Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘italy retractions’ Category

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 »

Study of air quality around Damien Hirst’s artwork retracted — against most authors’ wishes

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via Flickr Commons

Damien Hirst’s “Away From The Flock” — exhibited at Tate Britain, via Flickr Commons

The corresponding author of the study that detected toxic leaks from the work of prominent British artist Damien Hirst has now retracted it — but most of his co-authors disagree with the decision.

The April Analytical Methods study was covered extensively by the media when it suggested staff at Damien Hirst’s 2012 exhibition at Tate Gallery in London of dead animals embalmed in formaldehyde were being exposed to higher than recommended levels of the carcinogen. 

Tate and Hirst’s company, Science Limited, immediately objected to the results; we’ve obtained what appears to be letter from a lawyer for Science Limited to the corresponding author of the paper — Pier Giorgio Righetti of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy — saying it was “deeply concerned and troubled by the claims” in the paper.

Last month, the journal issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the paper, nothing the data may not be reliable, and on July 15, Righetti announced in a joint statement with Hirst’s company that he will be retracting his study.

Now, the paper has been officially retracted, noting more recent measurements show formaldehyde levels to be much lower than originally reported. But most of Righetti’s co-authors disagree with the decision, the notice says:  Read the rest of this entry »

Cell Press dismisses fraud allegations in high-profile genetics papers

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Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 18.54.35Cell Press has dismissed accusations of image manipulation in two well-cited papers. 

In June 2015, we reported that the publisher was investigating anonymous allegations of more than a dozen instances of manipulation of images in the papers published in Cell and Molecular Cell in 1999 and 2001, respectively. 

After assessing the original high-resolution versions of images from the laboratory notebook of Maria Pia Cosma, the first author of both papers, the journals have not found enough evidence to determine that fraud had occurred. 

Here’s the editorial note, issued last week for both papers (and also reported by Leonid Schneider): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 8th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Author to retract study warning of toxic leaks from Damien Hirst’s artwork

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via Flickr Commons

Damien Hirst’s “Away From The Flock” — exhibited at Tate Britain, via Flickr Commons

The corresponding author of the 2016 study that found high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde leaking from a prominent British artist’s exhibition is now retracting it.

The study, about Damien Hirst’s 2012 exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London that presented dead animals embalmed in glass cases full of formaldehyde, suggested that higher than recommended limits of the carcinogen were being released from the exhibition. The study was widely covered by the media, which raised concerns over possible health hazards to visitors.

As we reported yesterday, the journal Analytical Methods had already issued an expression of concern (EOC), noting that the corresponding author of the paper, Pier Giorgio Righetti of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, warned the paper may contain unreliable data.

Today, Righetti released a joint statement with Hirst’s company, Science Ltd, stating that he will be retracting the paper (reported earlier today by the New York Times). It reads:   Read the rest of this entry »

Study warning of toxic leaks from Damien Hirst’s work may not be reliable, says author

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via Flickr Commons

Damien Hirst’s “Away From The Flock” — exhibited at Tate Britain, via Flickr Commons

A study that found high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde leaking from an exhibition by a prominent British artist may have unreliable data, according to its corresponding author.

The 2016 study about Damien Hirst’s exhibition at the Tate gallery in London in 2012 — which involved keeping dead animals in formaldehyde in glass cases — sparked concern in the mainstream media over the exhibition’s potential hazards to visitors.

But now the corresponding author of the paper —  Pier Giorgio Righetti of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy — has alerted the journal, Analytical Methods, of the paper’s shortcomings. The journal has issued an expression of concern (EOC), and is investigating.

Here’s the EOC, issued this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Unwitting co-author requests retraction of melatonin paper

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Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 10.54.58 PMNine years ago, a well-known pharmacologist hosted a researcher from another university in his lab. On a Saturday night last September, he learned while surfing Google Scholar that they had published a paper together.

Marco Cosentino, who works at the University of Insubria in Italy, know that Seema Rai, a zoologist at Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya in India, had collected data during during her six months in his lab, but had warned her they were too preliminary to publish. She published the data — on melatonin’s role in immunity — anyway, last summer in the Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology, listing Cosentino as the second author.

The day after he discovered the paper, Cosentino sent an email to the editor in chief of the journal, Charles Malemud, explaining why he did not approve of the publication:

Read the rest of this entry »

Authors pull 4 papers from surgery journal for plagiarism

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BMC SurgeryThe authors of four papers have pulled them for “significant overlap” with other publications, as well as borrowing “large portions of text” — in other words, plagiarism.

Two of the newly retracted papers published in BMC Surgery also listed co-authors who were “not involved in the study;” a similar note appears for an additional 2015 retraction that we’ve found for one of the authors.

That one author is listed on all of the newly retracted papers: Bruno Amato of the University Federico II of Naples, Italy.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells implantation in patients with peripheral arterial disease: a pilot study for clinical and biochemical outcome of neoangiogenesis,” which has been cited five times since it was published in November, 2012, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

June 6th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Researcher accused of fraud, embezzlement acquitted by Italian court

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University of PerugiaAn Italian court has acquitted a gastroenterologist who was accused of fraud and embezzlement.  

An earlier institutional investigation into Stefano Fiorucci, based at the University of Perugia in Italy, found that he had manipulated images in publications that he allegedly used to win two million Euros of funding. The story, which has dragged on for years, has resulted in four retractions and nine expressions of concern for publications authored by Fiorucci. 

Fiorucci’s lawyer, Stefano Bagianti, told us: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

June 6th, 2016 at 7:00 am

Scientists call for retraction of “seriously misleading” paper with asbestos industry ties

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EBPHEleven scientists are asking a journal to consider retracting an asbestos paper with industry ties for including “seriously misleading information,” “several wrong statements,” and thrice citing a journal that doesn’t appear to exist.

Editors of the journal, Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health, however, say they will not retract the article, based on the advice of two external reviewers.

An earlier correction for the paper,  “Further Studies of Bolivian Crocidolite – Part IV: Fibre Width, Fibre Drift and their relation to Mesothelioma Induction: Preliminary Findings,” cited previously undisclosed competing interests for four of the paper’s five authors.

Earlier this year, scientists criticized “gross mistakes” in another paper from three of the same authors: Edward Ilgren, Yumi Kamiya, and John Hoskins. EBPH subsequently issued two corrections but did not retract that paper. Read our full coverage here. Read the rest of this entry »

Does this scientific image look familiar? It’s from a catalog

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cover (4)There’s something strange about a 2008 paper on the role of nicotine receptors in promoting lung cancer: One of the western blot analyses looks like a version of an image from a commercial catalog.

A commenter on PubPeer pointed out the similarities between an image in “Role of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in human non-small cell lung cancer proliferation,” which was published in Cell Proliferation, and one used to promote an enzyme sold by Cell Signaling Technology.

Unfortunately, if the images are indeed the same, we can’t tell for certain who copied from whom. But a representative of the company told us it generates its own images, and this one was likely created before the paper was published. The last author — for whom we’ve found three other retractions — denied that the paper copied the image.

Here’s the panel from the paper, which was published in 2008: Read the rest of this entry »