Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Does your work need IRB approval? Better check, says author of retracted paper

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Does an article that discusses anonymized student projects about how to catalog data count as research on human subjects?

One of the students included in the paper thought so, and complained to the journal after learning that it had published the case study of the program without the approval required for studying people. The authors admitted they didn’t get consent from participants, because they didn’t realize the work required it. The mix-up has prompted both them and the journal to reconsider their policies regarding ethics approval of studies.

In the meantime, “A Project-Based Case Study of Data Science Education” has been retracted, with this notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

IRB mishap costs MD Anderson team a paper on prostate cancer

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bjuifeb14A group of researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has lost a 2013 paper in BJU International for running afoul of their institution’s ethics review board, and of military reviewers, as well.

The paper, “Many young men with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screen-detected prostate cancers may be candidates for active surveillance,” looked at prostate cancer screening in men 55 and under — considered young for the older-man’s disease. According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

IRB issues force retraction of ulcer bug bacteria paper

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jpgnA group of Turkish researchers has had a paper retracted on how to treat the bacterium that cause ulcers after the journal’s editors found “issues related to the institutional review board approval” of the project.

Here’s the retraction notice from the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: Read the rest of this entry »

Three more Fujii papers fall for lack of IRB approval

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Three journals under the JAMA umbrella are retracting papers by Yoshitaka Fujii, the Japanese anesthesiologist accused of research misconduct so sweeping that it might net him the record for most retractions by a single author.

The papers, in the Archives of Surgery, Archives of Ophthalmology and the Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, were published in 2001 and 2005.

Here are the notices, which are essentially identical but for the titles of the articles: Read the rest of this entry »

Circulation retracts four papers by author who misled on IRB approval

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Circulation has retracted four articles by a pediatric cardiologist in Japan who failed to obtain ethics approval for the studies in question but evidently lied about it to the journal.

The researcher, Hideaki Senzaki, of Saitama Medical University, is a highly-published investigator who trained for a time with at Johns Hopkins.

According to the Circulation notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

June 13th, 2012 at 9:30 am

Another retraction of IRB-free paper from Aussie sports medicine group

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There’s another retraction from the Australian researchers who failed to obtain institutional review board (IRB) approval for their studies of rugby players and footballers.

The 2010 paper, in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders — which had already retracted two other articles from the group — was titled “The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: A randomized controlled trial.”

The editor of the journal had added this comment to the PDFs associated with the paper on August 3, a day after our post on the previous two retractions: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

September 16th, 2011 at 9:30 am

A dingo ate my IRB form: Journal cries foul over Aussie-rules football and rugby papers that lied

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Toronto Dingos, photo by Ovesny Navarro

If there’s any group of subjects a scientist wouldn’t want to piss off, it would have to be Aussie-rules football and rugby players, who are tough enough to make a saltwater crocodile wish it was a belt.  And when those guinea pigs are suffering from low back pain — well, we shudder to think.

The journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has retracted two papers from a group of Australian researchers who appear to have lied about having received IRB approval for their studies of back pain in rough-sport athletes.

According to the first notice, for “Low back pain status in elite and semi-elite Australian football codes: a cross-sectional survey of football (soccer), Australian-Rules, rugby league, rugby union and non-athletic controls:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

August 2nd, 2011 at 11:39 am

WHO asks dozens of journals to correct papers on diagnostic tool developed by former collaborators

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In one of the largest such requests we’ve ever heard of, the World Health Organization has asked 46 journals to correct articles that refer to a bone fracture risk diagnostic tool as developed or endorsed by the WHO.

By WHO’s count, the tool — known as Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX), which has come under scrutiny as experts have questioned its effectiveness — has been linked to the WHO in over 500 scientific articles. The organization wants to change that. The health agency says it has no ties to the tool and claims its developers have spread “misinformation” asserting a link to the WHO. But the tool’s lead developer disputes this, claiming the agency collaborated on the tool from its inception.

Last December, in an editorial published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization titled “Clarifying WHO’s position on the FRAX tool for fracture prediction,” the organization disavowed a connection to the tool:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mark Zastrow

November 16th, 2017 at 11:10 am

Posted in Geriatric medicine

A paper about eye damage in astronauts got pulled for “security concerns.” Huh?

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Here’s a head-scratcher: A 2017 paper examining why long space flights can cause eye damage has been taken down, with a brief note saying NASA, which sponsored the research, asked for the retraction because of “security concerns.”

According to the first author, the paper included information that could identify some of the astronauts that took part in the study — namely, their flight information. Although the author said he removed the identifying information after the paper was online, NASA still opted to retract it. But a spokesperson at NASA told us the agency did not supply the language for the retraction notice. The journal editor confirmed the paper was retracted for “research subject confidentiality issues,” but referred a question about who supplied the language of the notice back to NASA.

Now lawyers are involved.

So we still have some questions about this one. Here’s what we do know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Author who previously claimed plagiarism was a mistake earns new erratum

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A biotechnology journal has corrected a 2006 paper after discovering duplication and plagiarism.

This offense is the second we know of for the corresponding author, Uttam Chand Banerjee, in the same journal, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Last year, Banerjee—who works at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Mohali, Punjab, India—had a 14-year-old review retracted in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology after an investigation revealed the authors had plagiarized from numerous sources and failed to reference them. At the time, Banerjee told us that he and his co-authors took a few lines from other reviews and that omitting the references was “simply unintentional.” According to The Indian Express, Banerjee also faced plagiarism allegations in 2005, and was denied a prestigious fellowship in 2011 as a result. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Victoria Stern

September 8th, 2017 at 11:18 am