Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘china retractions’ Category

Seven papers flagged earlier for fake reviews now retracted by Elsevier

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elsevierElsevier has now retracted the seven papers it flagged in October as being affected by fake peer reviews.

If you’re not keeping track, we are: We have logged a total of about 300 retractions for fake peer review, in which some aspect of the peer-review process becomes compromised — for instance, in the case of the newly retracted papers, authors appear to have created fake email accounts in order to pose as reviewers and give the green light to their own papers.

The same retraction note applies to five of the recently retracted papers:

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Journal retracts groundwater pollution paper for plagiarism

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ecotoxThe journal Ecotoxicology has retracted a paper that described a way to analyze nitrates in groundwater after discovering the authors had lifted a substantial amount of material from three other papers.

Here is the retraction notice for “Isotopic analysis of N and O in NO3 – by selective bacterial reduction to N2O for groundwater pollution:” Read the rest of this entry »

Sperm paper impaired by “corporate company” analysis

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2.coverWithout a certain protein, mouse sperm have motility disorders. That’s the conclusion of a paper that has itself been stopped — by errors in the data analysis, carried out by a third-party company.

The retraction note pins the analysis, which led to faulty data, on a “corporate company.” Aside from the companies that sell the kits used for substrates, assays, and detection, there’s only one company mentioned in the paper:

Generation of the mouse model was performed by the Cyagen Company (Guangzhou, China)

However, a representative of Cyagen says it does not offer the type of analysis described by the retraction note.

Here’s the full retraction note for the 2015 paper in Biology of Reproduction (which is paywalled — tsk, tsk):
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Fake email address — for author, not reviewer — fells another paper

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Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.19.43 AMWe’ve seen many cases of researchers creating fake email addresses to impersonate reviewers that usher their paper to publication.

But in the latest fake email incident, a journal is retracting a paper on liver cancer after the first author created a phony address for the last and corresponding author. Both are researchers at Zhengzhou University in China.

This isn’t the first time that an author has worked around the corresponding author: there’s a case from a few years ago in which the corresponding author didn’t know that the paper was being published at all. Recently, we also wrote about a doctor who was suspended in the UK after submitting papers without her co-authors’ knowledge, including creating a fake email for one of them.

This latest paper had another problem, too: plagiarism. Here’s the retraction note for “The influence of TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharides on hepatocellular carcinoma cells and the feasibility of its application in treating liver cancer,” published in OncoTargets and Therapy:

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Authorship, funding misstatements force retraction of satellite study

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rslRemote Sensing Letters has retracted a 2015 paper by a pair of researchers in China because the duo was in fact a solo, and the manuscript lied about its funding source.

The article, “A novel method of feature extraction and fusion and its application in satellite images classification,” purportedly was written by Da Lin and Xin Xu, of Wuhan University. But as the retraction notice makes clear, that wasn’t the case: Read the rest of this entry »

Desalination journal let a plagiarized paper — from the same journal — through its filter

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The editor of Desalination has retracted a paper that plagiarized from another article published in the same journal six years earlier. The papers describe desalination systems, of course.

This retraction happened on a relatively quick timeline: The paper, “An integrated optimization model and application of MEE-TVC desalination system,” was published online in June, and pulled in January.

Here’s the retraction note:

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PLOS ONE retracting paper that cites “the Creator”

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.50.25 AMPLOS ONE has retracted a paper published one month ago after readers began criticizing it for mentioning “the Creator.”

The article “Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living” now includes a reader comment from PLOS Staff, noting: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 3rd, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Hands are the “proper design by the Creator,” PLOS ONE paper suggests

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.50.25 AMA paper about the biomechanics of human hands published last month in PLOS ONE is raising some questions on Twitter, after readers stumbled upon some curious language in the abstract:

The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.

Yeah, that’s right — “the Creator.” You don’t see such language all that often in academic papers.

Not surprisingly, it’s prompted some harsh reactions from readers: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 2nd, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Upon discovering several errors, authors retract gastric cancer paper

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mmr_12_4After finding several errors in their paper about the molecular activity underlying gastric cancer, the authors unanimously decided to retract it.

According to the retraction note, three figures in the paper had β‑actin bands that were omitted, interchanged, or both.

The retraction note provides the details:

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Author in 2014 peer review ring loses 3 more papers for peer review problems

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cover (1)A journal is retracting three papers — including one that is highly cited — after learning the reviewers that recommended publication had conflicts of interest.

This is a case of family values gone awry: The author common to all papers is Cheng-Wu Chen at the National Kaohsiung Marine University in Taiwan, the twin brother of one Peter Chen, who was a the center of a peer review ring that SAGE busted in 2014 (and holder of the number #3 spot on our leaderboard). Cheng-Wu Chen apparently wasn’t an innocent bystander in that episode: Of the 60 retracted papers by SAGE, Cheng-Wu Chen was a co-author on 21.

The retraction notes for all three papers — published in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries — are identical:

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