Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘india retractions’ Category

“The results were so perfect” — and now they’re being retracted

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journal-of-photochemistry-and-photobiologyRecently, François-Xavier Coudert, a researcher at the Research Institute of Chemistry of Paris in France, noticed something strange: A nearly perfect image in a chemistry paper, with none of the typically expected “noise.”

Last week, he started a thread on PubPeer, alerting readers to his concerns — namely, that a microscopy image showed hexagons with crisp edges. The author responded that the students had been working to obtain a “perfect hexagonal structure,” and had adjusted the contrast of the image to make it seamless. But, the author noted, the paper was being retracted for other reasons.

Indeed, a spokesperson for Elsevier, which publishes the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology (JPB), has confirmed to us the paper will be retracted. Here’s the upcoming notice for “Influence of humic acid on the stability and bacterial toxicity of zinc oxide nanoparticles in water,” which cites image duplication as the reason: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal flags paper at center of authorship dispute

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carbohydrate-polymersA journal has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for a nanofilm paper after a researcher protested being left off the author list. 

According to the notice in Carbohydrate Polymers, the University of Calcutta in West Bengal, India, where the research was carried out, has “failed to provide evidence of a thorough, fair, and proper investigation of this claim,” despite being presented with evidence from both sides.

The study’s last and corresponding author told us that his former student, who had previously co-authored some abstracts, got in touch with journal, alleging to be an author of the present paper. 

Here’s the EOC for “Cationic guar gum orchestrated environmental synthesis for silver nano-bio-composite films:” Read the rest of this entry »

Oops — journal retracted the wrong article

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Sometimes you have the right guy, but charge him with the wrong crime — like nabbing someone for not using a turn signal after he just ran through a red light.

A reproductive sciences journal has admitted to mistakenly retracting the wrong article last year — and is now pulling the previously issued retraction notice, along with retracting a different paper by the same author.

K. P. Suresh, author of both studies (the previously pulled one and the newly retracted one) from the National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, appealed the journal’s 2015 decision to retract his previous paper. As we reported at the time, Suresh argued that his 2012 paper was “entirely different” from the study it is said to have plagiarized from. It turns out, he may have been right, because now the journal has pulled a different paper of his, published in 2011.

According to one of the notices, the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences previously retracted the incorrect paper due to “technical errors.”

In both cases, the journal cited the reason for retraction as “duplicity of text.”

The journal has now issued another retraction notice for the previously published notice, which reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Is it dangerous to set quotas for research output?

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Roosy Aulakh

Yes, argues Roosy Aulakh, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, India. In last week’s BMJ, she argues that recent measures to force researchers in India to produce a minimum number of publications to obtain promotions could set the stage for many problems, including fraud.

Retraction Watch: You cite a recent paper that showed more than 50% of Indian medical institutions and hospitals didn’t publish a single paper between 2005 and 2014. Did that finding surprise you?

Roosy Aulakh: Well definitely yes! With over 400 medical colleges in India producing more than 50,000 doctors an year, such poor research output surely came as a surprise.

RW: In response, the Medical Council of India (MCI) is now requiring researchers to publish at least four articles to become an associate professor, and eight to become a professor. Does that concern you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 19th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Is it possible (or ethical) to have six first authors on a scientific paper?

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sci-eng-ethcIn many fields, first authors on scientific papers represent the person who’s performed the bulk of the research. Sometimes, that determination can be difficult to make, so we’ve seen many papers that list multiple first authors, noting that each contributed equally to the work. But is it possible — or ethical — to claim six authors all deserve top billing on a paper?

In a recent letter in Science and Engineering Ethics, Govindasamy Agoramoorthy — at Sengamala Thayaar Educational Trust Women’s College in India and Tajen University in Taiwan — flags a 2014 paper in The Plant Journal that lists six first authors, noting all “contributed equally to this work.”

As Agoramoorthy notes in “Multiple First Authors as Equal Contributors: Is It Ethical?“:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 15th, 2016 at 11:30 am

You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, they’re published twice

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obesity surgeryWith retraction notices continuing to pour in, we like to occasionally take the opportunity to cover several at a time to keep up.

We’ve compiled a handful of retractions that were all issued to papers that were published twice by at least one of the same authors — known as duplication. (Sometimes, this can be the publisher’s fault, although that doesn’t appear to be the case in any of the following examples.)

So here are five recently retracted papers that were pulled because of duplication: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal blacklists authors for plagiarizing case report about hypersexuality in dementia

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Advances in Human BiologyA biology journal has blacklisted authors from publishing their work after finding their case report about a dementia patient with hypersexuality was plagiarized from a previously published report.

The retraction notice, issued by Advances in Human Biology (AIHB) in June, recognizes the case as “scientific misconduct.” The journal launched an investigation after the plagiarism was flagged by the author of the original report, the editor-in-chief of the journal told us. Eventually, the journal retracted the report — and removed it entirely from their website.

Additionally, the journal posted this notice on their site, blacklisting the authors from publishing in AIHB again: Read the rest of this entry »

Biotech journal pulls well-cited review that plagiarized from several sources

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Applied Microbiology and BiotechnologyA biotechnology journal has retracted a 14-year-old review after an investigation concluded that the authors had plagiarized from numerous sources.  

The last author of the paper — which has been cited 289 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science — told us the authors took a few lines from other reviews, and unintentionally left off the references.

In June 2011, the same author was denied a prestigious fellowship after an anonymous plagiarism allegation was filed against him. 

Here’s the retraction notice in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology for “The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 1st, 2016 at 9:30 am

PLOS ONE pulls malaria study for “inappropriate manipulation” of figures

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted a malaria paper after an institutional investigation found evidence the authors had manipulated multiple figures.

According to the notice, the authors’ institution — the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi, India — recommended the journal retract the paper.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued by PLOS ONE on June 30: Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d (again): Do these data look familiar? They are

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plant_growth_regulationWe 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 »