On Sunday, May 5 of this year, Justin Pickett received an email from a “John Smith” with the subject line “Data irregularities and request for data.”
“There seem to be irregularities in the data and findings in five articles that you published together with two surveys,” the anonymous correspondent wrote. “This document outlines those irregularities.”
A group of cancer researchers in Mexico has lost their third paper over concerns about the integrity of their data.
Neither the new retraction, in the journal Hematology, nor the previous two, cite misconduct as the reason for the removals. However, the statements do refer to lack of reliability of results, “ambiguities and inconsistencies” in the findings and other serious issues.
The first author on each paper is Agustin Avilés, whom the Hematology article listed as being with the National Medical Center in Mexico City.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry has retracted two papers by a Georgia State University researcher, as well as flagged eight more with expressions of concern, a move the scientist called “unfair and unjustified.”
Ming-Hui Zou, the common author on all ten papers — as well as on twomore that have been corrected by the same journal — is, according to Georgia State,
an internationally recognized researcher in molecular and translational medicine and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Medicine and associate vice president for research at Georgia State University…
Take the case of a recent expression of concern in the Journal of Cell Science following concerns about image manipulation in a 2006 paper, “Inhibition of TPO-induced MEK or mTOR activity induces opposite effects on the ploidy of human differentiating megakaryocytes.”
The American Journal of Public Health has retracted a controversial 2018 paper on the effects of economic austerity in Spain because it contained “inaccurate and misleading” results linking those policies to a massive spike in premature deaths.
The journal also has published a second piece, by a different group of authors, refuting the central claim of the now-retracted paper. Whereas the first article asserted that austerity in Spain during the mid-2000s led to more than 500,000 excess deaths, the new research says deaths in the country slowed during the country’s economic crisis.
The flawed article, “Austerity policies and mortality in Spain after the financial crisis of 2008,” was written by a group of researchers at the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Canary Islands. The authors claimed that their analysis of the years 2011 to 2015 showed that:
On March 30, 2018, The Ohio State University (OSU) released a 75-page report concluding that Ching-Shih Chen, a cancer researcher, had deviated “from the accepted practices of image handling and figure generation and intentionally falsifying data.” The report recommended the retraction of eight papers.
By the end of August of 2018, Chen had had four papers retracted — one in Cancer Research, two in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and one in PLoS ONE.
But it wasn’t until more than a year after the report was released that the other four papers — two from Carcinogenesis, one from Clinical Cancer Research, and one from Molecular Cellular Therapeutics — were retracted, all between April 1 and May 1 of this year.
What took so long? Your guess is as good as ours; none of the editors of those journals responded to our requests for comment.
“Dissatisfied.” That’s how Nick Brown and James Heathers describe their reaction to the progress — or lack thereof — in the case of Nicholas Guéguen, a psychology researcher whose work the two data sleuths have questioned.
Brown and Heathers first wrote about the case in 2017. In a new blog post, they write that the science integrity office at the University of Rennes-2, where Guéguen works, pulled punches in its investigation of its faculty member and in two reports it issued last year about the case. (Brown and Heathers, who has called himself a “data thug,” had hoped to make available a preliminary report about the case last year but said the university discouraged them from doing so — a stance that, if true, we wouldn’t find surprising given many institutions prefer to sit on reports of such investigations.)
A psychology journal has retracted a controversial article about mental ability in South African women after a petition calling on the publication to withdraw the paper generated more than 5,000 signatures.
The paper, “Age- and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in Colored South African women,” was published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition in March. It quickly drew attention, and outrage, from critics who objected to what they called racist overtones in the work, from the title on down.
A pair of grief scholars in Denmark have lost a 2018 paper on ghostly apparitions after one of the researchers copied text from another article.
The study, “How many bereaved people hallucinate about their loved one? A systematic review and meta-analysis of bereavement hallucinations,” appeared in the Journal of Affective Disorders, an Elsevier publication. Authors Karina Stengaard Kamp and Helena Due — yes, a second author named Due — are with The Aarhus Bereavement Research Unit at Aarhus University.