Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘brazil’ Category

Is an increase in retractions good news? Maybe, suggests new study

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SEEIn Latin America, retractions for plagiarism and other issues have increased markedly — which may be a positive sign that editors and authors are paying closer attention to publishing ethics, according to a small study published in Science and Engineering Ethics.

The authors examined two major Latin American/Caribbean databases, which mostly include journals from Brazil, and have been indexing articles for more than 15 years. They found only 31 retractions, all of which appeared in 2008 or later. (Roughly half of the retractions were from journals indexed in the Thomas Reuters’  Journal of Citations Report®  (JCR).)

This was a notable result, the authors write: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison Abritis

December 11th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Publisher error removes industry conflicts in vaccine paper

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Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 3.39.02 PM

An article about the use of vaccines against pertussis — also known as whooping cough — didn’t include the fact that the author has received grants and consultancy fees from three pharmaceutical companies that help make or sell the vaccines.

The correction to “Pertussis in young infants: a severe vaccine-preventable disease,” published in Autopsy and Case Reports just a few months after the paper, cites a “desktop publishing error” that led to the following problems: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal retracts — and republishes — small study on gamma rays for OCD

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Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 8.40.00 PMJAMA Psychiatry has retracted and republished a paper on a cutting-edge procedure for patients with obsessive compulsive disorder.

In the original paper, the authors claimed that three out of eight patients who underwent a procedure that used gamma rays to kill brain cells showed improvements 12 months later (versus zero in the group who underwent a “sham” procedure). But after a reader noticed an “inadvertent” error in the calculation of how many patients had improved, the authors realized that only two of the patients had responded meaningfully to the procedure.

The new results “did not reach statistical significance,” the authors write in a “Notice of Retraction and Replacement.”  JAMA Psychiatry published it yesterday, along with a new version of the articlea letter from psychiatrist Christopher Baethge pointing out the error, and an editorial. The original article is available in the supplemental material of the new version, with the errors highlighted.

Here’s the note in full for “Gamma ventral capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized clinical trial,” which explains the error:

Read the rest of this entry »

Is less publishing linked to more plagiarism?

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glogoCountries that publish less science appear to “borrow” more language from others than other, more scientifically prolific countries, according to a new small study.

Using a novel approach of comparing a country’s total citations against its total published papers (CPP), the authors categorized 80 retractions from journals in general and internal medicine. This is a relatively small number of retractions from one specific field of research; still, they found that:

Thus, retractions due to plagiarism/duplication were 3.4 times more likely among low-CPP countries than among high-CPP countries.

The CPP authors’ suggested interpretation? Read the rest of this entry »

Judge dismisses defamation suit against diabetes journal

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad can’t catch a break — yesterday, a Massachusetts judge dismissed his defamation suit against the American Diabetes Association, publisher of Diabetes, which published an expression of concern regarding four of his papers in March.

The researcher has tried — and failed — to use the courts to remove the EoC.

In Saad’s latest attempt to employ legal action against the journal — arguing the EoC was defamatory — the United States District court of Massachusetts was clear in its ruling (which you can view in its entirety here):

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

August 19th, 2015 at 12:02 pm

JCI issues mega-correction for multiple myeloma paper

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125-7-coverThe Journal of Clinical Investigation has issued a lengthy correction to a paper about the role of the immune system in the progression and treatment response of multiple myeloma.

The correction changes details from the name of an author to figure legends, and adds entire supplemental figures.

Shortly after the paper’s publication on April 20th, commenters on PubPeer pointed out duplications in multiple figure panels.

Last month, the journal issued an extensive correction note for “Immunosurveillance and therapy of multiple myeloma are CD226 dependent,” which, in part, tries to explain the multiple duplications.

It starts out noting a typo:

Read the rest of this entry »

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