Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘malaysia’ 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 »

Researcher notches fourth retraction, has left university

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Plant Ecology

A researcher with four retracted papers has left his former institution in Malaysia, according to an official at the university.

In March, we reported on the retractions of two studies in Environmental Geochemistry and Health co-authored by Muhammad Aqeel Ashraf. Both papers were pulled citing a “compromised” peer review process. The now-retracted work was carried out at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Ashraf was previously based.

However, Ashraf later moved to University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; but now, according to an official at the institution, Ashraf is no longer based at UMS after “suspicion” arose into his work.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 12th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Two journals retracting papers from University of Malaya featuring widely criticized figures

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The image that excited twitter: Figure 6 from the Scientific Reports paper

The image that excited Twitter

One journal has retracted a paper containing images that recently raised suspicions of obvious duplications, and another journal is planning to do the same.

Scientists first leveled accusations against the newly retracted paper in Scientific Reports, along with two others by the same researchers, earlier this month on Twitter. One other journal — PeerJ — has announced that it plans to retract one of the questioned papers, as well. The third paper, in Frontiers in Pharmacology, bears an expression of concern.

It was unusually quick action on the part of the journals, as well as the authors’ host institution, the University of Malaya, which announced last week the authors had manipulated figures in all three papers, along with one other.

Here’s today’s retraction notice from Scientific Reports for “Novel piperazine core compound induces death in human liver cancer cells: possible pharmacological properties:”

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Figures questioned online were manipulated, says Malaysia investigation

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The image that excited twitter: Figure 6 from the Scientific Reports paper

The image that set Twitter abuzz: Figure 6 from the Scientific Reports paper, in which every cell in each stage of cell death appeared to be an exact copy.

Many figures in four papers by a research team in Malaysia contain duplication or manipulation, a university committee has found, calling for multiple retractions.

We learned about issues with three of the papers, including one in Scientific Reports, earlier this week when they were the talk of Twitter. As journals issued expressions of concern, and an expert wondered how the papers passed peer review at all, the first author, a researcher at the University of Malaya (UM), denied allegations of duplication.

UM was alerted to allegations of misconduct in the Scientific Reports paper last Saturday, and according to a statement published today:

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Images that raised eyebrows flagged by another journal; Malaysian gov’t investigates

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Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.17.15 AMMultiple investigations have been launched into allegations of blatant duplications by a research group in Malaysia.

Last week, users alleged on Twitter that three papers by the same team included pictures of cells that were copied and pasted. First author Nima Samie, affiliated with University of Malaya in Malaysia, denied the accusations — but both the Malaysian government and now two journals sees cause for further investigation.

Frontiers in Pharmacology published an expression of concern this morning:

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Author denies accusations of blatant duplication

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NPGTwitter is abuzz today over allegations that a recent paper in Scientific Reports contains a blatant example of duplication.

According to the allegations, a group of researchers in Malaysia have used the same four images to represent some 30 cells at different stages of cell death. One researcher has even suggested the allegedly doctored images appear in three different papers.

Is this a manipulated image? See for yourself:

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Environmental journal pulls two papers for “compromised” peer review

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EGAHEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health has retracted two papers after an investigation suggested that the peer-review process had been compromised.

In case you’re counting, we’ve now logged approximately 300 retractions stemming from likely faked or rigged peer review.

The retraction note — which is the same for both papers — explains a bit more about the situation: Read the rest of this entry »

Author dispute, “considerable overlap” retract chemistry study

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Spectrochimica Acta Part A- Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy

A chemistry journal has issued a retraction after “a thorough and time-consuming analysis” revealed two out of four authors did not agree to submitting an article published in May, which also contains “considerable overlap and redundancy” with another paper published a few weeks prior in a different journal.

Shortly after the paper appeared in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, the journal was told “that parts of the manuscript were reused” from an article in the Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers that was published online March 16. That led to the investigation, and the discovery of the additional authorship issues.

Here’s the full notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast study mischaracterized funding by cereal group

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Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 5.42.55 PM

PLOS ONE has quickly corrected an October analysis of what children in Malaysia eat for breakfast, after the study neglected to note it benefited from mistakenly noted an unrestricted research grant from cereal companies supported author salaries. The grant supported the salaries of research assistants, according to the correction note.

Per the authors’ request, the journal has noted that the study received financial support from Nestlé R&D Center in Singapore and Cereal Partners Worldwide, a collaboration between General Mills Inc. and Nestlé S.A., with the goal of selling cereal outside the US and Canada. These funders provided “salaries for research assistants” for the MyBreakfast study, on which the analysis is based, according to the note.

The paper includes authors affiliated with Nestlé and Cereal Partners Worldwide, as well as a detailed “Competing interests” section, which outlines the relationships with these companies.

The correction note explains the information that should have appeared in the funding section of the article:

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Written by Shannon Palus

December 21st, 2015 at 11:30 am

Citation manipulation the last straw for modified rice straw paper

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jnm_coverThe Journal of Nanomaterials has retracted a paper on modified rice straw over citation manipulation.

Rice straw, which makes up nearly half of the biomass in rice plants, is generally considered agricultural waste. However, in recent years scientists have discovered ways to modify the raw material to make it capable of absorbing heavy metal ions, making it useful to both prevent and clean up pollution from industrial processes.

The retracted paper, which analyzed the physical properties of different kinds of modified rice straw, was retracted for citation manipulation.

Here’s the short (and to the point) retraction for “Mechanical and Thermal Stability Properties of Modified Rice Straw Fiber Blend with Polycaprolactone Composite”: Read the rest of this entry »