Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Author Archive

Plagiarism was “not an intentional act,” says first author of retracted TB paper

with 8 comments

logoA 2013 review article about tuberculosis is being retracted for “unacknowledged re-use of significant portions of text” from another article, which the first author said wasn’t intentional.

Sayantan Ray, based at Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata in India, told us that “most of the unchanged text” is present in sections written by junior co-authors. Since there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to cover it up, he argued anyone responsible for the plagiarism must not have realized it was wrong:

You can appreciate that this type of obvious similarity can only happen when the concerned person [does] not have any idea about [the] plagiarism issue.

According to the notice, published by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, most of the re-used text appears to have come from a 2012 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. Here’s more from the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract two neuroscience papers for duplication and plagiarism

with one comment

Journal of NeurosurgeryA tipster’s complaints have led to the retraction of two papers in the Journal of Neurosurgery for “plagiarism, duplicate publication, and copyright infringement.”

The corresponding author for both papers, Hung-Chuan Pan of Taichung Veterans General Hospital, had contacted the journal about publishing an erratum for one of the articles when the journal was tipped off by an email pointing out deeper problems in the two retracted papers.

The tipster provided evidence that alleged “a violation of ethics on the part of the authors,” according to the communications manager at the JNS Publishing Group, Jo Ann Eliason.

Both retraction notices, published October 2, detailed a number of “similarities” and “overlaps” in the papers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Retracted child labor paper “was improperly attributed,” copied text verbatim

with one comment

C1 PAGE.inddThe American Journal of Public Health has retracted a paper after it was published online, when editors discovered that the author had plagiarized text verbatim and attributed the material to completely different sources.

Child Farm Laborers” discusses child labor through the lens of the American photographers that documented the lives of young farm workers at the beginning of the century, such as Lewis Hine. It was authored Aung Zaw Win, whose affiliation on the paper is listed as Notre Dame de Namur University, in California.

The article was slated to be published in the journal’s August issue but editors printed the retraction shortly after it posted online. Here’s the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ross Keith

October 29th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Author with three retractions objects to mega-correction following investigation

with one comment

DevelopmentWe’ve uncovered a “mega-correction for a 2010 paper in Development, posted as the result of an investigation into the first author which has already led to three retractions.

Last year, the Utrecht University investigation into Pankaj Dhonukshe found “manipulation in some form” in four papers, and concluded that he committed a “violation of academic integrity.” The investigation also led to the retraction of a 2012 Cell paper and two papers in Nature that were co-authored by Dhonukshe. 

Development began investigating the corrected paper after being contacted by one of the authors and alerted to the results of the university’s investigation. The notice includes a statement from Dhonukshe objecting to the correction. Read the rest of this entry »

University investigating duplicated images in retracted paper

with 14 comments

Cell MetabolismThe authors of a Cell Metabolism paper are pulling it after discovering blot images that “appear more than once in independent and unrelated experiments.” 

Just how the duplication occurred in the 2009 paper — about transcription of mitochondrial DNA — remains a mystery, the authors note:

…the reasons for the errors are still under investigation…

Meanwhile, we’ve learned that the last author on the paper — Carlos Moraes of the University of Miami — has requested a retraction for another 2013 paper in Mitochondrion, also co-authored by Tina Wenz at the University of Cologne in Germany. That paper is among multiple publications co-authored by Moraes and Wenz that have been flagged on PubPeer.

We’ve reached out to the parties involved, and received a warning from an attorney representing Wenz that if we write about Read the rest of this entry »

Symposium intro pulled after author refuses to revise following changes to lineup

without comments

Integrative and Comparative Biology

A biology journal has pulled the introduction to a symposium that was published online before the symposium papers had been finalized. After reviewers rejected multiple papers, the author of the introduction — and organizer of the symposium — refused to revise his portion accordingly, so the journal retracted it.

Suzanne Miller, an assistant editor at Integrative and Comparative Biologytold us that the journal ended up rejecting two out of the seven papers in the symposium. When editors asked the symposium organizer, Valentine Lance, to rewrite the introduction — which contained a brief background on each speaker — he told us that he refused to do the rewrite, and said that he “simply quit.”

Miller told us the journal is now changing its practice as a result of this incident: Read the rest of this entry »

Correction restores confidence in results of confidence study

without comments

Strategic Management JournalA study that looked at how entrepreneurs’ confidence levels change depending on market conditions has been corrected to fix an error that flipped the results of one of the experiments.

The paper was published in 2013 by the Strategic Management Journaland explored how entrepreneurs stay confident in difficult marketplaces by studying how people reacted to tasks of varying difficulty. In one experiment, participants were asked how well they thought they did on an easy quiz and how well they did on a hard quiz. Results showed that “participants underestimated their scores on the easy quiz” and “overestimated their performance on the difficult quiz.” However, authors wrote the opposite in the final paper.

Here’s the correction notice for “Making Sense of Overconfidence in Market Entry”:

Read the rest of this entry »

Cochrane withdraws criticized alcohol misuse report for “major errors”

without comments

Cochrane_LogoThe Cochrane Library has withdrawn a criticized 2014 meta-analysis about a technique to help young people avoid alcohol abuse, because of “major errors.” 

The review found that motivational interviewing, a form of counseling to help people change behaviors, showed some effects but had “no substantive, meaningful benefits” in preventing alcohol abuse among people 25 and younger. However, other researchers in the field, including some whose studies were included in the analysis, soon raised concerns about the review’s methods and data calculation, and the authors withdrew it. 

Here’s the brief notice for “Motivational interviewing for alcohol misuse in young adults:”

Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction strikes power grid paper with “almost identical” content to previous study

without comments

EnergiesAn electrical engineering paper published in April has been retracted because of similarities to a 2012 paper from different authors, including “almost identical” data in two of the papers’ tables.

The authors were unable to provide the original numbers for the suspect tables, along with a pair of “similar” figures, which bore a striking resemblance to ones presented in the same 2012 paper. Corresponding author Tao Jin at Fuzhou University in China requested the withdrawal “in order to repeat the experiments and obtain new data.”

Energies posted the retraction October 1.

Here’s it is, in full:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ross Keith

October 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Surgery journal publishes — then retracts — response to letter that never appeared

without comments

Annals of Surgery

How’s this for confusing: A surgery journal is retracting researchers’ response to a letter about their paper, because the letter was never actually published.

According to the managing editor of the Annals of Surgery, the letter — about a 2011 analysis of IV fluids in trauma patients — was accepted, prompting the journal to ask for a response from the authors of the 2011 paper. But the letter-writers never supplied required forms, such as conflict of interest. After spending two years trying to track them down, the journal decided not to publish the letter.

In the meantime, however, the authors’ response to the letter was “inadvertently published,” forcing the journal to retract it. Read the rest of this entry »