Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘brazil’ Category

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

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

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 »

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

with 4 comments

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

with 8 comments

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

with 19 comments

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

with 20 comments

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

with 2 comments

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 »