Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘uk retractions’ Category

Sub-optimal: Industrial optimization paper crushed by author’s “serious error of judgment”

with 3 comments

chemo intell lab systemsChemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, an Elsevier publication, has retracted a 2014 paper by researchers in China and the United Kingdom for data misuse and authorship issues.

The article, “Optimization of fluidized bed spray granulation process based on a multiphase hybrid model,” was purportedly written by Dapeng Niu, of the College of Information Science and Engineering at Northeastern University, in Shenyang, China, Ming Li, of De Montfort University, in Leicester, England, and Fuli Wang, a vice-president at Northeastern.

But Niu apparently didn’t perform any experiments, lifted the data from other sources, and published the paper without his co-authors’ okay.

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

Clinical trial of Achilles tendon therapy retracted for not actually being a clinical trial

without comments

JBJS_ak6The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has retracted a 2012 paper because of ethical violations, initially flagged by the journal in 2013.

The study, which examined the use of autologous cell therapy in treating Achilles tendinosis, claimed in its abstract to have “conducted a randomized, double-blind study on forty Achilles tendons in thirty-two patients.” Apparently, though, it wasn’t actually a clinical trial but was somehow, according to the retraction notice, “misclassified” as such “in error.”

The problem was originally flagged by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which wrote the journal to tell them that it hadn’t granted ethical approval for the study, as we reported in 2013. At the time, there was a question about whether the lead author had retained records of the results, which is addressed in the retraction notice, signed by editor-in-chief Marc F. Swiontkowski and editor-in-Chief Emeritus Vernon T. Tolo: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alla Katsnelson

May 14th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Lead poisoning article disappears for “legal” — but mysterious — reasons

without comments

OM_ak4A 2014 article in Occupational Medicine has been pulled with no retraction notice. Instead, the text was replaced with eight ominous words:

This article has been removed for legal reasons

Read the rest of this entry »

Widely covered editorial extolling importance of diet over exercise “temporarily removed”

with 23 comments

Source: NIH

Source: NIH

The British Journal of Sports Medicine has “temporarily removed” an editorial arguing that physical activity alone will not cure the obesity epidemic, following an expression of concern.

In its place stands the following message:

This paper has been temporarily removed following an expression of concern.

First author Assem Malhotra, based at the Department of Cardiology, Frimley Park Hospital and Consultant Clinical Associate to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, told us the paper was pulled due to a “technical issue,” and an “official explanation” would be forthcoming.

Indeed, just this morning, we received a statement from Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, which publishes the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 5th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Skeleton crew’s second paper broken over methodology issues; more retractions to appear

with 3 comments

Olga Panagiotopoulou, via University of Queensland

Bone researcher Olga Panagiotopoulou of the University of Queensland has lost a second paper over “errors in the validation protocol and data.”

The retracted paper in the Journal of Biomechanics, about primate jaws, was subject to an expression of concern in May 2014 November 2013, one of two Panagiotopoulou’s group issued last year over methodological problems. The other paper was later retracted. According to Panagiotopoulou, there will be two more retractions forthcoming, both in the Journal of Anatomy. 

According John Hutchinson, last author of the other retracted paper, that withdrawal was the result of an investigation at his school, the Royal Veterinary College.

Panagiotopoulou emailed us with an explanation:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bigfoot paper corrected because it doesn’t exist — the author’s institution, that is

with 8 comments

Image via Joe Shlabotnik

Image via Joe Shlabotnik

A paper on the genetics of mythical creatures — yeti and bigfoot — is being corrected after the journal discovered the first author, Bryan Sykes, listed a mythical institution.

The Proceedings of the Royal Society B paper, “Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates,” examined 30 samples from “museum and individual collections” that had been labeled as the North American bigfoot, Tibetan yeti, Mongolian almasty, and Sumatran orang pendek. The analysis showed the samples actually came from a variety of species, such as bears, horses, and cows. Perhaps the most striking is the paper’s claim that two samples match with a prehistoric polar bear, “but not to modern examples of the species.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 14th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Cancer Cell issues big correction over “incorrectly cropped” figures, other issues

with 3 comments

cancer cell A 2014 Cancer Cell paper became the subject of an erratum in January 2015, shortly after PubPeer members began criticizing the data. However, many issues brought up by commenters weren’t addressed in the correction notice, including a figure that might be two experiments spliced together to look like one.

The paper, led by Guido Franzoso at Imperial College London, claims that a new cancer drug called DTP3 kills myeloma cells “without causing any toxic side effects,” according to a press release from the school. Guido Franzoso is the founder of Kesios Therapeutics, a drug company which is set to begin clinical trials on DTP3.

The correction indicates that Western blots were cropped badly, which omitted several panels discussed in the text, while an “extra time point” was included accidentally. An antibody was also omitted from the description of the procedure.

PubPeer commenters have noticed additional issues, such as a criticism of figure 3D, which were not included or changed in this correction.

Here’s the correction for “Cancer-Selective Targeting of the NF-κB Survival Pathway with GADD45β/MKK7 Inhibitors”: Read the rest of this entry »

Opaque retraction notice for imaging paper

with 2 comments

cmmmSometimes we run across retraction notices that are vague, and others that are contorted, but we’ve just found one that gets highest marks for being completely inscrutable.

The article, “Bayes Clustering and Structural Support Vector Machines for Segmentation of Carotid Artery Plaques in Multicontrast MRI,” was written by a group from China and Cambridge University in England — so, we’re thinking language ought not to have been much of a barrier to clear English. It appeared in November 2012 in Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, and describes a way to analyze carotid artery plaque levels in MRI images.

But according to the notice, the technique did not work as planned (or so we think):

Read the rest of this entry »

Prominent geneticist David Latchman’s group notches second retraction

with 9 comments

j cell scienceA team of researchers whose work is under investigation by University College London has retracted a second paper.

Three of the 11 authors of the 2005 Journal of Cell Science paper being retracted — David Latchman, Richard Knight, and Anastasis Stephanou — were authors of a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper retracted in January. Stephanou takes the blame for the “errors” which felled the Journal of Cell Science paper, about how a tumor suppressor responds to DNA damage.

Here’s the notice for “STAT-1 facilitates the ATM activated checkpoint pathway following DNA damage:” Read the rest of this entry »

More black marks against unapproved protein touted as miracle cure

with 4 comments

clinical immunologyA protein which is sold online as a cure for everything from autism to cancer and the focus of multiple retracted papers has earned more black marks: The UK government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued a warning about its use after discovering problems in the factory, and a journal has removed the last author from a paper touting its benefits in HIV.

The protein, vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF), is supposedly a natural activator of macrophages. The website continues to hawk the results of treatment, while the Anticancer Fund has been pushing journals to correct the record on GcMAF. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

February 23rd, 2015 at 9:30 am