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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘uk retractions’ Category

Elephant femur paper subject to expression of concern retracted following investigation

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panagiotopoulou

Olga Panagiotopoulou, via University of Queensland

Last month, we reported on a 2012 paper in Interface whose authors had the journal issue an expression of concern about it because of “some of the data and methods.” At the time, The Royal Veterinary College at the University of London was conducting an investigation into the research.

Today, that expression of concern was upgraded to a retraction. Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

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Mistaken punctuation, misreferencing, and other euphemisms for plagiarism

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soas_logo_3It’s always amusing to see how far a journal will bend over backward to avoid coming out and calling something “plagiarism.”

We’ve got two notices for you that exemplify the phenomenon, which we discussed in our Lab Times column last year.

The first, an article about apartheid, was presented at a student conference and published in the Polyvocia: The SOAS Journal of Graduate Research. It was later retracted because the author “should have used quotation marks around material written verbatim from that source.”

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

Immunology paper retracted for inappropriate presentation but “no evidence of intentional misconduct”

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immun40_4.c1.inddA paper in Immnunity has been retracted after two separate panels determined some of the figures “inappropriately presented” the data but cleared the team of wrongdoing.

However, the original data are now unavailable, according to the notice, so there’s no way to know if the paper’s conclusions are sound.

Here’s the notice for “Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling 2 and 3 Diametrically Control Macrophage Polarization”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

August 7, 2014 at 9:30 am

Panel says BMJ was right to not retract two disputed statin papers

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bmjA panel reviewing The BMJ‘s handling of two controversial statin papers said the journal didn’t err when it corrected, rather than retracted, the articles.

The articles — a research paper and a commentary – suggested that use of statins in people at low risk for cardiovascular disease could be doing far more harm than good. Both articles inaccurately cited a study that provided data important to their conclusions — an error pointed out vigorously by a British researcher, Rory Collins, who demanded that the journal pull the pieces.

In a letter to Godlee this spring, Collins wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

August 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm

The camel doesn’t have two humps: Programming “aptitude test” canned for overzealous conclusion

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From Larry Summers to James Watson, certain scientists have a long and questionable tradition of using “data” to make claims about intelligence and aptitude.

So it’s no surprise that, when well-known computer scientist Richard Bornat claimed his PhD student had created a test to separate people who would succeed at programming versus those who didn’t, people happily embraced it. After all, it’s much easier to say there’s a large population that will just never get it, instead of re-examining your teaching methods.

The paper, called “The camel has two humps,” suggested instead of a bell curve, programming success rates look more like a two-humped ungulate: the kids who get it, and the kids who never will.

Though the paper was never formally published, it made the rounds pretty extensively. Now, Bornat has published a retraction, stating that he wrote the article during an antidepressant-driven mania that also earned him a suspension from his university. Here’s the meat of the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

Authors issue their own expression of concern about elephant femur paper

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interfaceThe authors of a 2012 paper in the journal Interface have had the journal issue an expression of concern about it after issues with “some of the data and methods” came to light.

Here’s the expression of concern for “What makes an accurate and reliable subject-specific finite element model? A case study of an elephant femur:” Read the rest of this entry »

Geneticist retracting four papers for “significant problems”

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jbc 620Benjamin Barré, a genetics researcher who recently set up his own group at the University of Angers, is retracting four papers he worked on as a graduate student and postdoc.

Neil Perkins, in whose lab Barré was a postdoc, and Olivier Coqueret, in whose lab he did his PhD, tell Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Bee researcher in the Congo blames “injustice, segregation and colonialism” for retractions, Science correction

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j insect conservationA bee researcher based in Congo has had two papers retracted, and a paper in Science corrected, for various reasons including unreliable data. The researcher, however, blames colonialism.

M. B. Théodore Munyuli is at the National Center for Research in Natural Sciences, CRSN-Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, Kivu, and studies the distribution and diversity of bees. Here’s the notice from Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, for a paper on which Munyuli is the sole author: Read the rest of this entry »

BMJ authors take back inaccurate statin safety statements

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bmjcover514Last October, the BMJ published a paper by a group of researchers from the United States and Canada questioning the use of statins in patients considered at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

The article has been cited eight times since then, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It mentioned data from another study that reported a high rate of side effects in patients who used the drugs, between 18% and 20% — suggesting that those who received little or no benefit from the therapy could be more more likely to suffer harm than good.

But that citation turns out to have been flawed — prompting the journal to take the unusual step of removing those “statements” from the article and another it published about the issue that has been cited six times. And in an editorial, BMJ editor Fiona Godlee said she has asked a panel of experts to review the original paper to determine if it ought to be retracted completely: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

May 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm

“Potential error” leads to Expression of Concern for macaque paper

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janat414The Journal of Anatomy has expressed concern about a 2011 paper on primate jaws.

The article, “The mechanical function of the periodontal ligament in the macaque mandible: a validation and sensitivity study using finite element analysis,” by a group from the University of York, in the United Kingdom, purported to find that:

Read the rest of this entry »

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