A surgeon in Scotland who mistook a tear duct for a brain tumor, operated on the wrong disc in another patient and eventually gave up his right to practice medicine in the UK has corrected a 2008 paper.
The reason: More confusion, it seems. Muftah Salem Eljamel says he mistook an image in the article as being from his hospital when it belonged to another surgeon at a hospital in Cardiff, some 460 miles distant. And oh, the image wasn’t what he thought it was to begin with. The Courier reported on the correction.
The article, “The effectiveness of group-based behavioral activation in the treatment of depression: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial,” was published by a group at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, part of the the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
A toxicology journal has issued an expression of concern for a group of papers about the controversial herbicide glyphosate after concluding that some of the authors didn’t adequately disclose their ties to the maker of the product.
At issue are five articles that appeared in a 2016 supplement to Critical Reviews in Toxicology, a Taylor & Francis title, about the chemical, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s blockbuster weed-killer Roundup. Although the authors of the articles don’t overlap perfectly, Keith Solomon, of the University of Guelph, in Canada, appears on three of the articles; Gary Williams, of New York Medical College, appears on three as well.
Williams was caught up in a ghost-writing scandal after court documents revealed that he had put his name on a published paper written by Monsanto employees. Solomon served on a panel funded by Monsanto that undercut the conclusions of a report from the World Health Organization that glyphosate is probably cancerous to people.
The wheels of scientific publishing turn slowly … but they do (sometimes) turn.
In January, we reported on the case of a paper on global warming marred by several problems, including allegations of plagiarism and “false claims” by the authors — which readers had raised as early as 2014, with no result. (Find a discussion of those allegations here.)
H. Gilbert Welch, a leading researcher in the field of health policy, has resigned from his faculty post at Dartmouth College after the institution concluded that he had plagiarized from a colleague in a 2016 paper.
Here’s an object lesson for scientists who find out they’ve been ripped off by other researchers: Taking matters into your own hands can produce results.
An aggrieved author’s doggedness led to the retraction of a 2013 paper that plagiarized his work, along with the revocation of a doctoral degree by one of the scientists responsible for the theft and sanctions against another.
We don’t often get the blow-by-blow, but in this case we have the details to share. The story begins in early 2017, when Andrew Boyle, a professor of cardiac medicine at the University of Newcastle, in Australia, noticed something fishy in an article, “Cathepsin B inhibition attenuates cardiac dysfunction and remodeling following myocardial infarction by inhibiting the NLRP3 pathway.” The paper had appeared in a journal called Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.
The article, published by a group from Shandong Provincial Hospital, contained a pair of figures that Boyle recognized from his 2005 article in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. One of the images had been altered, but the other was a patent duplication.
Journals have retracted all but 19 of the 313 tainted papers linked to three of the most notorious fraudsters in science, with only stragglers left in the literature. But editors and publishers have been less diligent when it comes to delivering optimal retraction notices for the affected articles.
That’s the verdict of a new analysis in the journal Anaesthesia, which found that 15% of retraction notices for the affected papers fail fully to meet standards from the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). Many lacked appropriate language and requisite watermarks stating that the articles had been removed, and some have vanished from the literature.