Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Author Archive

“Innocent mistake” leads to bioethics article retraction

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jbiA July article that incorrectly called out nine leading bioethics journals for their lack of availability to researchers in low- and middle-income countries is being pulled after editors of the indicted journals refuted the allegations.

The last author on the article, published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, told us an “innocent mistake” and difficulty navigating a website led the authors to incorrectly note that nine journals had not made their contents available through the World Health Organization’s Health InterNetwork Research Initiative database (HINARI), which gives bioethicists who live in low- and middle-income countries access to research articles either free of charge or at reduced cost. The authors argued that the mistake didn’t affect the paper’s conclusions, but the journal disagreed, and opted to pull the paper entirely.

After searching through the database, first author Subrata Chattopadhyay mistakenly determined that the journals had not made their contents available through HINARI, when in fact they were listed but on a different part of the website.

Even with the error, the authors maintain that their conclusions remain sound and that the field is shaped by a “hegemony of Western bioethics.” Read the rest of this entry »

Authors object to duplication verdict by environmental journal

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10661An environmental journal has pulled a 2011 paper following an investigation, which revealed it contained “extensive similarities” with another paper published two years earlier by some of the same authors.

Two of the authors of the newly retracted paper — Zulfiqar Ahmad from Quaid-i-Azam University and Arshad Ashraf of the National Agricultural Research Center, both in Islamabad, Pakistan — were the sole authors of a 2008 paper about modeling groundwater flow in Indus Basin, Pakistan. The 2011 paper  — posted online in 2010 — focused on the same topic, but included two additional authors, one of whom told us he was unaware of the previous paper and agrees with the journal’s decision. Ahmad, however, has defended the 2011 paper and asked that the journal remove the retraction note.

Here’s the note, published in April by Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: Read the rest of this entry »