Archive for the ‘uk retractions’ Category
A tribunal in the UK has rejected an appeal by Queen Mary University of London, who sought to reverse a previous order that they release data from a controversial 2011 paper in The Lancet about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The decision is one in a long series of judgments about the so-called PACE trial, which reported that two treatments — known as cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy — helped alleviate the symptoms of the condition. But ever since The Lancet article and follow-up papers have been published, patients and critics have questioned the conclusions and clamored to see the raw data.
The main criticisms: The findings may prompt some to believe chronic fatigue is a mental, not a physical, disorder, and the PACE program could actually be harmful to patients by encouraging too much exercise. These criticisms were recently bolstered by a re-analysis of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which downgraded its original conclusions about the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy.
In March 2014, Read the rest of this entry »
According to the notice in Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC), the contamination occurred by “unknown means” in the senior authors’ laboratory, who told us the mistake was a difficult one to catch. He added that they discovered the problem after other researchers published conflicting results.
He also noted that the contaminated cell lines were not used for experiments in any other papers.
The moves against the researcher, Thorsten Hagemann, come after investigations by the General Medical Council, akin to a U.S. state medical board, and Hagemann’s former institution, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), turned up evidence of misconduct. In June, we reported on the retraction of a meeting abstract in The Journal of Pathology and the corrigendum of a Nature paper by Hagemann following the inquiry at QMUL.
After two decades of submitting papers to journals, and more than 10 years of serving on an editorial board or editing journals, geography researcher Kevin Ward knows a thing or two about peer review.
Recently, as the editor of Urban Geography, he received a particularly “grumpy” and “obnoxious” review in his inbox, which got him thinking. Although, he says, the review raised “professionally appropriate issues,” it went well beyond the widely accepted content and tone. Ward, therefore, decided to reflect on his two decades of experience, and decipher the different types of reviewers and their characteristics.
In all, Ward — from the University of Manchester in the UK — says he’s encountered six types of referees.
Here’s the first, according to his recent editorial published in Urban Geography:
A graduate student at McGill University is raising concerns that a popular F1000Research paper may have plagiarized his 2014 blog post that — ironically — proposed a method to prevent scientific misconduct. The student calls the paper “a mirror image” of his work.
The February 2016 F1000Research paper, “How blockchain-timestamped protocols could improve the trustworthiness of medical science,” was highlighted by us earlier this year, as well as by The Economist and FierceBiotech. In the paper, physician Greg Irving of the University of Cambridge and John Holden of Garswood Surgery in the UK describe a proof-of-concept of how to use a blockchain—a technology best-known for powering the digital currency bitcoin—to audit scientific studies and prevent misconduct in clinical trials.
After the student brought his concerns to the journal, Irving and Holden published a second version of their paper online, this time prolifically citing the blog entry and altering language that had been identical between the two pieces. F1000Research says “the scientific content is still valid” and has no plans to retract the article. Two public peer reviewers of the work also stand by its validity. Read the rest of this entry »
A small survey of UK academics suggests misconduct such as faking data and plagiarism is occurring surprisingly often.
The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data. Here’s how Joanna Williams and David Roberts at the University of Kent summarize the results in their full report, published by the Society for Research into Higher Education: Read the rest of this entry »
When a paper was retracted earlier this year with an opaque notice, we set out to figure out why. We’re still not entirely clear of the reason, but we’ve uncovered one aspect of the paper that raised objections from another researcher: The paper, on internet trolling, included an email he sent without his permission.
The retraction sparked our interest, both because of the journal’s opaque reasoning — saying the paper “does not fit” with the journal — and because the author (Jonathan Bishop, CEO of an independent media company called Crocels) has taken preliminary steps to sue the publisher of the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Here’s some of what happened before all that took place: When mechanical engineer Filippo Salustri discovered the paper included a screenshot of an email he sent to a listserv — along with his email address — his university (Ryerson in Canada) asked the publisher to retract the paper. De Gruyter re-reviewed the paper and retracted it, issuing the vague notice.
Salustri explained that the paper contains a figure with a picture of an email message:
Read the rest of this entry »
PLOS ONE has republished data that were abruptly removed two weeks ago after the authors expressed concerns they did not have permission to release them.
The dataset — de-identified information from people with chronic fatigue syndrome — was removed May 18, noting it was “published in error.” But this week, the journal republished the dataset, saying the authors’ university had been consulted, and the dataset could be released.
This paper has drawn scrutiny for its similarities to a controversial “PACE” trial of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Here’s the second correction notice for “Therapist Effects and the Impact of Early Therapeutic Alliance on Symptomatic Outcome in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” released June 1:
As we reported last month, John Bishop, the CEO of an independent media company called Crocels, based in Pontypridd, Wales, argues that by taking down his paper, De Gruyter defamed him and breached a contract — their agreement to publish his paper. Now, Bishop has sent the publisher what’s known in the UK as a “letter of claim.”
In the letter, Bishop writes:
The Guardian is taking down 13 articles and excerpts from others after a freelance writer couldn’t provide evidence for the material.
The writer, however, has defended his work, saying he simply lost his notes from earlier stories:
The claim that I fabricated stories is wrong.
Yesterday, the UK newspaper released a statement from editor Lee Glendinning entitled “A note to our readers about a reporter who breached our trust.” After sources in a February story said they’d never spoken to Joseph Mayton, a freelancer based in San Francisco, the paper launched an investigation: Read the rest of this entry »