Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘brazil’ Category

Researcher who sued to stop retractions gets his sixth

with 3 comments

Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A sixth retraction has appeared for a diabetes researcher who previously sued a publisher to try to stop his papers from being retracted.

Mario Saad‘s latest retraction, in PLOS Biology, stems from inadvertent duplications, according to the authors.  Though an investigation at Saad’s institution — the University of Campinas in Brazil — found no evidence of misconduct, a critic of the paper told The Scientist he does not believe that the issues with blots were inadvertent.

Previously, Saad sued the American Diabetes Association to remove four expressions of concern from his papers; they were later retracted, even though Unicamp recommended keeping three of them published.

Here’s the new retraction notice, for “Gut Microbiota Is a Key Modulator of Insulin Resistance in TLR 2 Knockout Mice:” Read the rest of this entry »

Researcher who unsuccessfully sued journal to stop retractions earns another expression of concern

with 2 comments

Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A journal has added expressions of concern (EOCs) to four papers about diabetes, including one co-authored by an author who previously sued a different journal when it took a similar action on his papers.

The Journal of Physiology flagged the papers after an investigation “could not rule out the possibility” that they contained duplicated Western blots. Though the three other papers do not include Mario Saad on their author list, he plays a role: The papers include blots duplicated from other papers of Saad’s. And they reveal that Saad may have published those blots multiple times in his own work.

The EOCs all start out with the same statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Lawsuit couldn’t stop four retractions for diabetes researcher

with 2 comments

Mario Saad

Mario Saad

Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.

Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.

Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.

As the retraction notes explain, Read the rest of this entry »

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

with one comment

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

without comments

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

without comments

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?

without comments

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

with 6 comments

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

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

with one comment

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

with 2 comments

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 »