Archive for the ‘china retractions’ Category
Are some cases of research fraud fixable with a correction notice?
A chemistry journal thought so in 2014, when it issued a correction notice for a 2012 paper after the first author admitted to manipulating an image. After an investigation, the publisher agreed the manipulation was a “clear breach” of its ethical guidelines, but decided not to retract the paper since the overall conclusions remain valid.
The last author told us the first author had to repeat the experiments under supervision, and received a “serious warning.”
It’s an older notice, but one we thought interesting enough to cover now. Once you’ve read through the journal’s reasoning, tell us if you agree with the decision to correct (rather than retract) the paper in a poll at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the correction for “A novel route for preparing highly proton conductive membrane materials with metal-organic frameworks,” issued by Chemical Communications:
PLOS ONE has now retracted the paper, noting that they were tipped off to the problems by a reader who raised concerns about some of the figures. The notice states that the study’s first author, Zhenni Zhang, takes full responsibility.
The last author of the paper — Zongfang Li from the Xi’an Jiaotong University in China — told us Zhang was his PhD student who was close to completing her PhD, but has now been expelled.
A plastic surgery journal has retracted a paper after a researcher claimed it contained three figures without his permission.
According to Aesthetic Surgery Journal’s retraction notice (which is paywalled, tsk tsk), the figures were reproduced from a paper published in a Chinese journal without the original authors’ knowledge or permission: Read the rest of this entry »
The researcher who reported the similarity to Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry has sent us his correspondence with the journal. After a “thorough investigation,” the journal felt the paper was worth retracting.
A material science journal has retracted a paper after discovering that the first author faked email addresses for co-authors to submit the paper without their permission.
The journal, Materials, also discovered that the 2016 paper had plagiarized material from a 2013 paper previously published in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A.
In April 2015, a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics welcomed the ban by the Chinese government as “a step in the right direction,” but noted that China remains plagued by a crucial shortage in available organs.
Some academics disagreed with the authors’ take on the issue, noting that the paper fails to note that many organs may continue to be harvested from Chinese prisoners of conscience; ultimately, the journal received a letter asking to retract the paper. The journal decided not to, and instead asked the authors to issue a lengthy correction, for instance changing the language about the government decision (“law” became“guideline”), and allowed critics to publish a rebuttal to the paper in May 2016. Read the rest of this entry »
So from time to time we’ll compile a list of retractions that appeared relatively straightforward, just for record-keeping purposes.
Often, these seemingly straightforward retractions involve duplications, in which authors — accidentally or on purpose — republish their own work elsewhere.
Sometimes journals and authors blame this event on “poor communication,” our first example notes:
In November 2015, MedChemComm issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the same paper. According to the EOC, the author of the paper, Yong Yang, flagged the paper to the journal, citing problems with authorship and portions of text overlap, which Yang attributed to an editing company.
The editor-in-chief of the journal told us Yang’s institution — China Medical University — carried out an investigation into the case at the journal’s request.
We’ve also found a 2015 retraction for Yang, after he published a paper without the okay of his previous institution in Texas.
We can’t keep up with the growing number of retraction notices, so we’ve compiled a list of recent duplications to update our records.
1. Authors don’t always intentionally duplicate their own work, of course. The first paper on our list was retracted after the authors included a figure from a previous paper by accident, according to the publisher: Read the rest of this entry »
In one notice, issued last month, Annals of Human Genetics said it had reason to believe the paper had been reviewed by unqualified reviewers. Last year, another journal, Molecular Biology Reports, pulled two papers by the same group — all based at the China Medical University in Shenyang — all for peer-review issues. Additionally, Molecular Biology Reports also retracted another paper co-authored by Peng Liu last year, which did not include her other colleagues on the three other papers. All papers describe the epigenetic changes — modifications in expressions of genes — that may underlie cancer.