Dr. What? From the mixed-up files of Muftah Salem Eljamel

Muftah Salem Eljamel

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.

According to the notice, in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Continue reading Dr. What? From the mixed-up files of Muftah Salem Eljamel

A paper from the Jockey Club School makes a false start

Here’s a head-scratcher from the Journal of Affective Disorders, which has retracted a 2017 article for, well, reasons we invite you to divine.

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.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading A paper from the Jockey Club School makes a false start

Journal flags papers, saying authors didn’t adequately disclose ties to Monsanto

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.

According to the expression of concern, which was first reported by Bloomberg today:    Continue reading Journal flags papers, saying authors didn’t adequately disclose ties to Monsanto

“Irreconcilable” differences about author order, other issues topple two articles in Spandidos journal

Researchers in China have retracted a pair of papers in the same journal after running into “irreconcilable” differences with the articles.

Both articles appeared in Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.

One article, “Combined treatment with extracorporeal shock‑wave therapy and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell transplantation improves bone repair in a rabbit model of bone nonunion,” published in November 2017, suffered from, well, serious nonunion: Continue reading “Irreconcilable” differences about author order, other issues topple two articles in Spandidos journal

Four years after readers raise concerns, journal finally retracts climate paper

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.)

Now, the journal, Elsevier’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (ironic on multiple levels, when you think about it), is retracting the paper.

According to the long-time-in-coming retraction notice: Continue reading Four years after readers raise concerns, journal finally retracts climate paper

Irony? The Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention retracts a paper

Irony machine, start your engine: A pair of engineers have lost a 2017 paper in the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention over a failure to determine who owned the data.

The article, “Solder selection for reflowing large ceramic substrates during PCB assembly,” was written by Prashant Reddy Gangidi and Noy Souriyasak, both listed as working at a semiconductor firm called FormFactor Inc., based in Livermore, Calif.

Evidently, at least one of the authors lacked the okay to publish the data.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Irony? The Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention retracts a paper

High-profile health policy researcher Gilbert Welch out at Dartmouth after plagiarism charge

H. Gilbert Welch

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.

As we reported in STAT earlier this summer, a Dartmouth committee found that Welch had misused a figure from a colleague, Samir Soneji, who had provided him the data after a 2015 presentation. At the time, Soneji had requested that he be part of any paper that would include the data — but Welch said he had no intention of publishing it. However, the information appeared in a 2016 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, which has declined to retract or even correct the paper. Continue reading High-profile health policy researcher Gilbert Welch out at Dartmouth after plagiarism charge

Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Note: This post has been updated.

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.

Boyle explained that: Continue reading Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement

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.

The article was written by U. M. McHugh, of University Hospital in Galway, Ireland, and Steven Yentis, a consultant anaesthetist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. Yentis was editor of Anaesthesia during the three scandals and had a first-hand view of two of the investigations. He also is the editor who unleashed anesthetist and self-trained statistician John Carlisle on the Fujii papers to see how likely the Japanese researcher’s data were to be valid (answer: not very likely). Continue reading When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement