Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘china retractions’ Category

What publishers and countries do most retractions for fake peer review come from?

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1092-coverA new analysis — which included scanning Retraction Watch posts — has identified some trends in papers pulled for fake peer review, a subject we’ve covered at length.

For those who aren’t familiar, fake reviews arise when researchers associated with the paper in question (most often authors) create email addresses for reviewers, enabling them to write their own positive reviews.

The article — released September 23 by the Postgraduate Medical Journal — found the vast majority of papers were retracted from journals with impact factors below 5, and most included co-authors based in China.

As described in the paper, “Characteristics of retractions related to faked peer reviews: an overview,” the authors searched Retraction Watch as well as various databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar, along with other media reports, and found 250 retractions for fake peer review.  (Since the authors concluded their analysis, the number of retractions due to faked reviews has continued to pile up; our latest tally is now 324.)

Here are the authors’ main findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 27th, 2016 at 9:32 am

Data were “fraudulently obtained” in epilepsy paper, probe finds

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brain-research-bulletinA brain research journal has retracted a 2016 study about epilepsy after an institutional investigation determined that some of the data were taken from another published paper.

The retraction notice for the study — which appeared in Brain Research Bulletin — cites an investigation by the scientific integrity committee at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, which concluded the authors had engaged in “unethical publishing behavior.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “Clc-2 knockout attenuated experimental temporal lobe epilepsy in mice by tonic inhibition mediated by GABAA receptors:” Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract two papers on shock therapy, citing language barriers

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the-journal-of-ectAn electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) journal has retracted two 2016 papers after uncovering problems in the data analyses, which the author says were due to language barriers.

Interestingly, two authors of the newly retracted papers — Yu-Tao Xiang from the University of Macau in China and Gabor Ungvari from the University of Western Australia — also recently co-authored another paper on an entirely different topic that has received a lengthy correction. That paper — on the use of organs from executed prisoners in China — raised controversy for allegedly reporting a “sanitized” account of the practice. The correction notice, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, was accompanied by a critics’ rebuttal to the paper.

According to Xiang, the newly retracted papers in The Journal of ECT — which examined the efficacy of ECT in treating schizophrenia — were pulled due to “genuine errors” resulting from differences in language. All the authors agree with the retraction, Xiang noted. 

Xiang told us: Read the rest of this entry »

A retraction cluster? Two papers retracted for overlap with other retractions

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molecular biology reportA cluster of papers by different authors has been retracted for sharing text, even though some papers were submitted at the same time.

How is that possible? A spokesperson for Springer told us that they have reason to believe a third-party company may have helped prepare the papers for publication, and in the process might have spread the material around to multiple manuscripts.

The details of the cluster are a bit perplexing, so bear with us. Two of the papers — that were published only months apart — have already been retracted, as we reported in April. Now, two other papers have been retracted from Molecular Biology Reports — and both notices cite the previously retracted papers. The new notices also say that there’s reason to believe that the peer-review process was compromised.

All papers conclude that a certain polymorphism could signal a risk for coronary artery disease among Chinese people.

We’ll start with the retraction notice for “Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 polymorphisms and coronary artery disease: a case control study,” which cites the two papers that were retracted previously:

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Journal pulls abstract author didn’t submit

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A journal has retracted an abstract after discovering the author didn’t submit it — and also because it appears “highly similar” to a previous publication in Chinese.

The abstract was presented at the 2nd International Conference on Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics in 2014, and lists Qing Guo as the sole author, based Wuhan, China at the China University of Geosciences.

According to the retraction notice, published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine last December, the organizer of the conference discovered Guo hadn’t consented to publish the abstract — moreover, it appeared to overlap with another article in Chinese, written by different authors: Read the rest of this entry »

Does dose matter? Tumor killer paper thought so, now must retract

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Molecular Medicine ReportsAfter questions from a reader, researchers took a second look at their data about the effects of a vitamin A metabolite on tumor cells, and realized their key finding was inaccurate.

They’re now retracting the paper, from Molecular Medicine Reports, because it originally reported that higher concentrations of retinoic acid (RA) were more effective in curbing the proliferation of brain tumor cells. But it seems that the RA dose made less of a difference than they originally believed, according to the retraction notice:

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Where was chem research conducted? Not here, say two of three listed author affiliations

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ChemosphereA researcher has retracted two 2016 papers after discovering problems with the data that negated the findings — and after one of his three listed affiliations denied the research was conducted there.

According to the retraction notices issued by Chemosphere, Hong-Wei Luo incorrectly claimed to be affiliated with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee in one of his three affiliations. His other institutions listed on the papers include universities in Singapore and China.

However, an official from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, told us the work in the now-retracted papers was not carried out at the NTU either.

Here’s the first of the retraction notices, issued on August 8: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 18th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Author loses five papers, most for “compromised” peer review

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted three papers after the first author admitted to submitting the manuscripts without co-authors’ consent, and an investigation suggested that two out of the three papers had received faked reviews.

Last August, the same author — Lishan Wang of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University — lost two more papers (one in Tumor Biology and the other in Gene), also after the peer review process was found to be compromised. All five papers — which share other authors in common — were originally published in 2013, and four list Wang as the first author. The retractions follow an investigation by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Here’s the retraction notice for two of the PLOS ONE papers, issued on July 26: Read the rest of this entry »

Beg pardon? Researchers pull cancer paper because, well, um, you see …

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dovepressWe’ve been writing about retractions for six years, and things tend to fall into easily recognizable categories — plagiarism, fabricated data, rigged peer review, etc.

So it’s always interesting to come across a notice sui generis, such as one that appeared in July in OncoTargets and Therapy, a Dove title, about a new way to detect tumor markers.

According to the retraction notice:

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A headache: Brain paper retracted over author argument

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neurochemical researchResearchers have retracted a paper following an argument over who deserves top billing, according to the last author of the paper.

The last author added the authors plan to republish the paper once they work things out.

The work for the paper — about cell death in the aftermath of a brain hemorrhage — was started in one lab at the Department of Neurology at the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, and completed in another.

That led to a dispute, reports the retraction notice, issued by Neurochemical Research:

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