Archive for the ‘israel retractions’ Category
We’ve known for a while that too many researchers cite retracted papers. But in what context do those citations occur? Are some authors citing a retracted paper as an example of problematic findings, or do most citing authors treat the findings as legitimate, failing to realize they are no longer valid? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Gali Halevi at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Judit Bar-Ilan at Bar-Ilan University in Israel examined citations to 15 papers retracted in 2014. Halevi told us why she was surprised to see how many authors don’t realize retracted papers are problematic, and what the publishing community can do to get the word out.
Retraction Watch: We’ve noticed that many papers are cited long after being retracted, without notifying readers the paper is problematic. You looked at citations to retracted papers and tracked how the citing authors described the paper – noting that its findings were problematic given the retraction (negative), or treating the findings as legitimate research that affirms the newer paper’s results (positive). The vast majority of post-retraction citations – 83% — were positive. Did that surprise you?
The paper has been significantly revised, an author told us, but it still comes the same conclusions.
In February, the journal Vaccine temporarily removed the study without explanation, and told the authors the editor had asked for further review. Later that month, Vaccine retracted the paper, citing “serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article,” and “seriously flawed” methodology.
In July, another journal — Immunologic Research — republished the paper. The new version of the paper has been significantly changed, co-author Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia (UBC) told Retraction Watch:
The papers present a method for imaging very small things — like biological processes on a molecular scale — that could be an alternative to electron microscopy, as the authors explain in a video. But after the papers were published in the New Journal of Physics, last author Ulf Leonhardt, now based at the Weizmann Institute of Science, found out that some of the data
were pixel-by-pixel mirror-symmetric, which is impossible for genuine experimental data.
One of the researchers co-authored a subsequent paper that acknowledges one of the papers incorrectly assumed the data were symmetrical, and could therefore be extrapolated from one side to the other. A representative of the publisher told us they have not seen any signs of misconduct, and the problem seemed to result from a “series of apparent miscommunications between the authors.”
After temporarily removing a paper that suggested a link between the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and behavioral issues, the journal has now retracted it.
Vaccine says the reason is “serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article,” including flawed methodology and unjustified claims.
Christopher A. Shaw, a co-author on the paper and a researcher at the University of British Columbia, told us he has seen the notice, but doesn’t know the specific issues the journal had with the paper:
We still don’t know why [Editor in Chief] Dr Poland removed the article.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Behavioral abnormalities in young female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil:”
The note doesn’t provide any reason for the withdrawal, although authors were told the editor asked for further review.
Two co-authors on the paper — about Gardasil, a vaccine against HPV — have previously suggested that aluminum in vaccines is linked to autism, in research a World Health Organization advisory body concluded was “seriously flawed.”
Approximately 80 million doses of Gardasil were administered in the U.S. between 2006 and 2015. Both the the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have ruled the vaccine to be safe — the CDC, for instance, calls it “safe, effective, and recommended.”
The journal published an uncorrected proof of “Behavioral abnormalities in young female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil” online on January 9th, 2016. In its place now is a note that says:
Earlier this year, authors retracted a meeting abstract about a diabetes drug, following the revelation that the biotech that funded the trial committed misconduct.
The retraction was initiated by corresponding author Itamar Raz, at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. The journal didn’t receive a response from any co-authors who were affiliated with the biotech company, Andromeda, so they were not included in the retraction process.
A few months after Hyperion Therapeutics acquired Andromeda’s diabetes drug DiaPep277, Hyperion announced it had evidence that some employees of Andromeda had “engaged in serious misconduct,” such as using un-blinded data and manipulating the analyses. Two relevant studies on the drug, designed to block the immune response that leads to type 1 diabetes, were retracted last year.
Here’s the retraction note for the abstract “Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Vienna 2014. ‘Evaluation of DiaPep277® treatment in type 1 diabetes by integrated analysis,’” published in the May issue of the journal:
Thanks to some eagle-eyed readers, we’ve been alerted to some corrections for high profile stem cell scientist Jacob Hanna that we had missed, bringing our count to one retraction and 13 errata on 10 papers.
The problems in the work range from duplications of images, to inadvertent deletions in figures, to failures by his co-authors to disclose funding sources or conflicts of interest. Hanna is the first or last author on 4 of the papers, and one of several on the rest.
First up, a correction to a Cell paper on which Hanna is the first author:
A correction to a correction is the latest problem for highly cited researcher Jacob Hanna. The stem cell scientist — whose high-profile work has received scrutiny over the past year — has amended an earlier correction notice after a reader spotted an inadvertent “mistake.”
We reported on the original correction, to the 2009 Cell Stem Cell paper “Metastable Pluripotent States in NOD-Mouse-Derived ESCs,” in July. The paper has been cited 184 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Apparently, a pair of images in the original correction note are of the same cell colonies, when they are supposed to be of separate cell colonies.
The new (and detailed) note explains how that happened:
Cell biologist Jacob Hanna, the highly cited stem cell researcher currently at the Weizmann Institute of Science, has posted a long erratum for a 2005 paper in Blood for “inadvertent mistakes,” among other issues; soon after, Hanna’s team issued another erratum for a 2009 Cell Stem Cell paper.
There’s more to tell: Last month, commenters on PubPeer noticed that images from at least 10 of the research papers Hanna coauthored in seven journals — that commenters had posted on the image hosting website Imgur and linked to on PubPeer — had been deleted.
Imgur did not confirm whether these specific images had been deleted, but told Retraction Watch:
An article by Alexander Spivak, a mathematician based in Israel, is being retracted from the proceedings of a 2014 numerical analysis meeting because Spivak had already published “a major part of text and results” in a mathematics journal in 2010.
Spivak, a member of the faculty of sciences at Holon Institute of Technology, has a bit of a history with the journal that published his initial 201o paper, the International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. That journal retracted two of his papers last year after learning from Zeev Schuss, Spivak’s post-doc supervisor at Tel Aviv University, that those papers contained plagiarized chunks from a paper by Schuss and two colleagues.
Here’s more from the retraction notice for “Successive approximations for optimal control in some nonlinear systems with small parameter”, published in the Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Numerical Analysis: