Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘brazil’ Category

When should a paper be retracted? A tale from the obesity literature

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obesity factsIn our line of work, we see it all — mega-corrections that don’t quite rise to the level of retraction, letters to the editor that point out seemingly fatal flaws in papers that remain untouched, and studies retracted for what seem like minor reasons. It can make you wonder what makes a paper worthy of a retraction. A recent case in an obesity journal may not provide a definitive answer, but it gives us a lot to chew on.

Here’s the story: In September 2013, Rosely Sichieri and a colleague from the State University of Rio de Janeiro submitted an article to Obesity Facts, “Unbalanced Baseline in School-Based Interventions to Prevent Obesity: Adjustment Can Lead to Bias?” The article examined statistical issues in randomized controlled trials of school-based weight loss programs. Peer reviewers said the paper needed major revisions before it could be accepted; the authors revised the paper enough in a second draft, submitted in November 2013, that the original reviewers accepted it. The paper was published in June 2014.

Then, in September 2014, a group of authors including David Allison of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and colleagues from Clemson, Thomas Jefferson, and the University of Minnesota, wrote a critical letter that was published in the journal in April. The letter, according to a just-published editorial: Read the rest of this entry »

A first retraction for Einstein (no, not that one)

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einsteinIn 1932, Einstein famously retracted his “cosmological constant.” Now, more than 80 years later, a Brazilian healthcare journal bearing his name has retracted its first paper.

The authors of the review, about the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in hospitalized patients on ventilators, appear to made the genius move of trying to publish their paper in two different journals at once.

Here’s the top of an editorial announcing the retraction: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 16th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Researcher loses second bid to quash Diabetes expressions of concern

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

It hasn’t been a good week for scientists going to court to silence criticism of their work.

Yesterday, PubPeer won a near-complete victory in a case seeking the identities of their commenters. And also yesterday, a Massachusetts judge struck down — for the second time — a request by Mario Saad to remove expressions of concern about four of his papers in Diabetes.

In his ruling, Judge Timothy Hillman wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 6th, 2015 at 11:23 am

PLoS ONE mega-correction, but no retraction, for researcher who sued diabetes journal

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

PLoS ONE has just issued a 12-figure correction on a paper by Mario A. Saad, who sued the American Diabetes Association unsuccessfully in an attempt to prevent it from retracting four papers in its flagship journal Diabetes.

The corrections include taking out Western blots copied from another Saad paper, as well as several figures where the bands were “misplaced.”

PubPeer commenters suggest this may not be enough, calling seven additional figures into question. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

March 4th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Judge denies motion by researcher to quash Diabetes expressions of concern

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

American Diabetes Association 1, Mario Saad 0.

As reported by the National Law Journal, a federal judge in Boston has denied Saad’s requests to stop the ADA’s flagship journal, Diabetes, from publishing expressions of concern about four of Saad’s papers, and to prevent the journal from retracting the studies.

Saad filed suit against the ADA on February 5. Judge Timothy Hillman wrote in his order yesterday that approving the researcher’s motion would have violated the right to free speech: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 25th, 2015 at 8:30 am

Several chem journals neutralize papers from Brazil group over figure fraud

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quimica novaSeveral journals have retracted or corrected papers from a group at State University of Maringá in Brazil over what one chemistry journal calls “fraudulent use” of figures previously published by the authors.

Química Nova, which is retracting a 2013 paper, issued a notice that taps an additional eight articles with Angelica Lazarin as the corresponding author that reused figures. Specifically, the papers included images “where same trace on the figure was assigned to different conditions and/or compounds.”

A number of the papers mentioned in the Química Nova notice were co-authored by Claudio Airoldi, whose group retracted 11 papers in 2011 following concerns over fraudulent nuclear magnetic resonance images.

Read the rest of this entry »

Publisher and uni go head to head over disputed images in diabetes papers

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

The State University of Campinas University of Campinas and the American Diabetes Association disagree strongly over how to handle disputed images from faculty member Mario Saad, who is suing the ADA to prevent retraction of his papers.

While the State University of Campinas University of Campinas (Unicamp) acknowledges that 2 of Saad’s papers contain “mistakes”, it concluded there was “not an intention in the actions of the authors,” and the mistakes did not have a negative impact on the scientific community. Ultimately: “the studies published have their own strength, are healthy and were not artificially strengthened by the incorrect images.”

In response, however, Saad’s lawsuit says the ADA asked the school to reinvestigate the articles, and refused to accept any papers from Unicamp faculty in any ADA journals until the issues are resolved.

The ADA has issued four expressions of concern in Saad’s research published in its flagship journal, Diabetes. Saad’s lawsuit aims to prevent the journal from retracting those papers, and asks for monetary compensation.

Retraction Watch has obtained a report of the investigation by Unicamp and Saad’s lawsuit. You can read the full lawsuit here, and the investigation report here.

Here is an excerpt from the Unicamp’s findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Diabetes researcher sues journal to prevent retractions of papers cited more than 600 times

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

Mario A. Saad, who last year retracted a paper for plagiarism, is now suing the American Diabetes Association over four expressions of concern in its flagship journal, Diabetes.

As reported in the Boston Business Journal, Saad’s lawsuit claims that his institution, the State University of Campinas, investigated two articles at the journal’s behest. The American Diabetes Association was unhappy with the results, and asked the school to reopen the investigation, including two additional papers.

Saad is suing to prevent the journal from retracting the papers, in addition to monetary compensation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Heart journal pulls paper for image manipulation

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cardresCardiovascular Research has retracted a 2010 paper by a group of prominent cardiology researchers in Brazil.

The reason: Image manipulation — which the authors say didn’t materially affect the conclusions of the paper.

The article, “FAK mediates the activation of cardiac fibroblasts induced by mechanical stress through regulation of the mTOR complex,” came from a group led by Ana Paula Dalla Costa, from the State University of Campinas.

Here’s the abstract of the study, which has been cited 19 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge: Read the rest of this entry »

Ripping off someone else’s thesis sinks paper on chicken temperatures

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ISB_IJBProof that people will plagiarize anything they think they can get away with: a Brazilian scientist plagiarized a masters’ student’s thesis on the surface temperature of chickens.

We spoke with International Journal of Biometeorology editor-in-chief Scott Sheridan about the case: Read the rest of this entry »