Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘ireland’ Category

Researcher in Ireland loses two 13-year old studies

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journal-of-biological-chemistryThe Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted two 2003 studies after concluding that figures in the papers had been duplicated, and portions of some figures in one paper “did not accurately represent the results of the experimental conditions.”

The two newly retracted papers have the same last author — Therese Kinsella, a biochemist at the University College Dublin (UCD), who told us the data have been upheld by subsequent research, but that she supports the retractions, which are now part of a UCD investigation.

The retractions will bring up some familiar names: The first author on one of the papers is Sinéad Miggin from Maynooth University in the Republic of Ireland; in 2014, Miggin logged two retractions in the JBC, which triggered an investigation into co-author Aisha Qasim ButtLast year, Maynooth University revoked Butt’s PhD after she admitted to “falsification and misrepresentation” of data in both studies as well as her PhD thesis. At the time, Miggin and two other researchers were fully exonerated by Maynooth University from “any wrongdoing.”

Butt, however, is not an author of either of the newly retracted papers. Although Butt’s LinkedIn page still lists her as a postdoctoral researcher at UCD, a spokesperson from the institution told us she is no longer based there.

We don’t often see such old papers retracted. Kaoru Sakabe, Manager of Publishing Issues at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which publishes JBC, told us how this decision came about: Read the rest of this entry »

Irish university strips student of PhD following investigation

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maynoothMaynooth University has revoked a former student’s PhD following an investigation into the circumstances that led to two previous retractions in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

During the investigation, Aisha Qasim Butt admitted to some misconduct in the two papers and the research that made up her PhD, according to a university statement (which you can read in full here): Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract second study about medical uses of honey

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Journal of Clinical NursingA paper that tested the clinical value of honey on venous ulcers has been pulled by the Journal of Clinical Nursing after an investigation uncovered “errors in the data analysis.” Last year, the authors pulled another paper on the healing properties of honey on wounds

We just discovered this second retraction, which appears in the September 2015 issue of the journal, but was posted online last year.

The journal’s editor-in-chief, Debra Jackson, confirmed the dates and said that “a commercial company” brought the matter to their attention. After the journal asked a statistician to weigh in, they stated that a “substantial re-write would be required to correct the article,” and a retraction would be “the most suitable course of action.”

Although she said the authors initially sought to correct, not retract, the study, they eventually agreed with the decision.

Here’s the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Authors “did not have permission” to use pesticide data

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10661An environmental journal is retracting an article about the risks of pesticides to groundwater after determining it contained data that “the authors did not have permission (implicit or explicit) to publish.”

According to the retraction note in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, the paper said the data came from a non-author’s PhD thesis, but it’s not there. Those mysterious data were used to validate a model for pesticide exposures, described in an excerpt from the abstractRead the rest of this entry »

Sticky situation: Paper using honey for healing pulled over data issues

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Image via Hillary Stein

A paper on dressing wounds with honey has been retracted after the journal realized that an outlier patient was throwing off the data analysis.

Honey has been used for millennia as an antimicrobial wound dressing. Doctors can even buy sterile preparations of the sweetener. But the evidence that honey is better than other wound dressings is still inconclusive.

According to the retracted paper, published in International Wound Journal in 2008, Manuka honey has an acidic pH which helps reduce the alkaline environment of chronic woulds. Indeed, the authors found that Manuka honey dressings lowered wound pH and reduced wound size.

Sadly, the paper was pulled in 2014, after someone realized one patient had a particularly large wound that was throwing off statistics. The injury was 61 cm^2 at the beginning of the study, while the others ranged from .9 to 22 cm^2. After removing that patient from the analysis, the results no longer held up.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Unacceptable level of text parallels” loses neuroscientist a paper, but not her PhD

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maynoothWe should probably launch a new blog just on the euphemisms used for plagiarism.

A case of “inadequate procedural or methodological practices of citation or quotation” causing an “unacceptable level of text parallels” has sunk a review paper, but not a thesis, for a PhD who studied memory consolidation at Maynooth University in Ireland. According to a statement from the school, Jennifer Moore used “poor practice of citation and attribution” in both her thesis and in a review article published with her post-graduate P.I. in Reviews in the Neurosciences.

The review article, which has been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, will be retracted. Because there was no data fabrication and “no misleading of other scientists or laboratories,” the school will not be retracting the thesis nor taking away her PhD.

According to Google Scholar, the review has been cited 8 times. Moore now works as a neuropsychologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. We’ve contacted her for comment and will update if we hear back.

Here’s the notice for “Reconsolidation Revisited: A Review and Commentary on the Phenomenon”: Read the rest of this entry »

“The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted

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scientificreportsA paper on quantum communication has been retracted for failing to address several important problems, making the conclusions invalid.

Quantum communication involves sending a series of photons in specific quantum states over fiberoptic cables. It’s a little like the 1s and 0s of traditional computing, but much more secure. If the photons are intercepted on their way to the intended target, the quantum states will change, and the recipients can know their information was accessed by other parties. This is especially interesting to governments with a lot of secret information to transmit: both China and the U.S. have programs to develop these networks.

The retracted paper was a discussion of how to efficiently send lots of quantum information from different sources through the same fiberoptic cables at once.

Here’s the notice for “Efficient Quantum Transmission in Multiple-Source Networks”: Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism scandal tarnishes student newspaper at Trinity College, Dublin

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utbanner4Irish eyes definitely are not smiling at Trinity College in Dublin, where the campus paper, The University Times, has acknowledged that one of its editors seems to have been a serial plagiarist.

According to an editorial in the paper published on Friday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

December 8th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Posted in ireland,plagiarism

Can you hear me now? Neuroscience paper sunk by audio stimulus error

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j neurophysHave you ever noticed that hearing something read aloud as you follow along helps you remember what you’re reading better?

Two bioengineers at Trinity College Dublin, Michael Crosse and Edmund Lalor, decided to investigate the underlying reason for the phenomenon. Unfortunately, after they published their findings in the Journal of Neurophysiology earlier this year, they tried to recreate the experiments and discovered that their equipment didn’t line up the audio and visual stimuli properly.

They did the right thing and contacted the journal for a retraction. Here’s the notice for “The cortical representation of the speech envelope is earlier for audiovisual speech than audio speech”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 21st, 2014 at 9:30 am

Scientist in Ireland notches two mysterious retractions and a correction

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Sinead Miggin, via NUIM

Sinead Miggin, via NUIM

Sinead Miggin, a biologist at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, has withdrawn two papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and has corrected another paper, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Here’s the opaque JBC notice for “14-3-3ϵ and 14-3-3σ inhibit Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated proinflammatory cytokine induction,” a paper first published in November 2012: Read the rest of this entry »