After an international group of physicists agreed that the findings of their 2015 paper were in doubt, they simply couldn’t agree on how to explain what went wrong. Apparently tired of waiting, the journal retracted the paper anyway.
The resulting notice doesn’t say much, for obvious reasons. Apparently, some additional information came to light which caused the researchers to question the results and model. Although the five authors thought a retraction was the right call, they could not agree on the language in the notice.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Atomistic simulation of damage accumulation and amorphization in Ge,” published online February 2015 in the Journal of Applied Physics (JAP) and retracted two years later in January 2017: Read the rest of this entry »
A physics journal has retracted a 2016 study after learning that the author published it without the knowledge or permission of the funder, which had a confidentiality agreement in place for the work.
According to the retraction notice in Applied Physics Letters, the paper also lifted content from other researchers without due credit. Given the “legal issue” associated with the breach of confidentiality, the journal has decided to remove the paper entirely.
Bowing to outraged scientists, the American Physical Society (APS) has retracted a press release (archived here) it issued yesterday that urged President-elect Donald Trump to “Make America Great Again” by strengthening “scientific leadership.”
The statement, attributed to Tawanda Johnson, in the APS’ Washington, D.C. office, congratulated Trump on his victory over Hillary Clinton and said the nation must “reclaim its scientific leadership, which it has lost during the past decade. APS believes that such policies” — which it did not specify — “will help the Trump administration achieve its goal captured by its slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
The release goes on to claim that the United States ranks 10th worldwide in “overall innovation,” thanks in part to less-than-adequate funding for scientific research.
Social media went predictably bonkers as the release made the rounds. From Twitter: Read the rest of this entry »
The Texas institute that participated in the groundbreaking gravitational waves discovery had to repay nearly $5 million in funding after misusing and misreporting benefits, according to audits obtained by The Monitor.
The infractions occurred at The University of Texas Brownsville, which has since become part of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Once the issues were discovered, UTRGV had to make the reimbursements.
An Elsevier journal has angered an author by removing his study without telling him.
After spending months asking the journal why it removed the paper — about a heavily debated theorem in physics — and getting no response, the author threatened to seek damages from the journal and publisher for “permanently stigmatizing” his work. Yesterday, an Elsevier representative told the author what happened: Experts told the journal the paper had a major mistake, so the journal decided to withdraw the study, but failed to tell the author due to an “internal error.”
That explanation didn’t satisfy study author Joy Christian, scientific director of the Einstein Centre for Local-Realistic Physics in Oxford, UK, who has demanded the journal either republish the article or remove it and return the copyright to him, or he will pursue legal action.
Here’s the cryptic publisher’s note for “Local causality in a Friedmann–Robertson–Walker spacetime:” Read the rest of this entry »
The papers present a method for imaging very small things — like biological processes on a molecular scale — that could be an alternative to electron microscopy, as the authors explain in a video. But after the papers were published in the New Journal of Physics, last author Ulf Leonhardt, now based at the Weizmann Institute of Science, found out that some of the data
were pixel-by-pixel mirror-symmetric, which is impossible for genuine experimental data.
One of the researchers co-authored a subsequent paper that acknowledges one of the papers incorrectly assumed the data were symmetrical, and could therefore be extrapolated from one side to the other. A representative of the publisher told us they have not seen any signs of misconduct, and the problem seemed to result from a “series of apparent miscommunications between the authors.”
Science has retracted an August paper on an interesting electric current researchers observed in a kind of material called a topological insulator. Well, a current the researchers — based at Stanford and MIT — thought they had observed.
A magnetic field with particular attributes reported in the paper seemed to provide evidence of the current. But the researchers soon discovered that the field might have been, in part, an artifact of the very device they used to detect it. The authors, along with a few other researchers, have published that subsequent finding on the physics preprint server, arXiv.
This week, PubPeer filed a motion to quash a subpoena demanding that they reveal the names of some of their commenters. Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: Read the rest of this entry »
A paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.
The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »
The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected.
We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the paywall was the unintentional consequence of a web redesign, and that they are in the process of restoring public access to “all Errata-types, including Retractions.”
Here’s the rest of his statement: Read the rest of this entry »