Retraction Watch

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Scott Reuben notches 25th retraction, for a letter to the editor

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.08.26 AMAnother domino has fallen for the infamous and prolific former anesthesiologist Scott Reuben. This time it’s a retraction for a letter to the editor that cites one of his since-retracted papers.

The letter, published in 2001, argues that local anesthesia is a “safe, reliable, inexpensive, and practical alternative to the use of epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia” for outpatient knee surgery. But to support his point, he uses one of his papers that has since been retracted for data fabrication.

The note from Anesthesia & Analgesia explains:
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Is post-hoc statistical analysis the new fraud detection tool? A new review looks at fraudster Reuben’s work

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In the beginning, there was Scott Reuben.

Well, not quite. Reuben, a Massachusetts anesthesiologist who fabricated data and briefly topped our list of most-retracted authors, didn’t invent research fraud, although he did spend six months in federal prison for his crimes. But his case was in no small measure responsible for the birth of this blog, and, well, the rest of human history that followed.

Although Reuben’s retractions are behind him now — his count ends at 22 — and other scientists, including two anesthesiologists, Joachim Boldt and Yoshitaka Fujii, have or likely soon will dramatically eclipsed his mark, a new paper has revisited his publications with an eye toward seeing if they could identify statistical evidence of data manipulation. It’s the same  kind of effort that Ed Yong highlighted as noteworthy about the Dirk Smeesters case, which we covered yesterday and which involved an anonymous statistically inclined whistleblower.

Before we get to whether there was evidence of such manipulation Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

June 26th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Two in 100 clinical trials in eight major journals likely contain inaccurate data: Study

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A sweeping analysis of more than 5,000 papers in eight leading medical journals has found compelling evidence of suspect data in roughly 2% of randomized controlled clinical trials in those journals.

Although the analysis, by John Carlisle, an anesthetist in the United Kingdom, could not determine whether the concerning data were tainted by misconduct or sloppiness, it suggests that editors of the journals have some investigating to do. Of the 98 studies identified by the method, only 16 have already been retracted. [See update at end.]

The types of studies analyzed — randomized controlled clinical trials — are considered the gold standard of medical evidence, and tend to be the basis for drug approvals and changes in clinical practice. Carlisle, according to an editorial by John Loadsman and Tim McCulloch accompanying the new study published today in Anesthesia, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 5th, 2017 at 3:45 am

Nutrition researcher Chandra, who lost libel suit, charged with health care fraud

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R K Chandra

R K Chandra

A nutrition researcher with multiple retractions who unsuccessfully sued the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for libel has been charged with defrauding a state health insurance plan.

The Toronto Star reports that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Ranjit Kumar Chandra for billing the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for “services that were either not provided or billed inappropriately.” The charges do not appear to be related to his research: Chandra worked once a week as an allergist for the past four years, the Star reports, and the alleged fraud was at least $5,000. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 25th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Vast majority of Americans want to criminalize data fraud, says new study

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court caseAs Retraction Watch readers know, criminal sanctions for research fraud are extremely rare. There have been just a handful of cases — Dong-Pyou Han, Eric Poehlman, and Scott Reuben, to name several — that have led to prison sentences.

According to a new study, however, the rarity of such cases is out of sync with with the wishes of the U.S. population:
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Written by Ivan Oransky

July 11th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Neuroscientist pleads guilty in court to fraud, gets two-year suspended sentence

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Bruce Murdoch

Bruce Murdoch

A Parkinson’s researcher pleaded guilty to fraud in court this morning in Brisbane, Australia, and received a two-year suspended sentence.

Court sentences for fraud are rare, to say the least. This one follows an investigation by Bruce Murdoch‘s former employer, the University of Queensland, into 92 papers — resulting in the retraction of three papers co-authored by Caroline Barwood, also facing fraud charges. The investigation was unable to find any evidence that published research cited in court had been ever carried out.

The Australian reported this morning that Murdoch:

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Danish neuroscientist sentenced by court for lying about faked experiments

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court caseIn a rare development, neuroscientist Milena Penkowa has been sentenced by a Danish court for faking data.

