In July 2017, a JAMA journal called for an investigation into a 2013 paper it had published after concluding that the article had “scientific and ethical concerns.” Now the journal, JAMAOtolaryngology − Head & Neck Surgery, is retracting the paper.
The article, “Dexamethasone for the prevention of recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy and other complications after thyroid surgery: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial,” came from a group in Italy led by Mario Schietroma, of the Department of Surgery at the University of L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, Italy. Schietroma, who in December admitted to us that a retracted 2015 paper of his in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suffered from “misinterpretation of the statistical data,” now has four retractions.
The paper has been cited a total of 18 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, including twice since it was subjected to an expression of concern. One of those citations was by a Cochrane systematic review.
The maker of a leading over-the-counter antacid has withdrawn its application for approval of the drug in China because a clinical trial of the product in that country was marred by “major protocol deviations.”
Researchers for the company, Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Gaviscon, had published a report on the study in 2015 in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. But the journal has now retracted the article, “Randomised clinical trial: The clinical efficacy and safety of an alginate‐antacid (Gaviscon Double Action) versus placebo, for decreasing upper gastrointestinal symptoms in symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in China,” at the behest of the drug maker.
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.)