Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘the netherlands’ Category

Anonymous complaint about Dutch economist is “unfounded”: Report

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Peter Nijkamp

Peter Nijkamp

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) has dismissed an anonymous accusation against economist Peter Nijkamp and two of his colleagues, including one of his graduate students, regarding issues related to “data acquisition and data processing.”

The announcement, released last week, determined the latest complaint was “unfounded:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

January 19th, 2016 at 9:30 am

We have a new record: 80 years from publication to retraction

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cover_2015_51We have a new record for the longest time from publication to retraction: 80 years. It’s for a case report about a 24-year-old man who died after coughing up more than four cups of what apparently looked — and smelled — like pee.

According to the case report titled “Een geval van uroptoë” published in 1923, an autopsy revealed that the man had a kidney that was strangely located in his chest cavity. A case of pneumonia caused the kidney to leak urine into the space around his lungs, leading to the perplexing cough.

If that sounds too crazy to be true, you’re right: This man never existed. The case was retracted in 2003. (Yes, we are a little late to this one — it recently popped up in one of our Google alerts.)

A write-up by the editors of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde — that translates to “Dutch Journal of Medicine” — explains that the strange case was a fake (on the fifth page of this PDF, in English):

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Third retraction appears for Leiden researcher fired in 2013

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A researcher who was fired from Leiden University Medical Center in 2013 for fraud has notched a third retraction, following an investigation by her former workplace.

When Leiden fired Annemie Schuerwegh, they announced two retractions of papers that contained manipulated data. This third retraction — the last, according to a spokesperson for the center  — is for “a discrepancy between the data reported in the article and the original collected data,” per the note.

The 2011 paper, “Mast cells are the main interleukin 17-positive cells in anticitrullinated protein antibody-positive and -negative rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis synovium” published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, suggests the source of a protein involved in rheumatoid arthritis. It has been cited 51 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the retraction note:

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Do science findings feel more novel, robust? They are — at least, in language

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Do you think the write-up of scientific results has gotten more rosy over time? If so, you’re right — the use of positive language in science abstracts has increased by 880% since 1974, according to new findings reported in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers led by Christiaan H Vinkers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands found that, among PubMed abstracts: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

December 15th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Diederik Stapel now has 58 retractions

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stapel_npcSocial psychologist Diederik Stapel has notched his 58th retraction, after admitting he fabricated data in yet another article.

He’s holding onto his 4th place spot on our leaderboard.

This latest retraction is for “Correction or comparison? The effects of prime awareness on social judgments,” published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. As usual for Stapel, this paper has been retracted because he fabricated data.

Here’s the note:

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Psychologist Jens Forster settles case by agreeing to 2 retractions

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Jens Förster

Following questions about the veracity of multiple papers by his former employer, high-profile social psychologist Jens Förster has agreed to retract two papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs).

Last year, Förster had a paper retracted at the request of his former employer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In May, an investigation commissioned by UvA found that many of his experiments looked “too good to be true,” and eight papers showed strong signs of “low veracity.”

Just two of those papers are acknowledged in the settlement of a case by the DGPs against Förster, who currently works at Ruhr University Bochum. Here’s a translation of a notice from the DGPs from One Hour Translation:

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Diederik Stapel retraction count updated to 57

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stapel_npcWe’ve learned about two more retractions we missed for Diederick Stapel, the Dutch social psychology researcher who has now racked up a total of 57 retractions by our count.

Both retractions were issued after a committee released a report which established fraud in dozens of papers co-authored by Stapel.

Stapel is still #4 on our leaderboard.

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Authors pull Science paper on molecular wires for “inappropriate data handling”

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pic.mag.current-issueThis week’s issue of Science includes a retraction of a highly cited paper about manipulating the current in a string of molecules with a magnet, after an investigation by the co-authors revealed “inappropriate data handling” by the first author.

According to the note, the co-authors’ suspicions arose when they tried to follow-up on the data. Following a “thorough investigation,” they concluded that first author Rabindra N. Mahato had handled the data in such a way that they could no longer trust the conclusions. In the end, Mahato agreed to the retraction.

Here’s more from the note: Read the rest of this entry »

Dutch investigation of researcher violated rules of “fair play”: Ombudsman

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Pankaj Dhonukshe

Pankaj Dhonukshe

The National Ombudsman of The Netherlands has criticized some aspects of an investigation by Utrecht University that found a researcher had committed “a violation of academic integrity.”

Specifically, the Ombudsman found the investigation — which we covered last year — did not adequately involve the affected researcher, Pankaj Dhonukshe, and therefore violated rules of “fair play.” Dhonukshe expressed relief in a statement he emailed to us about the ruling: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

October 6th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Diederik Stapel ups count to 55 retractions

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Diederik Stapel

Dutch social psychologist and well-known fraudster Diederik Stapel is up to 55 retractions. He remains secure in his spot at #4 on our leaderboard.

The “fraudulent” Social Cognition article found, according to its abstract, that the more positively you perceive yourself, the less you need to compare yourself to other people. Conversely, negative thoughts were linked to more comparison to others. As an article in the New York Times points out, where Stapel’s faulty studies often succeeded is in telling us what we want to believe about the world.

Here’s the retraction note for the article:

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