Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Authors retract study that found pollution near fracking sites

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Environmental Science and TechnologyThe authors of two environmental papers, including one about the effects of fracking on human health, have retracted them after discovering crucial mistakes.

One of the studies reported an increased level of air pollution near gas extraction sites, and the other suggested that 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico contributed to air contamination.

According to the corresponding author of both papers, Kim Anderson at Oregon State University, the journal plans to publish new versions of both papers in the next few days. In the case of the fracking paper, the conclusions have been reversed — the original paper stated pollution levels exceeded limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for lifetime cancer risk, but the corrected data set the risks below EPA levels.

The fracking paper received some media attention when it was released, as it tapped into long-standing concerns about the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which extracts natural gas from the earth. A press release that accompanied the paper quoted Anderson as warning: Read the rest of this entry »

Double-dipping equals double retraction for fracking paper

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tran por medTransport in Porous Media and the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering have retracted two articles on shale gas by Chinese researchers for duplication and other “mistakes.”

The articles came from a group at the State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation at Southwest Petroleum University, in Chengdu. The articles share a corresponding author.

According to the abstract of the TPM paper, “Pressure Transient Analysis for Multi-stage Fractured Horizontal Wells in Shale Gas Reservoirs”:

The presented model could be used to interpret pressure signals more accurately for shale gas reservoirs.

Make that a double, according to its notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Undisclosed industry funding prompts correction of fracking paper

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152 page minimum spine. Editor: Matt Hotze, JEM: Esther RTP:  Diane Murphy

Environmental Science & Technology has issued a correction for a March 2015 paper on methane contamination from gas wells after learning that the authors failed to disclose funding from Chesapeake Energy Corp., a major U.S. energy producer.

The paper, “Methane Concentrations in Water Wells Unrelated to Proximity to Existing Oil and Gas Wells in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” came from a group led by Donald Siegel, of Syracuse University. In the correction, Siegel acknowledges having received “funding privately” from Chesapeake for the study, which found: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

May 8th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Weekend reads: Unscientific peer review; impact factor revolt; men love to cite themselves

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a puzzle, and the retraction of a controversial study on fracking. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 9th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Environmental group alleges scientific fraud in disputed methane studies

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icn-logoNote: We are reprinting below an article originally published at InsideClimate News.

The inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been asked to examine whether a significant recent study of greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas fields was technically flawed—and whether researchers brushed aside concerns that methane pollution was being understated.

The emission of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas in the short term than carbon dioxide, has proven difficult to measure. The latest complaint is a volley in a long-running skirmish among academics, advocacy groups and regulators over how tightly methane should be regulated.

On Wednesday, a North Carolina environmental advocacy group, NC Warn, alleged that this dispute has risen to the level of fraud. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend reads: Science press releases under fire; a new plagiarism excuse; win $1,000

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of an entire issue of a journal and a renewable energy researcher agree to retract ten papers for recycling, and saw The Australian put us on its list of “30 Most Influential” in higher education for 2016. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 16th, 2016 at 10:06 am

Posted in weekend reads

Weekend reads: FDA nominee authorship questions; low economics replication rates

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a mysterious retraction from PLOS ONE, and a thoughtful piece by a scientist we’ve covered frequently on where we went wrong in that coverage. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 10th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

Weekend reads: Yelp for journals; where do the postdocs go?; scientific papers’ hidden jokes

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booksThis week at Retraction Watch featured two Office of Research Integrity findings, and retractions in the Voinnet and Hanna cases. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 11th, 2015 at 10:01 am

Posted in weekend reads