The ruling, from the Copenhagen City Court, resulted from Penkowa’s publication of her 2003 thesis describing experiments that she never carried out. The court “placed weight” on the fact that she didn’t just commit fraud, but “systematically supplied false information” to avoid being caught, according to the court’s notice.

The sentence is nine months of “conditional imprisonment,” according to our translation; The University Posta newspaper affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, calls it a “nine month suspended sentence with a two years probation.”

Here’s the full summary of the new ruling, from the Copenhagen City Court (translated from Danish by One Hour Translation):

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Written by Shannon Palus

October 1st, 2015 at 9:10 am

Half of anesthesiology fraudster’s papers continue to be cited years after retractions

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ethicsIn yet more evidence that retracted studies continue to accrue citations, a new paper has shown that nearly half of anesthesiologist Scott Reuben’s papers have been cited five years after being retracted, and only one-fourth of citations correctly note the retraction.

According to the new paper, in Science and Engineering Ethics: Read the rest of this entry »

Who has the most retractions? Introducing the Retraction Watch leaderboard

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Ever since we broke the news about the issues with the now-retracted Science paper about changing people’s minds on gay marriage, we’ve been the subject of a lot of press coverage, which has in turn led a number of people to ask us: Who has the most retractions?

Well, we’ve tried to answer that in our new Retraction Watch leaderboard.

Here is the current list (click here for more detailed information about our methodology and additional notes): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

June 16th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

The Retraction Watch Leaderboard

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Who has the most retractions? Here’s our unofficial list (see notes on methodology), which we’ll update as more information comes to light:

  1. Yoshitaka Fujii (total retractions: 183) See also: Final report of investigating committee, our reporting, additional coverage
  2. Joachim Boldt (96) See also: Editors-in-chief statement, our coverage
  3. Diederik Stapel (58) See also: our coverage
  4. Adrian Maxim (48) See also: our coverage
  5. Chen-Yuan (Peter) Chen (43) See also: SAGE, our coverage
  6. Hua Zhong (41) See also: journal notice
  7. Shigeaki Kato (39) See also: our coverage
  8. James Hunton (36) See also: our coverage
  9. Hyung-In Moon (35) See also: our coverage
  10. Naoki Mori (32) See also: our coverage
  11. Jan Hendrik Schön (31) See also: our coverage
  12. Tao Liu (29) See also: our coverage
  13. Cheng-Wu Chen (28) See also: our coverage
  14. Yoshihiro Sato (25) See also: our coverage
  15. Scott Reuben (24) See also: our coverage
  16. Jun Iwamoto (23) See also: our coverage
  17. Gilson Khang (22) See also: our coverage
  18. Noel Chia (21) See also: our coverage
  19. Friedhelm Herrmann (21) See also: our coverage
  20. Dipak Das (20) See also: our coverage
  21. Khalid Zaman (20) See also: our coverage
  22. Jin Cheng (19) See also: our coverage
  23. Stanley Rapoport (19) See also: our coverage
  24. Fazlul Sarkar (19) See also: our coverage
  25. Bharat Aggarwal (18) See also: our coverage
  26. John Darsee (17) See also: our coverage
  27. Wataru Matsuyama (17) See also: our coverage
  28. Erin Potts-Kant (17) See also: our coverage
  29. Robert Slutsky (17) See also: our coverage
  30. Ulrich Lichtenthaler (16) See also: our coverage

We note that all but one of the top 30 are men, which agrees with the general findings of a 2013 paper suggesting that men are more likely to commit fraud.

Notes:

Many accounts of the John Darsee story cite 80-plus retractions, which would place him third on the list, but Web of Science only lists 17, three of which are categorized as corrections. That’s not the only discrepancy. For example, Fujii has 138 retractions listed in Web of Science, compared to 183 as recommended by a university committee, while Reuben has 25, compared to the 22 named in this paper. We know that not everything ends up in Web of Science — Chen, for example, isn’t there at all — so we’ve used our judgment based on covering these cases to arrive at the highest numbers we could verify.

Shigeaki Kato is likely to end up with 43 retractions, based on the results of a university investigation.

All of this is a good reminder why the database we’re building with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation and Arnold Foundation will be useful.

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Written by Ivan Oransky

June 16th, 2015 at 11:09 am

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