JAMA journal retracts paper when author can’t produce original data

In July 2017, a JAMA journal called for an investigation into a 2013 paper it had published after concluding that the article had “scientific and ethical concerns.” Now the journal, JAMA Otolaryngology − Head & Neck Surgery, is retracting the paper.

The article, “Dexamethasone for the prevention of recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy and other complications after thyroid surgery: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial,” came from a group in Italy led by Mario Schietroma, of the Department of Surgery at the University of L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, Italy. Schietroma, who in December admitted to us that a retracted 2015 paper of his in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suffered from “misinterpretation of the statistical data,” now has four retractions.

The paper has been cited a total of 18 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, including twice since it was subjected to an expression of concern. One of those citations was by a Cochrane systematic review.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading JAMA journal retracts paper when author can’t produce original data

Court orders journal to retract a paper after supplement seller sues

An Italian court has ordered a journal to retract a paper. But it hasn’t just yet.

Instead, the Journal of Ovarian Research has published an expression of concern about the 2012 paper, replete with obfuscating legal language.

Here’s the text:

Continue reading Court orders journal to retract a paper after supplement seller sues

Over authors’ objections, PLOS ONE retracts paper claiming Shroud of Turin showed evidence of trauma

A year ago, PLOS ONE published a study claiming that there was strong evidence that a person wrapped in the Shroud of Turin — according to lore, the burial shroud of Jesus Christ — had suffered “strong polytrauma.”

Today, they retracted it.

According to the retraction notice for “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud,” Continue reading Over authors’ objections, PLOS ONE retracts paper claiming Shroud of Turin showed evidence of trauma

A distorted record on blood pressure drugs: Why one group is trying to clean up the literature

In 2015, a group of researchers based in Spain decided to write a review article on high blood pressure. But when they looked over eight articles co-authored by the same person, they noticed some undeniable similarities.

Over the last few years, Giuseppe Derosa, based at the University of Pavia in Italy, has racked up 10 retractions after journals determined he’d published the same material multiple times. But there’s much more to this story: The researchers in Spain (led by Luis Carlos Saiz of the Navarre Regional Health Service in Pamplona) kept digging into his publication record, and have since identified dozens of additional potential duplicates. Although the outside researchers alerted journals to the additional potentially problematic papers in 2015, most have not taken action; recently, two journals published by Taylor & Francis flagged 12 of Derosa’s articles, three of which they had been alerted about in 2015 by Saiz and colleagues.

Now, Saiz is telling his story — and why duplication of medical research matters:

Continue reading A distorted record on blood pressure drugs: Why one group is trying to clean up the literature

Paper used to support WHO guidelines on preventing infections “has no scientific validity”

A surgery journal retracted a 2014 paper last month after discovering that the study has “no scientific validity.”

Mario Schietroma and his coauthors, based at the University of LAquila in Italy, reported that giving patients high concentrations of oxygen during and after colorectal surgery significantly reduced their risk of infections. Although the authors reported significant p-values, the retraction notice states that, “upon recalculation, no p-values were close to significant.” The University of LAquila told Retraction Watch it is investigating, but did not provide details. Continue reading Paper used to support WHO guidelines on preventing infections “has no scientific validity”

Stem cell researchers investigated for misconduct recommended for roles at Italy’s NIH

Piero Anversa

Two stem cell scientists who left Harvard University in the aftermath of a messy misconduct investigation may have found new roles in Italy’s National Institute of Health.

According to a document on the institute’s website, which we had translated, Piero Anversa and Annarosa Leri have been approved to start work at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) by the institute’s board of directors. However, the president of the organization told us that the hirings are not yet final.

The document says the board unanimously recommended the appointments of Anversa and Leri on January 31 as winning candidates with “a rating of ‘excellent.’”

According to the document, Anversa would be an ISS expert in stem cell-based treatments for diabetes and Leri would be an expert in stem-based therapies for cardiovascular disease.

However, ISS president Gualtiero Ricciardi told Retraction Watch: Continue reading Stem cell researchers investigated for misconduct recommended for roles at Italy’s NIH

Retraction count for Italian researcher swells to 15 as five papers fall

A researcher who is facing a criminal investigation in Italy for research misconduct has seen five more papers retracted, for a total of 16 15.

Molecular and Cellular Biology has retracted four papers published between 1987 to 2001 by Alfredo Fusco, a cancer researcher in Italy; the Journal of Virology retracted one 1985 paper. Fusco was first author on two papers and last author on three. Both journals are published by The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), which issued identical retraction notices for all five papers, mentioning “evidence of apparent manipulation and duplication.”

Carlo Croce, a cancer researcher now at the Ohio State University, who has been dogged by misconduct allegations, co-authored one of the papers.  Croce now has eight retractions.

Here’s the notice presented for all five retractions: Continue reading Retraction count for Italian researcher swells to 15 as five papers fall

Caught Our Notice: Big journal, big correction

Title: Tranexamic Acid in Patients Undergoing Coronary-Artery Surgery

What Caught Our Attention: When the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) publishes a correction that is more than a misspelling of a name, we take a look. When NEJM publishes a 500-word correction to the data in a highly cited article, we take notice. This study tested the effects of a drug to prevent blood loss in patients undergoing heart surgery; it’s been the subject of correspondence between the authors and outside experts. The correction involved tweaks — lots of tweaks — to the text and tables, which did not change the outcomes.   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Big journal, big correction

JAMA journal calls for formal investigation into surgery group’s work

A JAMA journal has issued an expression of concern for a 2013 paper after discovering “substantial overlap” with a recently retracted paper in another journal.

In April 2017, the editors of JAMA Otolaryngology − Head & Neck Surgery received allegations that the paper included data that had been published in other journals. After investigating, the editors discovered extensive overlap between several sections of the JAMA paper and a now-retracted 2015 paper by the same group. The 2015 paper, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS), was pulled in July 2017, after the editors determined the statistical results were “incorrect” and “the data do not support the conclusions of the article.”

Given the overlap between the two papers, the JAMA editors contacted the University of L’Aquila, where the authors work, to request a formal investigation to evaluate the “integrity of the research.” Jay Piccirillo, the editor of JAMA Otolaryngology − Head & Neck Surgery, told us:

Continue reading JAMA journal calls for formal investigation into surgery group’s work

Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for peer reviewer who stole manuscript

Via Wikimedia

Title: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diet and gut microbiota

What Caught Our Attention: The paper was co-authored by Carmine Finelli, who in the past took responsibility for a dramatic transgression: Stealing material from an unpublished manuscript by one of its reviewers. After the paper that stole from the manuscript was retracted in 2016, Finelli earned a second retraction earlier this year — again, for plagiarism. (He’s also lost another paper from Oncotarget, which was removed without any information.) Now, a fourth retraction has popped up, for using material “published previously.”  Unsure of the source of this material, we Googled some of the phrases from the retracted article.  While we cannot say for sure,  we offer these comparisons for you — the reader — to consider: Continue reading Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for peer reviewer who stole manuscript