the retraction notice in Genetics and Molecular Research, the journal has “strong reason to believe that the peer review process was [a] failure,” and has alerted the authors’ institutions.

The notice announcing the retraction of all six papers begins: Read the rest of this entry »

Beg pardon? Researchers pull cancer paper because, well, um, you see …

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dovepressWe’ve been writing about retractions for six years, and things tend to fall into easily recognizable categories — plagiarism, fabricated data, rigged peer review, etc.

So it’s always interesting to come across a notice sui generis, such as one that appeared in July in OncoTargets and Therapy, a Dove title, about a new way to detect tumor markers.

According to the retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fake email address — for author, not reviewer — fells another paper

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Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.19.43 AMWe’ve seen many cases of researchers creating fake email addresses to impersonate reviewers that usher their paper to publication.

But in the latest fake email incident, a journal is retracting a paper on liver cancer after the first author created a phony address for the last and corresponding author. Both are researchers at Zhengzhou University in China.

This isn’t the first time that an author has worked around the corresponding author: there’s a case from a few years ago in which the corresponding author didn’t know that the paper was being published at all. Recently, we also wrote about a doctor who was suspended in the UK after submitting papers without her co-authors’ knowledge, including creating a fake email for one of them.

This latest paper had another problem, too: plagiarism. Here’s the retraction note for “The influence of TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharides on hepatocellular carcinoma cells and the feasibility of its application in treating liver cancer,” published in OncoTargets and Therapy:

Read the rest of this entry »

Help us: Here’s some of what we’re working on

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With something like 500-600 retractions per year, and a constant flurry of publishing news to keep up with, our small staff stays busy – and can’t always immediately post on every new retraction that we discover. We’ve created this page to show you some of what’s on our current to-do list. If you have any tips for us about the nature of a retraction, expression of concern, or correction you see here — or know of any other retractions by the same authors — please let us know in a comment. Note: Once we’ve posted about a retraction, we’ll bump it down to the bottom of the list.

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Written by Alison McCook

March 14th, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Posted in

Plagiarism was “not an intentional act,” says first author of retracted TB paper

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logoA 2013 review article about tuberculosis is being retracted for “unacknowledged re-use of significant portions of text” from another article, which the first author said wasn’t intentional.

Sayantan Ray, based at Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata in India, told us that “most of the unchanged text” is present in sections written by junior co-authors. Since there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to cover it up, he argued anyone responsible for the plagiarism must not have realized it was wrong:

You can appreciate that this type of obvious similarity can only happen when the concerned person [does] not have any idea about [the] plagiarism issue.

According to the notice, published by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, most of the re-used text appears to have come from a 2012 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. Here’s more from the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract green coffee bean diet paper touted by Dr. Oz

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green coffee beanTwo authors of a 2012 paper sponsored by a company that made grand claims about green coffee bean extract’s abilities to help people lose weight have retracted it. The study was cited by The Dr. Oz Show, and last month it cost the company a $3.5 million settlement with the Feds.

Here’s the notice for “Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects,” a paper originally published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy: Read the rest of this entry »

“Authors, please call us. Pretty please? OK, we’re going to retract your paper!”

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dovelogoThe title of this post isn’t exactly how the one-sided conversation between the editors of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment and a group of researchers went. But it seems likely it was pretty close.

Here’s an expression of concern for “A cross-sectional study on perception of stigma by Chinese schizophrenia patients:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 29th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

“Lack of experience and understanding” forces duplication retractions of liver cancer paper

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dovelogoA group of researchers in China has lost their paper on liver cancer after the first author admitted to duplication, also known, inelegantly, as self-plagiarism.

The paper, “Glycyrrhetinic acid-modified chitosan nanoparticles enhanced the effect of 5-fluorouracil in murine liver cancer model via regulatory T-cells,” appeared in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Drug Design, Development and Therapy, a Dove Press title.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

No more scientific Lake Wobegon: After criticism, publisher adds a “reject” option for peer reviewers

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doveIf you know Prairie Home Companion, you that that in fictional Lake Wobegon, “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

That’s a bit like what Harvard’s Nir Eyal found when he was asked to review a paper for Dove Medical Press. Here’s what he saw when he looked at Dove’s peer reviewer form:
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Written by Ivan Oransky

February 12th, 2014 at 11:33 am

Author blames “young coworker” for duplication as paper is retracted

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doveDoes anyone know how to say “thrown under the bus” in Italian?

A group of researchers in Italy has retracted a paper after it became clear that they had duplicated some of their previous work. Or, as one of the senior authors put it, as a “young coworker” had reused their material.

Here’s the notice from Biologics: Targets and Therapy: Read the rest of this entry »