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In the meantime, “A Project-Based Case Study of Data Science Education” has been retracted, with this notice:

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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

“Hindsight’s a bitch:” Colleagues dissect painful retraction

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Two blog posts are shining additional light on a recent retraction that included some unanswered questions — namely, the identity of the researcher who admitted to manipulating the results.

To recap: Psychological Science recently announced it was retracting a paper about the relationship between the words you use and your mood after a graduate student tampered with the results. But the sole author — William Hart, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama — was not responsible.

The post raised some questions — for instance, who was the graduate student, and if his or her work was so influential to a paper, why was he/she not listed as an author? Hart declined to identify the student, but two new blogs — including one by one of Hart’s collaborators at the University of Alabama — are providing more details.

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“Social science isn’t definitive like chemistry:” Embattled food researcher defends his work

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Brian Wansink

It’s been a busy few months for Brian Wansink, a prominent food researcher at Cornell University. A blog post he wrote in November prompted a huge backlash from readers who accused him of using problematic research methods to produce questionable data, and a group of researchers suggested four of his papers contained 150 inconsistencies. The scientist has since announced he’s asked a non-author to reanalyze the data — a researcher in his own lab. Meanwhile, criticisms continue to mount. We spoke with Wansink about the backlash, and how he hopes to answer his critics’ questions.

Retraction Watch: Why not engage someone outside your lab to revalidate the analysis of the four papers under question? 

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Written by Alison McCook

February 16th, 2017 at 10:15 am

Elsevier to retract six more papers by computer scientist, citing duplication and fake reviews

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Yesterday we reported that Elsevier journals had pulled three papers by a computer scientist with an impressive publication record. The publisher has since informed us that it plans to pull six more, again citing duplication and manipulation of the peer-review process.

Shahaboddin Shamshirband at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s record will be down by a total of nine papers once the publisher issues the additional notices. We also found evidence that an additional paper was removed by a journal, but haven’t confirmed if that’s a retraction.

One of Shamshirband’s co-authors has objected to one of the retractions Elsevier has already issued for faked reviews, arguing the reviewers were PhD students without institutional email addresses. A spokesperson for Elsevier told us:

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