Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘uk retractions’ Category

Two more retractions make four for bone researcher

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JAnatBone anatomists have retracted two papers on primate jawbone structure from the Journal of Anatomy due to “errors in the validation protocol and data,” marking the fourth retraction for one of the authors.

Olga Panagiotopoulou retracted two other papers over the past year, all of which were due to a common methodological problem. As Panagiotopoulou — who completed the work in the UK, before joining the University of Queensland in Australia in 2013 —  explained to us in April,

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Written by Alla Katsnelson

June 29th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Nature retraction, resignation result after lung cancer cell lines “cannot be those specified”

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cover_natureUpon realizing they had experienced a case of mistaken cell-line identity, the authors of a 2014 Nature paper on lung cancer think “it prudent to retract pending more thorough investigation,” as they explain in a notice published Wednesday.

The problem seems to stem from more than just honest error, according to corresponding author Julian Downward, a scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in the UK.

In a 1,215 word statement, sent to us via the Director of Research Communications and Engagement at Cancer Research UK, which funds Downward’s research, Downward told us the backstory not presented in the journal’s retraction note:

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We’ll tell you later, says ophthalmology journal about retracted paper

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EurOpthRevThe European Ophthalmic Review has retracted a 2014 article about the macular degeneration drug aflibercept without any explanation.

Here’s the retraction notice, such as it is:

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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:

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Written by Alison McCook

May 5th, 2015 at 9:30 am

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

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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:

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

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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.”

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Written by Cat Ferguson

April 14th, 2015 at 9:30 am

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

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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 »