Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘china retractions’ Category

Retraction and republication for Lancet Resp Med tracheostomy paper

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lancetrmA paper whose expression of concern we covered in November 2014 has been retracted and republished “because of the extent of the changes necessary,” according to the Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen retraction/republications at the Lancetaccompanied by thorough breakdowns of the problem.

This study was a meta-analysis of research on how the timing of tracheostomies — placing a breathing tube directly into the windpipe — affects patients’ mortality rate. The original paper found that critically ill patients who received a tracheostomy earlier fared better than those for whom the procedure was delayed for weeks after intubation, the recommended practice.

However, when the authors calculated how many patients died, they assumed that any patient who wasn’t discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU) had died there, instead of looking for other explanations. This made their estimates unreliable.

The publisher convened a panel, which ultimately decided retraction and republication was the most appropriate course of action.

The original expression of concern contained a quote from the authors about the “data discrepancy” that would later sink the paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Slippery slope? Data problems force retraction of landslide paper

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The Mameyes Landslide, in Puerto Rico, buried more than 100 homes in 1985.  Source: USGS

The Mameyes Landslide, in Puerto Rico, buried more than 100 homes in 1985. Source: USGS

The authors of a 2014 paper in The Scientific World Journal on rock slopes have retracted their article for “erroneous” data.

The paper, “Slope Stability Analysis Using Limit Equilibrium Method in Nonlinear Criterion,” came from a group of researchers from institutions including the Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute in Wuhan, and the Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel Engineering at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu. It’s about (we think) how to calculate the safety of rock slopes, and how vulnerable they are to landslides.

Here’s the notice, which as a pretty fair ratio of words to information:

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“Serious and obvious mistakes” kill paper on heart attacks in rats

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j card pharmA group of researchers in China and the United States have retracted a 2014 paper in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology after discovering the data were fatally flawed.

The article examined whether the anti-arrhythmia drug zacopride affected cardiac remodeling after heart attack, and came from Bo-We Wu, of Shanxi Medical University, in Taiyuan, and colleagues, including one author from Savannah, Georgia.

Here’s more from the notice for “Activation of IK1 channel by zacopride attenuates left ventricular remodeling in rats with myocardial infarction”:

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Drug paper gets a fix, notching several corrections

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rsc_tb_1_3_COVER.inddThe Journal of Materials Chemistry B has issued a laundry list of corrections for a 2014 chemotherapy paper, which address re-use of “some text”, incorrectly stated doses, and miscalculations of the drug concentration, among other issues.

The paper described a new way to deliver gemcitabine via nanoparticles, focusing the drug on the tumors.

It turns out the authors’ focus wasn’t so clear when writing the paper. The researchers, at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Peking Union Medical College, and Tianjin University in China, said they used “some text” from two 2013 papers by a team of French oncologists “without appropriate attribution,” as well as repeatedly getting the in vivo dose wrong. The manuscript also contained several incorrect calculations of the “drug loading,” or the proportion of active drug.

Here’s the correction for “Tailor-made gemcitabine prodrug nanoparticles from well-defined drug–polymer amphiphiles prepared by controlled living radical polymerization for cancer chemotherapy” (free, but requires sign-in): Read the rest of this entry »

“Not faithful” figures kill apoptosis paper

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iaicoverA paper on apoptosis in mice has been retracted by Infection and Immunity after a reader tipped them off that several figures were “not faithful representations of the original data.”

When the journal, published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), contacted the authors at Anhui Medical University in Hefei, China, they claimed they couldn’t provide the experimental data thanks to “damage to a personal computer,” said Ferric Fang, editor of the journal and a member of the board of directors of the Center for Scientific Integrity, Retraction Watch’s parent organization. Seven figures in total were compromised, including several that were duplicated throughout the article.

Here’s the notice for “Reactive Oxygen Species-Triggered Trophoblast Apoptosis Is Initiated by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress via Activation of Caspase-12, CHOP, and the JNK Pathway in Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Mice”: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper

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AEHEAn education journal has yanked a 2014 article by a pair of scholars in Asia after discovering one had already published a “substantially similar” article.

The article, “Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves” in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, is about how taking a major English test influenced learning in Chinese undergraduate students. Author Ying Zhan is listed at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, in mainland China; Zhi Hong Wan, at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Troubled article ranking business schools earns expression of concern

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jpimAn article that ranked University of Missouri-Kansas City number one in an area of business school training is set to receive an expression of concern. The move follows months of questions over the ranking’s legitimacy, following revelations such as a relationship between the authors and both the school and its top ranked researcher in the field.

In 2011, the business world got a bit of a surprise: In the field of innovation management, the study of how entrepreneurs convert good ideas into profit, the number one school – according to an article in the Journal of Product Innovation Management — was UMKC. Not Harvard, not Stanford, not any other institution that normally tops these types of rankings. UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management was also home to the number one researcher in that field, Michael Song.

The school, of course, was elated, immediately issuing a press release titled “UMKC Ranked No. 1 in the World.”

But after publication, a UMKC professor raised concerns about the paper’s methodology. An investigation by the Kansas City Star uncovered some issues:

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Castle made of sand: Self-plagiarism washes away paper on dune particles

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sedgeolA group of geologists in China have lost their paper on the aerodynamics of sand particles because the article was mashed together from previous publications.

The article, “The influence of sand diameter and wind velocity on sand particle lift-off and incident angles in the windblown sand flux,” appeared in the May 2013 issue of Sedimentary Geology. It was written by a team from the Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Western Disaster and Environment at Lanzhou University.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Warning: plagiarism may be hazardous to your safety paper

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12 Process Safety and Environmental Protection (once)A paper on making emergency evacuations more efficient at facilities that handle hazardous materials has been retracted for plagiarism.

According to the Process Safety and Environmental Protection retraction notice, the 2013 paper, by a group at Tsinghua University in Beijing, plagiarized part of a 2007 article by Greek researchers called “Modeling emergency evacuation for major hazard industrial sites.” (The 2007 article has been cited 46 times, according to Google Scholar.)

Here’s the notice for “Emergency Response Plans Optimization for Unexpected Environmental Pollution Incidents using an Open Space Emergency Evacuation Model” (paywalled): Read the rest of this entry »

Opaque retraction notice for imaging paper

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cmmmSometimes we run across retraction notices that are vague, and others that are contorted, but we’ve just found one that gets highest marks for being completely inscrutable.

The article, “Bayes Clustering and Structural Support Vector Machines for Segmentation of Carotid Artery Plaques in Multicontrast MRI,” was written by a group from China and Cambridge University in England — so, we’re thinking language ought not to have been much of a barrier to clear English. It appeared in November 2012 in Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, and describes a way to analyze carotid artery plaque levels in MRI images.

But according to the notice, the technique did not work as planned (or so we think):

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