Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Search Results

A retraction cluster? Two papers retracted for overlap with other retractions

without comments

molecular biology reportA cluster of papers by different authors has been retracted for sharing text, even though some papers were submitted at the same time.

How is that possible? A spokesperson for Springer told us that they have reason to believe a third-party company may have helped prepare the papers for publication, and in the process might have spread the material around to multiple manuscripts.

The details of the cluster are a bit perplexing, so bear with us. Two of the papers — that were published only months apart — have already been retracted, as we reported in April. Now, two other papers have been retracted from Molecular Biology Reports — and both notices cite the previously retracted papers. The new notices also say that there’s reason to believe that the peer-review process was compromised.

All papers conclude that a certain polymorphism could signal a risk for coronary artery disease among Chinese people.

We’ll start with the retraction notice for “Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 polymorphisms and coronary artery disease: a case control study,” which cites the two papers that were retracted previously:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Retraction Watch Leaderboard

with 22 comments

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.

Like Retraction Watch? Consider supporting our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, and sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post.

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 16th, 2015 at 11:09 am

Posted in

Journal issues three notices for plant biologist, two citing manipulation

without comments

Researchers have retracted a paper from a plant journal after a probe found problems with several figures.

According to the new retraction notice in The Plant Cell, some figures in the paper were manipulated, as well as “inappropriately duplicated and reused from a previous publication.” The authors assert that they believe the conclusions remain valid.

The journal has also issued two corrections that include some of the same authors — including one that cites inappropriate image manipulation.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued last month: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract two papers on shock therapy, citing language barriers

without comments

the-journal-of-ectAn electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) journal has retracted two 2016 papers after uncovering problems in the data analyses, which the author says were due to language barriers.

Interestingly, two authors of the newly retracted papers — Yu-Tao Xiang from the University of Macau in China and Gabor Ungvari from the University of Western Australia — also recently co-authored another paper on an entirely different topic that has received a lengthy correction. That paper — on the use of organs from executed prisoners in China — raised controversy for allegedly reporting a “sanitized” account of the practice. The correction notice, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, was accompanied by a critics’ rebuttal to the paper.

According to Xiang, the newly retracted papers in The Journal of ECT — which examined the efficacy of ECT in treating schizophrenia — were pulled due to “genuine errors” resulting from differences in language. All the authors agree with the retraction, Xiang noted. 

Xiang told us: Read the rest of this entry »

Renewable energy researcher with troubled record loses another paper

with 2 comments

renewable-sustainable-energy-reviewsA renewable energy researcher who recycled material in several papers — and has already agreed to withdraw 10 studies — has lost another paper.

In January, we reported that six of 10 papers flagged by an investigation into author Shyi-Min Lu have either been retracted or withdrawn. Now, Lu has lost another paper that was not among the previous ten — again, for reproducing figures from earlier works without seeking permission from original authors. This paper was on a hot topic: gas hydrates, considered to be a potential new energy source to replace oil in the 21st century.

The investigations into Lu’s work took place at the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where he was formerly based, and the National Taiwan University, in Taipei, Taiwan, which fired Lu from his position at the university’s energy research center.

Here’s the retraction notice in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, issued last month: Read the rest of this entry »

Nature Medicine retracts MS paper with ghost data by former GSK researcher

with 7 comments

naturemed1213Nearly six months after first expressing concern about the validity of a 2010 paper on multiple sclerosis, Nature Medicine has retracted the article for containing “erroneous” data — which in this case don’t seem to have existed, making them more fabricated than wrong.

The paper, “Crucial role of interleukin-7 in T helper type 17 survival and expansion in autoimmune disease,” came from a group led by Jingwu Zhang, who at the time ran GlaxoSmithKline’s Research and Development Center in Shanghai.

In June, the journal issued an expression of concern about the article after readers discovered problems with the data, as reported by Nature Medicine’s blog.
Read the rest of this entry »

Unnamed “ethical” lapse leads to retraction of fructose paper

without comments

The Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition — the official publication of the Society for Free Radical Research Japan — has retracted a 2012 paper by a group of Turkish authors for some form of misconduct better left unstated. At least, that’s what the notice seems to suggest.

The paper, “Effects of coenzyme Q10 and α-lipoic acid supplementation in fructose fed rats,” was written by  Özdoğan Serhat,  Kaman Dilara, Bengü Şimşek Çobanoğlu, of Firat University and published in February of this year. According to the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Why retraction notices matter: Group’s repeated misuse of figures gets different play from five journals

with 3 comments

For some journals, thorough retraction notices are the rule — and, when misconduct is involved, the price authors pay for abusing the trust of the editors and the readers. Others seem to take a more casual approach. Guess which we think is best.

Consider the case of a group of researchers in China led by Tan Jinquan, an immune system expert at Wuhan University. Over the past two years or so, Jinquan and colleagues have lost no fewer than a half-dozen papers containing evidence of image manipulation. But, depending on the journal pulling the articles, you might not know it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism burns authors of fire safety paper

without comments

Safety science might not be the most crowded field, nor its eponymous journal the title on every marquee, but here’s a general rule for would-be plagiarists even in relatively obscure publications: Avoid lifting text from government reports and other publicly available references. (Well, don’t plagiarize at all, but you know what we mean.)

Consider: The journal Safety Science is retracting a 2011 paper whose authors evidently failed to adhere to that principle. Here’s the notice for the article, “Agent-based simulation of fire emergency evacuation with fire and human interaction model,” by Yang Peizhong, Wang Xin and Liu Tao, of Shanghai Jiaotong University: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 am